By Isabella Akinseye
‘Tatu’ is a fast paced action drama, centred around the conflict arising from a mother’s quest to have a child and the consequence of breaking her covenant with the gods to sacrifice the child when she comes of age.
The movie is adapted from a book written by Abraham E. Nwankwo. Directed by Don Omope and produced by Lord Tanner, it stars Toyin Abraham, Kunle Idowu, Rahama Sadau, Segun Arinze, Hafiz Oyetoro, Gabriel Afolayan, Sambasa Nzeribe and Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi among others.
Star studded cast. Filmmakers are getting very intentional and are bringing in stars that appeal to different segments. In ‘Tatu,’ you have old faces such as Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Hafiz Oyetoro, Desmond Elliot and Segun Arinze alongside crossover actors from the Yoruba film industry (Toyin Abraham, Gabriel Afolayan) and Rahama Sadau from Kannywood. Newer talents like Sambasa Nzeribe and internet sensation Kunle Idowu (Frank Donga) are sure to pull crowds.
Acting. While having a star studded cast does not always translate to good acting, thankfully, this is not the case. Each of the actors do a good job in embodying their characters. It is a joy to see Toyin Abraham in a more serious role where her acting has depth. Sambasa carries the movie almost without any words with impressive facial expressions and body movement. Segun Arinze is in his element as a chief priest with a lot of eyeball popping actions.
Comedy. For the laughs, you have to give to Gabriel Afolayan, Hafiz Oyetoro (Saka) and Kunle Idowu (Frank Donga). Especially Gabriel Afolayan whose interactions with the different characters he came in contact with added a comic touch and lightness to the seriousness of the drama. His delivery of some funny lines like, “Come and receive adequate sense” when he was talking to the dwarves to the fight he had with them will leave you in stitches.
Cinematography. Epic films rise and fall on the cinematography. In, ‘Tatu,’ we are treated to delightful camera sequences. This is further enhanced by strong production values of lighting and crisp picture quality. The scenes in Gabriel Afolayan’s apartment where they have to escape through the window and run for their lives is well done. So is the sex scene which is tastefully handled. The village scenes from the forest, river and ceremonies transport you back to a time you only hear about in stories.
Script. While the story has interesting twists, there are some plot loopholes that leave more questions than answers. The big one is the pregnancy which becomes one of the keys to the resolution of the drama. In the space of two days, Tatu is pregnant and already showing visible signs. Also, there are one too many coincidences and not enough clues dropped for us to believe the eventual ending.
Costume. The Mother Superior or as Gabriel Afolayan’s character puts it, Mother India’s habit is way too colourful and flamboyant. It is too conspicuous not to ignore and makes a mockery of the pious nature of nuns and reverend sisters.