Movie review: Find out the price of freedom in ‘MISFIT… The ashawo story’

by Uche Briggs


I met Daniel Oriahi, the co-writer and director of Misfit in 2010. Ours was a relationship forged while we studied briefly under photography legend Mudi Yahaya. Months later, I would play the lead role in his short film, A Boy and His Girlfriend, shot in the beautiful and serene city of Lokoja. Daniel Oriahi is a film encyclopaedia. There are very few people on this side of the earth that can out do Daniel when it comes to film history, techniques, themes etc. When he informed me of his intention to shoot his first feature length movie, I was naturally excited. MISFIT, a terrific psychological thriller, is the product of a brilliant mind.

The movie has been described by Nejeeb Bello (@Bar_Baric on Twitter) as “the most realistic movie about the struggle for freedom in its most basic form.” Inspired by a true story, the movie explores themes of sexual violence against women and its debilitating effect on the victim while beaming the light on the Nigerian predicament of kidnapping and human trafficking. Beyond the physical, the movie also touches on the possibility of spiritual emancipation.

A riveting watch in its entirety, one can proudly say that our acting has coming a long way. Ijeoma Grace Agu, the lead character gave one hell of a performance. For an actress who has spent the last couple of years on stage, Ijeoma makes a bold statement of intent in MISFIT. Her understanding of the role and her interpretation is quite commendable.

The stand out delivery however was from Rita Edwards. The supporting actress interpreted her role with such remarkable acuity. Such terrific acting! Kelechi Udegbe, a relatively known face in the industry, steps outside his comic confines and portrays ‘Orji’ with aplomb. It is refreshing to note that we have discovered new stars in an industry such as ours – with only a few talents dominating the thousands of movies churned out each year.

Daniel shines brightly with his vintage film noir expressions. The production of the movie is at once prudent and delightful. As Najeeb rightly pointed out, the movie shows that as far as Nollywood is concerned, competence trumps funds as the critical imperative for success. This is by a long mile the most remarkable psychological thriller I have ever seen from Nollywood.

The movie has been picked for a screening at the Nollywood Week Film Festival in Paris. It debuts in cinemas across Nigeria from April 18th

Go see it. Thank me later.

See trailers below:

Production Year: 2013

Director: Daniel Emeke Oriahi

Producer: Abiodun Olagbaju (for House 5 Productions)

Cast: Ijeoma Grace Agu. Rita Edward. Kelechi Udegbe

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