by Simon Utsu
I just watched AY’s “A trip to Jamaica”. It’s one of the best Nigerian movies I’ve watched in terms of cinematography; the picture quality was superb. The script isn’t the best I’ve seen from Nigeria but it is commendable. Save for some over exaggerated acting from AY (which is understandable), the screen play was great. Nearly all the actors were on top of their game. I’ll say the Jamaican ‘bad guy’ actor was the best at interpreting his role. Second best in my opinion was Funke Akindele closely followed by Nse Ikpe-Etim. I also noticed that this is the first Nollywood movie I’ve watched that has a proper (Grade-1) soundtrack. It’s a movie I’ll recommend for anyone who wants to laugh his/her heart out.
The “30 Days in Atlanta”, “A trip to Jamaica” concept from AY is an ingenious one. The latter I learnt, is even more interesting than the former. I see him making some more follow ups of this franchise, which would fetch him good bucks. Maybe ” A trip to Brazil or Congo” could be the next in the series. But I’ll advise that he doesn’t abuse the concept by doing too many spin offs, an extra two will do. This is because I’ve noticed that comedy movie spin offs start getting boring after the third release. Ice Cube’s “Friday”, The Wayan brothers “Scary movie” and Mike Myers “Austin Powers” movies and their spin-offs easily come to mind.
This move by Nollywood(towards cinema worthy movies) is one in the right direction and at this pace, I forsee the revolution that happened in the Nigerian music industry some 15 years back replicating itself in Nollywood, such that, Nigerians would abandon foreign movies and focus on Nollywood movies.
I can’t end this write-up without giving former President Goodluck Jonathan the thumbs up. When he said he was pumping 3 billion Naira into Nollywood, people thought it was the usual political statement. Shortly afterwards, cinema standard Nigerian movies started coming out by the month. As was apparent from AY’ “A trip to Jamaica”, the movie had a handful of corporate and private sponsors(Peak milk, Globacom and Ayiri?). Meaning, the start-up fund Jonathan provided did it’s job and now the system has attained cruise control, it’s now self-sustaining such that, corporate and private entities now find it attractive enough to invest huge chunks of money.
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