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Tha Revue: Hilary ‘The Maveriq’ Ajodo Reviews ‘Roti’

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Hilary “The Maveriq” Ajodo of tharevue.com (pronounced “the review dot com”) one of Nigeria’s review resource for local and foreign movies reviews Nollywood movie “Roti

Director: Kunle Afolayan
Main Cast: Kate Henshaw, Kunle Afolayan, Fathia Balogun, Toyin Oshinaike and Darimisire Afolayan
Genre: Thriller/Drama
Release Date: June 30, 2017

**

Diane and Kabir Shittu (Kate Henshaw & Kunle Afolayan) after a long period of childlessness are blessed with a son, Roti (Darimisire Afolayan) but sadly, the boy passes on his 7th birthday. The parents (especially Diane) are distraught but things get really weird when 5 years later, a boy who looks exactly like their deceased son surfaces.

This is definitely one of the fascinating storylines out of Nigeria in recent time. When I saw the trailer and read the synopsis for Roti, I was genuinely enthralled because the idea of reincarnation exists in our culture and religion but is largely unexplored in Nollywood.

In classic Kunle Afolayan style, the cinematography and directing was top notch. I particularly liked the “ordinary” feel persistent throughout the film to give the impression that the characters were everyday people. This outlook was executed across every facet of the film- the characters weren’t heavily made up or looked affluent and their residence too was quite basic. The joy with this direction is that it made the movie, its characters and events very relatable.

Another aspect of the move that pleased me unending was the “horror” feel of the film. There was extensive use of horroresque incidental music and camera works and the picket fence around the residence which gave the movie an unnerving and haunting feel that gripped the audience.

However, Roti had a few drawbacks most evidently, the climax of the film. When I read the plot of Roti, my worry was how the conflict was going to be resolved and in all honesty, the conclusion was quite underwhelming. The film ended at the time when I expected it to kick into high gear and I guess the idea was to leave us suspended in some form of a cliffhanger but it left the film feeling like an unfinished sneeze.

If you ask me, I think Roti should have been shot as a Yoruba film where the full mystical element of reincarnation will be developed across cultural/traditional lines rather than the orthodox angle that the film takes because, with the intention of appealing to a wider audience, the film lost some bite.

Roti is a decent psycho-thriller and borderline creepy film with Kate Henshaw and Kunle Afolayan putting in a masterful performance. Even Afolyan’s kid, Darimisire wasn’t half bad as the titular character.

For more reviews, go to tharevue.com

4 Comments

  1. BigJoy

    July 4, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Hey Hilary, the reviewist, lovely review. we sorta write alike and sometimes ur review can be on point. I havent seen the movie but after seeing the trailer, i knew it would have issues with the ending. Generally, Kunle Afolayan movies have some much promise but always sorta hangs’ at the end, from Figurine to the CEO; This is not taking away the fact that kunle is a brilliant film maker.

    I hope to see it before the week ends though. again Kudos. i wish we could make good money from just reviewing movies, i d have been doing that for a living..
    XOXO

    • Chu

      July 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Yea, I think he likes to write movies that way, it is a thriller after all, its supposed to leave a suspense(Steven King style, lol) . I loved figurine when I watched it, I remember a friend saying that when he watched figurine in the cinemas there was a reaction, normally people just walk out after a movie, but for this there was a buzz, everyone was analyzing the movie, that’s what a good movie ought to do, make you think,
      Figurine restored my faith in Nigerian movies, that they could get better.
      This review has made me determined to watch Roti., thanks for not giving away too many details.

    • curios

      July 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      dear chu thanks for your comment. maybe I didn’t understand what the first person’s comment was implying…but I don’t know what he/she meant by his movies had issues with the way they ended? figurine was so perfect as far as I am concerned. the ending was beautiful… good movies/stories you leave you trying to figure out things/contemplating the alternatives. Those are the kind of stories I like…and that’s one major reason I love John Grisham for instance

  2. bafe

    July 4, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Than k you @Chu for taking the words from my mouth. Roti is a very good film. The open ended conclusion is an artistic style and it is deliberate. As a tragic movie, Roti may not pull crowd like the A.Y’s .comic. film but discerning film goers know its value. Kate and Kunle deserve awards for their performance. Bravo.

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