Directed By: Kenneth Gyang
Written By: Tom Rowlands-Rees
Stars: O.C Ukeje, Gold Ikponmwosa, Ali Nuhu, Ramsey Noauh, Tony Goodman
Set in a Nigerian City,’ Confusion Na Wa’ is a dark comedy about a group of strangers whose fates become intertwined over the course of 24 hours. At the heart of everything is a phone found by two hustlers Charles (O.C Ukeje) and Chichi (Gold Ikponmwosa) who having read through its contents, decide to blackmail the owner Emeka (Ramsey Noauh). Little do they know that their misdemeanors have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a shattering end. (c) Cinema KpataKpata
Let’s go back some months in time, January 2013 to be specific. I had access to free internet on this blessed day and so I thought to myself, I might as well put this to some use and search the net for the latest movie trailers. Somehow I stumbled upon the trailer of an upcoming Nollywood movie called Confusion Na Wa. The title did put me off a bit, but the trailer totally caught my attention. It was the best Nollywood trailer I remember seeing in a while. The cast, the story, the video quality all really impressive.
Nine months down the line when Confusion Na Wa was finally released online and to Nigerian theaters, I finally saw it and this here, is what I think of the movie.
The script was crafted by British writer Tom Rowlands-Rees and adapted from a short script called My Culture by Kagho Harley Akpor. Tom revamped My Culture into Confusion Na Wa but retained some of the characters and themes from My Culture.
Funded by Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam in Netherlands, a recipient of the best film of the year at the 2013 AMAA awards, one of the films presented at the inaugural Durban FilmMart in Durban South Africa, all this accomplishments and many more were made possible by one major thing. The Story told.
Confusion Na Wa is a nonlinear story which complexly but almost perfectly tells the story of random strangers who have no idea of their connections. With its title inspired by a line in Fela’s classic track “Confusion” which speaks of Nigeria’s broken system, the movie tells the story of how the various characters are confused in their own ways, which in my own opinion I will say is a subtle jab at the Nigeria society of today.
One little issue I had with the script was how the movie started. I would have preferred a situation where the tragic end of the movie was all let out in the end rather than informing us right from the beginning and then waiting for almost the next two hours to see how it happens. But like I said, it’s how I would have done it and regardless of that, it’s still a beautiful story.
The story telling of this movie brought two other films to mind while I was watching it. First being Crash(2004) written by Robert Moresco and Paul Haggis and secondly Pulp Fiction(1994) written by Roger Avary and Quantin Tarentino. Both movies are nonlinear classics which were both ground breaking at their time of release. I couldn’t help but notice some familiar themes from these movies in Confusion Na Wa. Yeah, the movie is that good, no exaggerations here.
Confusion Na Wa is a revolutionary story in Nigerian cinema and this I believe can only motivate other movie makers to make more impressive works than this. I believe strongly that the future of the Nigerian film industry is in bright hands with the new breed of young movie makers who have been stepping out lately.
Kenneth Gyang who took on the huge role of directing this movie definitely establishes himself as a force to reckon with in the future. The quality of the cast put together in the movie includes some of the best in the business. The video quality was also very good although the color correction and rendering in some scenes like the scene with Kola and his father Babajide played by Tony Goodman while they were having dinner with the entire family seemed a bit too much. It could have been toned down. The choice of movie soundtracks and the overall sound design was one of the most beautiful things about the movie. This happens to be one of the things that some of the best Nollywood movies hardly get right but the sound design here is second to none and due credit goes to Solomon Emmanuel who was the sound recordist for the movie.
Confusion Na Wa happens to be Kenneth Gyang’s second movie direction. The other being Blood and Henna a movie which was inspired by the 1996 Pfizer Clinical Test in Kano, Nigeria. With a work of art such has this, he has definitely set a very high bar for himself and the big question now is, “can his next project live up to the standard and reputation of Confusion Na Wa?”
Credit must also go to the cinematographer Yinka Edward who is no kid in this business. His artistry didn’t go unnoticed in the shots and most especially the lightning of the movie.
Like I said earlier, the entire cast was of very high quality. Ali Nuhu’s character Bello was the most hilarious to me as I couldn’t help but laugh at his misfortunes. Although he was a bit stiff, he did put up an impressive performance. O.C Ukeje’s portrayal of Charles was well executed and he did render the role to perfection. Gold Ikponmwosa who played the interesting character of Chichi was at the top of his game also. I loved his Lion king narratives. Nathaniel Ishaku who played the role of Kola should also be applauded for an outstanding performance. Although he wasn’t vocal enough in some scenes, he was very impressive. Ramsey Noauh who happens to be a 20 year veteran in Nollywood and one of the best in the business right now didn’t fall short of expectations in anyway also. Tony Goodman was a confirmation of a popular proverb which says, ‘Like Fine wine, you get better with age’. Tunde Aladese who has this as her break out performance was also enjoyable. She had a good use of body language and facial expressions.
The end of the year keeps getting better as we have started seeing more impressive works from 2013 and I must say this is one of the best movies of the year.
My only worry for this movie and all other Nollywood productions released to theaters is, are these movies bankable? Do this movie makers after all their efforts make back their profit? I certainly hope they do in some way.
Popcorn & Soda it is for Confusion Na Wa. It’s the best Nollywood story I have ever seen brought to life.
It is definitely in the race for the movie which gets the Popcorn, Soda & Hotdog prize at the end of the year. I will like to thank Kenneth Gyang for the press kit and information he gave which was used in making this review.
So have you seen the movie? What do you think about it? Please do let us know by dropping your comments. Thanks
Think likewise or otherwise? Feel free to leave your comments.
Popcorn & Water-2/5
Popcorn & Hotdog-3/5
Popcorn & Soda-4/5
Popcorn, Soda & Hotdog-5/5
This review is brought to you by Sodas & Popcorn …… We watch movies, so you (don’t) have to.