It’s another TGIF and our Naija movie weekend. But before we “pieces” the film, permit me to digress a little and share some Naija love because my country never seizes to amaze, like in the below pix.
No be small laugh. E nearly tie me with wrapper, carry me go self. Hahahaha! This is absolutely ridiculous. Guess that’s the going rate for a first class medical degree in Naija. Any wonder why our medical professionals are jetting out of the country. And as for my dear Financial Institution who boldly put their stamp on that; I’m speechless. Considering it probably cost more than the amount on the cheque to make that humongous placard. Lol!
Moving on, this weekend’s movie “Banana Island Ghost” is a 2017, Nigerian fantasy romantic comedy produced by Biola Alabi. The film written and directed by BB Sasore, stars ‘Chigurl’ Chioma Omeruah, Patrick Diabuah, Bimbo Manuel, Saidi Balogun, Tina Mba with special appearance by Damilola Adegbite.
The film follows the story of a young man Patrick (Diabuah), who died and is given 3 days by God (Manuel) to find his soul mate before ascending into the heavenly realm. Guess his soul mate has to die if both of them are to be together in heaven? Doesn’t sound like much of a deal for the lucky or perhaps unlucky girl? Anyway, our lover boy ghost (should I say fortunately or unfortunately) finds his missing rib in spitfire, bellyaching Ijeoma (Chigurl), who’s also got 3 days to pay off the mortgage on their family home before the bank forecloses on the property.
Now that we’ve dealt with the semantics, let’s get down to the Nitti gritty. (Knuckles cracking as I knead them together. Lol!) According to reports, Banana Island Ghost has broken box office records since its release in August 4, 2017 grossing #35 million in it’s opening weekend, making critics call it the best thing since slice bread. OK, not exactly slice bread but you get my drift. The film has been called a pace setter for upcoming Naija films, with its production appearing “light years ahead” in comparison to recent Naija movies. Wow, right?
I think for me, apart from the great visuals, cinematography (Cardoso Imagery really raised the bar with that one), music score, sound and picture editing, the most endearing part of the film for me has to be the special effects. It was really “light years ahead” compared to what’s obtainable in today’s Naija films. None of that “whooshing” sound that we usually hear when people disappear or reappear in Naija films. ROFTL.
The scenes with the car crash on third mainland bridge where Patrick died and the one where God gets angry with our poor ghost and you get leaves flying all over the place was very nicely done. If they had included some cars crashing into each other and some people in slow mo, it would have made it extra nice too. Just kidding… or not. Whichever ways; thumbs up for the special effect crew.
I’m going to also have to praise the directing as well. His choice of locations was both beautiful and versatile. I wonder if their underground poker game location is real or if they had to construct it from scratch. It was very believable with the dancers, poker tables, chips and all. And I don’t know if anyone has ever shot a scene in a canoe in the waters surrounding the mainland bridge. Evenly yours truly, in all my radicalness, wouldn’t be caught dead in that scenario. I mean don’t they have sharks in that water? I happen to have a healthy fear for large bodies of water, as should you. (See post Top Ten Shark Films).
Then to top it up, the production boosted a great cast chemistry; our friendly ghost and his soul mate made a really great combo. Both actors gave convincing, believable performances of their roles; Patrick as a naughty ghost with a heart of gold and Chigurl, a cantankerous family girl with her heart in the right place. Chigurl almost stole some tears from moi’s eyes with her story of how her daddy died (it felt weird considering, she usually makes one do the opposite). My favourite dialogue line from her after she gets kick boxed by the Ninja girl “Did she just slap me with her legs?” Hehehe!
So, throw in a Kingpin, his Indian ninja bodyguard, a ghost, one stubborn soul mate, our lovable Baba God, one amorous DPO and his extra stupid sergeant sidekick and you get this hilarious, engaging, beautiful movie. If I could fault this film, it would be that I haven’t laughed this hard watching a Naija film in like…never. I have to say this… it’s way, way better than The Wedding Party (See posts The Party that didn’t End & Isoken). Keep your britches on Wedding Party fans, I’m just a messenger. I don’t know how Wedding Party 2 is going to beat Banana Island movie. We might all just get to December and be like Wedding Party what? But then what do I know? Tongue in cheek.
Now it almost sounds like Jollyhood’s got no grouse with the film. Just this for now; the part where the Kingpin’s goons show up with guns and the casino crowd looked more comedic than scared fleeing from them. Whatever was that about? Please be sure to let me after watching our weekend movie. Did Chigurl actually sing in the film??
One more thing, I hear Cold Stone Creamery Nigeria has dedicated a new flavor to the film. Not sure how I feel about licking some ice-cream called The Banana Ghost Flavour… But I do know that Banana Island Ghost is a musssssst watch.
You should also check out this lovely article on a 100 Best Things to Do in New York by Jen Miller when in The Big Apple. New York City, people! I definitely will be checking out those spots very soon. Yeah, right! It’s been nice putting down my thoughts for you guys as usual. Do have an awesome weekend. XoXos!