In 2022, the directing/producing duo of Kayode Kasum and Dare Olaitan surprised audiences with Obara'M, a Nollywood musical that stands out amidst a sea of traditional genres. Obara'M follows Oluchi, played by Nancy Isime, an aspiring musician who must confront her past mistakes and reconnect with her daughter after her estranged father's death. The film fearlessly tackles real-life issues and consequences, refusing to force forgiveness or a happy ending when undeserved. The plot unfolds smoothly, building up to a beautiful climax. One of the film's highlights is its realistic and relatable character growth, offering an authentic portrayal of personal transformation.
The cinematography in Obara'M is stunning, bringing life to various locations and enhancing the overall visual experience. The music, which is refreshing and awakening, successfully combines elements of comedy, sorrow, love, and jubilation. The musical numbers are complete and add substance to the film, creating an emotional connection with the audience. The inclusion of The Cavemen, a musical group, adds a delightful surprise to the cast, although their roles could have been better developed.
Nancy Isime delivers an exceptional performance as Oluchi, showcasing her growth as an actress. However, the true star of the film is the young talent Darasimi Nadi, who gives a phenomenal performance as Ihunnaya, capturing the audience's attention with her natural talent. The chemistry between the actors is evident, further immersing viewers in the story. The strong performances elevate the film and leave a lasting impression.
While Obara'M is a must-watch, it is not without its flaws. The film's attention to detail is inconsistent, as evidenced by incongruities in the costumes, the minimal character development of Deyemi Okanlawon and Bolanle Ninolowo, and the noticeable lip-syncing issues. While these flaws can be overlooked by the audience, they do detract from the overall experience.
Despite its strengths, Obara'M falls short of fully realizing its vision. The film's plot execution feels inadequate, with the climax reached without the proper establishment of several characters. Certain plot points, such as Ihunnaya running back to the village without explanation, leave the narrative feeling disoriented and the resolution lacking. The inclusion of The Cavemen feels more like a marketing strategy than a genuine utilization of their talents, resulting in missed opportunities for their characters.
The director skillfully capitalizes on Darasimi Nadi's talent, as she carries the entire project with remarkable poise and skill. Nadi's performance stands toe to toe with Nancy Isime's, showcasing her abilities as a young rising star. Her on-screen presence is captivating, and her performance adds depth and authenticity to the film. Obara'M is a step in the right direction for Nollywood, showcasing the industry's willingness to explore new narratives and genres. While the film has its flaws, such as its inconsistent attention to detail and unfulfilled potential in plot execution, it offers a compelling story and strong performances. The film's beautiful cinematography, enchanting music, and relatable character growth make it a worthwhile watch. Obara'M serves as a testament to Nollywood's growth and its potential to create diverse and engaging cinematic experiences.
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