Happy 2014 my dear readers; may this year be full of joy, peace and progress and a whole lot of great Nollywood films. Already, there are so many movies that will be coming out in the following months – one of them is the highly anticipated Kunle Afolayan film – October 1. What better way to start the New Year and also our centenary year with a trailer review that celebrates our unity? Enjoy reading!
One thing I have come to realise in the work of Kunle Afolayan is his pride in his national heritage. So when I heard about October 1, I was excited. If there is anyone to put Nigeria’s history on the big screen, it is Afolayan. He blends a mystery/thriller with elements of Nigeria’s independence; he teaches but in an entertaining manner. Movies like this, I believe will help to preserve our heritage and educate generations yet unborn.
At the heart of the trailer is an investigation of a young girl who was murdered. A northern Nigerian Police Detective, Dan Waziri (Sadiq Daba), is urgently dispatched by the colonial government to the trading post town of Akote in the Western Region of Nigeria to solve the mystery. Afolayan gives us a sneak peek of the murder scene where we see a young girl running through the forest before she is brutally murdered. So from the beginning, you have an emotional attachment to the character and want to know whodunit?
You can’t watch this trailer and not reminisce with nostalgia of how Nigeria used to be some fifty something years ago. You have to give it to the team for creating a realistic 1960s Nigeria from the costume to the props. It becomes very obvious, that a lot of money was spent to put this together. We are also treated to snippets of Yoruba music and dialogue (with translations) so you further get that sense of ‘Nigeria’. Then we have a cameo appearance of Funmi Ransome Kuti (Deola Sagoe) to further authenticate the times.
As expected, we are treated with beautiful scenery shots of village life throughout. I particularly liked one shot where we have birds flying around a tree top. The background music is just right and further complements the mood of the trailer. Also, the lighting technique (blue/black lights) employed in some of the scenes also further adds a layer of eeriness to the mystery. The graphic shots really get to you and you get a sense of foreboding and danger. And what true Nigerian movie would be complete without religion? We have scenes featuring a priest as well as a babalawo (witch doctor) who are part and parcel of community life.
Beyond the beautiful cinematography, we have solid performances from all the actors on board (both local international). It is refreshing to see Kanayo O. Kanayo back on the screen after a long while. He is joined by a cast comprising Bimbo Manuel, Kehinde Bankole, Kunle Afolayan, Demola Adedoyin and Fabian Adeoye Lojede among others. We also see very impressive performances from the foreign acts which include the likes of David Bailie, Nick Rhys, Colin David Reese and Lawrence Stubbings.
The trailer ends with a big bang. This time, it is a forest scene with Afolayan, machete in hand, jumping at someone and Dan Waziri coming to the conclusion that he knows who killed the young girl. And just to remind us of the whole essence of the film, we hear a voice over of one of the British officers sarcastically wishing Danny boy a happy independence!
Verdict –Watch October 1 if you want an authentic Nigeria story with the trappings of pre-independence politics, historical underpinnings, beautiful cinematography and a good murder story that would keep you hooked till the very end.
Do you agree with this review? Post your thoughts, comments and suggestions below.
The Trailer Review is a weekly column by Isabella Akinseye published in Vanguard newspaper.
Watch the trailer of October 1 here.
Nolly Silver Screen congratulates Kunle Afolayan and his team for producing the October 1 trailer which won the 2013 International Movie Trailer’s Festival (IMTF) award for the best fiction trailer.