The movie “Roti” is a suspense filled drama that would keep you fixed to your seat, eyes wide open, calls and messages totally ignored till the very end. Award winning director and producer Kunle Afolayan, as usual, proved that he is no ordinary Nollywood film maker with this one (he must have read my last review). He teamed up with Sola Dada to address a question that unconsciously lingers in the minds of most of us: Does reincarnation truly exist? This movie, however, reminds me of Rihanna’s third album, Good girl gone bad; it was a splendid movie that went sour.
Roti is a tale of a couple who lose their only son, Roti, at age five to a fatal heart condition. Years later, the mother of the deceased, Diane Shittu, sees a replica of her late son, Juwon, and is convinced that that is her child and will stop at nothing till she is reunited with him. The movie shines light on delicate topics like loss; pain; depression and psychological disorder.
This film is blessed with actors who interpret roles exceptionally, ranging from Kate Henshaw to a mild introduction into the child acting world, Darimisire Afolayan.
Kate Henshaw is no doubt a sizzling actress and she brought all her antics and tricks to this film. She played the role of Diane Shittu, the slightly deranged mother of the deceased child and she wore the character like a one-size-fit-all attire. She was undeterred to look the part: depressed, frustrated, unflattering, unsettled and a psycho lol. And when it came down to crying, she finished worked men, right on cue! Like the time when she was informed that her son, Roti had died, she cried like it was real; you know that kind of cry that has catarrh running down your nose? Yes, that kind. She is indeed the J-lo of Nollywood: old soldier no dey die.
Kunle Afolayan also didn’t disappoint. He played the character Kabir Shittu, the husband to a mentally unstable wife and father of the deceased child, and he gave it an effortless performance.
The characters Roti and Juwon was played by six-year-old Darimisire Afolayan and he didn’t do badly. His ability to switch personalities from a bubbly Roti, to the reserved Juwon was quite impressive. He was able to reignite our hopes in Nigerian child actors.
Also casted in the movie were amazing actors like Fathia Balogun and Toyin Oshinaike.
I must commend the plot of this movie, it was inventive and unpredictable. At every point, I was not sure what to expect next; because with each scene, came new angles to the story. It was refreshing to see a good Nollywood movie without any erotic scene whatsoever.
Despite the sad and depressing tone of the movie, humor still found its way into some scenes with some crazy actions displayed by Diane: like the times when she visits Juwon’s family with one gift or the other; or when she asked five-year-old Juwon, who obviously had no clue what reincarnation meant, if he was her dead child, Roti and if he would come back to her.
One gift Kunle Afoloyan has is his ability to convey the mood and tone of a story through colors and pictures. Roti had the perfect melancholic gloom that complimented the sad tone and mood of the movie; every scene had that weary-teary sad look to it. With the right camera angles and appropriate lighting; the cinematography was excellent.
But just like CEO, Roti’s attempt to an outstanding twist was totally uncalled for and very confusing. What really happened at the end? I still do not get the essence of Diane’s dream: where she walked through the isolated path to a room where a child was crying. Was the whole movie a dream? And if it was? Who then was dreaming? Because it was Kabir who narrated the story and Diane who woke up at the end. How can a story that was so beautifully told end in such a sham? In my opinion, Roti was a good story without a well thought out end: A splendid movie gone sour.
In the end, I think the director fulfilled his aim; he delivered a thought provoking movie. I definitely recommend this film to you if you are in the mood to exercise your mind and think deep. Watch the movie and let’s discuss the end together in the comment section.
On a scale of zero to five, I give this movie a three and a half. Which could have easily been a four if I did not have a big question mark on my head after seeing the movie till this point.
Kate Henshaw Nuttal – Diane Shittu
Kunle Afolayan – Kabir Shittu
Damirisire Afolayan – Roti
Damirisire Afolayan – Juwon
Fathia Balogun – Mummy Juwon
Totin Oshinaike – Daddy Juwon