Best and Worst of Nollywood at Box Office in 2017
2017 was a good movie year for Nollywood. Over 20 movies made it to the box office in the year, with some movies making hundreds of millions of Naira! In this post, we are highlighting the major flairs and flaws of the ‘New Nollywood Movies’, we will also be crowning our best male and female actors and top five movies of the year.
Our core reason for reviewing Nollywood movies is simply to fulfill our dire need to see better locally created movies. We sincerely hope that movie makers do not see us as rivals but as partners who want the same thing they and their audience want: Better films made.
With the new Nollywood (Nollywood movies good enough to air in the Box Office), comes a remarkable improvement in the cinematography. Almost all the movies had exceptional camerawork and apt lighting crafted to enhance the different emotions and theme the movies portrayed.
Sound tracks and sound effects is another angle that deserves commendation. Movies like Isoken, The WeddingParty 2, Banana Island Ghost, Excess Luggage and What Lies Within not only had well thought-out sound tracks to go with relevant scenes, the latter two creatively played with sound effects taking our minds on an exciting journey.
For a while, we had been fed with movies that were as basic as a wicked uncle, aunt or mother-in-law tormenting their homes but this time around, Nollywood came deep onto us, with almost all the movie addressing deep societal issues ranging from domestic violence, to the need for awareness in the northern region, reincarnation and marital and gender rivalry.
Finally, we must applaud movies with fresh ideas/storylines, the likes of: Roti, The Wedding Party 2, Celebrity Marriage, Hakunde, Banana Island Ghost and Alakada Reloaded.
Now that we have the pretty out of the way, lets delve into the ugly:
Having reviewed over fourteen movies that made it to the box office in 2017, we can easily say that the major flaws of our movies are weak plots, lack of fresh stories/ideas, unnecessary star studded movies and no proper casting.
Just before we dive into it, let us explain what a plot means: It is a series of events deliberately arranged so as to reveal their dramatic, thematic, and emotional significance; while, the story is simply a series of events recorded in their chronological order. A strong plot is the backbone of the story, not minding if the story is a fresh idea or not.
With this definition, we can easily forgive a glaringly recycled story provided it was told from a fresh perspective.
Now talking about movie plots, most of the movies that featured at the box office can be grouped into three categories: Weak plots; Recycled Stories and both
Movies like Alakada Reloaded and The Wedding Party 2 were strong products of a weak plot. No twist whatsoever, the stories were either told in a bland way or had totally disjointed scenes marched together to form a film. The Movie, ‘What Lies Within’, could have easily escaped this category, if it had not been unnecessarily long.
These next set of movies were recycled and/or had slightly over flogged stories but with a strong plot: Isoken, Tatu, The Women and Catch.er.
Then those with both recycled stories and weak plots: Excess Luggage, Picture Perfect and My Wife & I. These movies were literally begging for some spark or a grand plot twist that nobody saw coming, but no! None of this happened
Another glaring flaw is stars studding a movie. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with filling a movie up with celebrities, provided each character has a properly built up background story and interpretes their roles well. The issue however, arises when a weak plotted movie is studded with celebrities in the bid to distract the audience from the movie’s plotlessness, like the cases of The Wedding Party 2 and Alakada Reloaded.
Finally, Character mismatch was a stain that some of the movies had. We saw cases where a supporting actor could have played the lead role better than the lead actor which might have been either the producer or director of the movie; or simply a bigger celebrity than the supporting. We hope this will be addressed going forward.
Now our CROWNS!
Toyin Abraham is certainly our best actress for the year 2017. Why? She did not tow the path of the seemingly norm of Nollywood – Stereotypical acting. No! She was okay with evolving. In as much as the local Yoruba, Engish wanna-be suites her perfectly, we saw her play serious roles as in Hakunde Tatu and Celebrity Marriage. She proved to us that no role was too little, big, foreign or local for her to deliver on.
Drum roll for the delectable Gabriel Afolayan, who is our best actor for 2017! Gabriel hasn’t really featured in a lot of movies (something we hope will be addressed this year) but when he does feature, he adds a well needed vibe and flavor that to the movie. As he did with Tatu, and Okafor’s Law.
Now to our top 5 Movies:
The Fifth Position Goes to ‘Banana Island Ghost’! Fresh storyline, all intentions to crack the audience up was achieved, well thought out sound effect and the movie gave birth to the best Nigerian Coca Cola commercial ever, lol. You should check it out if you haven’t seen it.
The Fourth Position Goes to ‘Roti’! Another fresh idea with a strong theme and message, unpredictable plot, commendable character execution by almost all the acts in the movie and It was refreshing to see a good Nollywood movie without any erotic scene whatsoever.
The Third Position Goes to ‘The Women’! A recycled story projected in a unique and compelling way, arguably the best drone shot view ever seen in a Nollywood movie, funny storyline with deep lessons to be learnt, commendable character execution by all the acts in the movie and perfect lighting.
The Second Position Goes to ‘Isoken’! Soothing soundtrack, great set design, Very amazing pick of actors, commendable character execution by all the acts in the movie and great lighting.
The First Position Goes to ‘TATU’!!! Recycled story yet told in an intriguing way, suspense filled, almost the best set design you have seen in any Nollywood movie, great camera angles and a remarkable character execution by all the acts in the movie. If you still haven’t seen this movie, we strongly recommend that you do. You will not regret it.
This is our run-down of movies aired in the box office in 2017. We hope you found this read interesting and insightful. Your view is highly welcomed – do you agree with us or do you have a different angle to it…Let us chat in the comment section below.