The Film Blog: We don’t know how we feel about Kenneth Gyang’s ‘The Lost Café’

We don’t know that bigger fans of Kenneth Gyang’s work exist anywhere else, at least not in Nigeria. At TFB, we think he is a national treasure, a status earned by his impressive body work and a strong commitment to quality.

We cheered with Gyang when he won Best Picture at the Africa Academy Movie Awards (back when it still mattered) for his brainy drama, Confusion Na Wa and we never miss a chance to catch the film (to discover what we missed the last time) whenever it airs on cable television.

We are probably one of the few people who followed his television series, How I made my first millions starring Ifeanyi Dike Jr and after a slow start, we have warmed up to his Sons of the Caliphate series on EbonyLife, even as we anticipate a second season.

(Un)fortunately, Gyang isn’t the most prolific filmmaker in Nollywood. Since his AMAA winning feature length, he has not made another film. Up until now at least.

We rejoiced when his Cinema Kpatakpata announced a new project and began to salivate at the prospect of another journey into Gyang’s brilliant mind. Then we saw the trailer of The Lost Café and frankly, we do not know how we feel.

It looks decent enough, doesn’t give away much and has this whimsical, fantasy vibe to it but it does not leave us all itching to go out there to see the film.

Now from 2015’s Out of Luck, and pretty much anything directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, we have learnt the hard way never to judge a film by its trailer but this one does not exactly leave us jumping in excitement. And we tried to love it. We really did.

It gives out little in terms of the film’s plot (a good sign by the way) but does not quite succeed in holding interest either. Plus we are not sure that asking screenwriter/actress, Tunde Aladese to carry a film by herself makes much commercial sense, no matter how much we loved her cheating housewife turn in Confusion Na Wa.

Still, this is Kenneth Gyang we are talking about and his name on a project instantly gives it a certain amount of quality. The Lost Café may just be the case of an underwhelming trailer and just might go ahead and knock our socks off.

We will be first in line when the film opens. Because Kenneth Gyang.

 

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