'Hakkunde' was, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated Nollywood films of 2017
Hakkunde‘s massive crowdfunding campaign; a director who had wiped the floor with every other category-nominee to pick up the Best Short Film award at the 2016 AMVCA; a Frank Donga who wasn’t playing a crumpled-pink shirt, job-seeking funny man or a red Gucchee-donning driver; a lot of publicity and media partners and a slow 2017 in terms of actual amazing movies meant it was with drooling mouths that we awaited the release of this film.
The premiere, apart from the serious time-wasting, was great too. But since when did movies start getting judged by the way they were unveiled to the world?
In almost equal proportions, there are reasons why you should see Oluseyi Asurf‘s Hakkunde and reasons you shouldn’t probably even bother.
The whole world laughed when the gods that be in Kannywood decided to ban Rahama Sadau from that industry for doing her job in a music video. The laughing universe said it was that industry’s loss.
And after witnessing her performance in Hakkunde, I can easily tell why. In fact, I joined the roaring laughter.
I must confess, this will be my first time actually seeing Sadau in a role that has given her this much responsibility. She took the role of Aisha, bought it a rocket ticket and blast it into space.
For the entire duration of the film, Aisha was in an orbit around the earth. It easy to see why she was referred to as the Queen of Kannywood.
Toyin Abraham is an actress who, like many in Nollywood, has a comfort zone which the director must stick her to with a bucket of super glue so you can see her brilliance. Abraham’s zone is language-related. In Hakkunde, she found that zone and flourished immeasurably in it.
She played Yewande, Akande’s elder sister effortlessly. Her performance was great! There were a few moments where she played to the gallery though.
Maryam Booth as Binta was another acting shining light. Her performance was calm and assured, like the character she portrayed.
From the beginning of the film, it is evident that you are in for a beautiful dialogue ride. Tomi Adesina‘s dialogues were above average. It was refreshing to listen to them.
One thing many-a-Nollywood writer still overlooks is the quality of dialogue. Most times, what you hear is no more than flat dialogue.
The last time Nollywood gave me a very good dialogue was Dare Olaitan’s Ojukokoro.
Kunle Idowu‘s transition from playing a perpetually but inadvertent funny man – Frank Donga – to playing a more serious and emotional Akande is praise-worthy. For one, I was keen on seeing how he would cope under the weight of the role and he coped admirably well.
Idowu still has some way to go to become an elite, rounded actor but it is undeniable that he has the ingredients and hopefully, he keeps working with directors who care about improving their actors rather than the type of drone they are flying over the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge.
The cinematography in Hakkunde is pretty good even though at times, Funmi Daramola, the Director of Photography, makes you want to stone the screen due to unnecessary establishment, overhead and long Sun-setting shots.
Imagine a video recording (I’m talking of the one in which late Bukky Ajayi appeared as Hakkunde’s mum) with cutaway shots in it. Haba!
Unsurprisingly the sound is not very good. ‘It’s Nollywood after all,’ I am forced to say to myself the umpteenth time. Sound is still very much a problem for us around here.
The story is relatable but far from great. Many can relate with the job-seeking, squatting with an unsympathetic elder one drift of Akande’s struggle but that’s pretty much where it ends.
Aisha’s ‘husband-killing’ story is unconvincing and pretty cliché. Using it as a highway to Aisha and Hakkunde falling in love is meh and for a serious subject as sickle cell anaemia and the society’s lack of understanding of it, this is too on-the-surface.
Besides, you could see the pair falling in love before Lord Luggard amalgamated Nigeria’s Northern and Southern protectorates.
Set in Kaduna, this film is a good advert for that city, especially to those who think that all of the North is troubled. For someone like me, it was good ‘seeing’ my birthland again.
Terrible, terrible anti-climax
Whoever gave the filmmakers the idea that the film should continue after Janto Boveh’s (Seyi Law) appearance is one of the reasons the world is experiencing global warming.
What the fuck was that?
Another appearance of the late Bukky Ajayi was unnecessary and everything that happened after that scene only did a pretty good dragging down of the film. Watching the film go on for about five minutes after Seyi Law made his cameo is nothing short of cringe-worthy.
Submitting, Hakkunde is a film you should enjoy though, and for being Asurf’s debut feature, you cannot but commend him. His team too.
This post first appeared on TNS.
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