REVIEW OF THE MOVIE ‘APAYE, A MOTHER’S LOVE’
Assistant director: Niyi Akinmolaran
Written by: Uduak Isong Oguamanam, Kehinde Joseph and Vivian Chiji
Produced by: Emem Isong.
Title: ‘APAYE, A MOTHER’S LOVE’
Cast: Clarion Chukwurah, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Belinda Effah, Mbong Amata, and Millicent Jack.
Running time: 110 minutes
Place setting:Niger Delta
Distributed by Royal Arts Academy
The film Apaye shows the life of the central character- Yepayeye, a mother of six, who’s no-good husband abandoned her for a small girl. She is left with six children to feed, cloth and cater for. After she toiled relentlessly, sickness was an unwelcomed guest, her strength came to life through her father’s love. Which after she decided to leave, “my children and I will go and leave in peace’’.
In the midst of the separation, lonesomeness and despair, her relentless search for a job and prayers paid off, as she got a job with a secondary school. Her joy was inexpressible and knew no bounds. With partial hope restored, she became a mother to needy students, providing food for the hungry, and standing up for the needy. Her generosity and love for children came alive with her new job.
As life would play out its usual self, She lost her job and returned to status quo. This time, surviving with six children became hell on earth. These times in her life were a deluge of sorrows, tears and heart-rending moments, as the children had grown and jobless.
More than ever, knowing a God in heaven who sees, ears, cares and answers questions, she was determined to succeed, as it took her weeks to decide if it was in her best interest. She stayed, cried to God so much so the neighbours asked the children to take their mum to the psychiatrist. Life pushed her and she pushed. In the midst of all, she stood in God, and in him did she find victory. In her words, ‘‘dreams come true for those who wake up pursue them. In 2011, I built God a house of worship to say thank you’’
Kanayo O. Kanayo’s makeup. Awful is a euphemism! It is basically an insult to the audience and Nollywood.Clarion Chukwurah’s inconsistent performance artfully littered with monotonous line renditions. She won an AMAA for the performance, yes. But that is more a testament to the either the level of female lead performances in the evaluated year or the panel’s point of view, rather than the brilliance of her acting in the film.
Too much tears. The characters simply made a pool of it and swam until they lost their breaths. Not that it is in itself a bad thing at least Madam Apaye’s life story is quite an emotional.
Desmond Elliot is not a director. A good director would have made that story into a classic. A good director would not have let KOK’s makeup fly. A good director would have extracted a better performance from Clarion Chukwurah. A good director would have scolded KOK to remember he is considered a veteran and should as such produce a performance worthy of the adjective. A good director would have worked to avoid the next reason.
Apaye is a carelessly written piece which shows very little job done in researching a great woman’s life and does poorly in giving a befitting biopic to the now late woman. There were irrelevant scenes.There were also poorly developed scenes.
Apaye’s daughter got pregnant, but we never hear about it again throughout the movie. What happened to Apaye’s cousin(Emma’s second wife) after the Biafran war? Important characters and events like this in a movie shouldn’t be lost.
Some flaws I spotted in the technicalities in the movie included the unnecessary fast forward dolly effects accompanied with some irritating sound effects about a great woman’s life. A story about a woman who raises 6 kids in Niger Delta and experiences the civil war should be more impressive than Pursuit Of Happyness.
Above all Apaye is a great movie, it explaned her life in just two hours. The movie really said a lot about one great woman who inspired and touched the life of everyone that crossed her path. The cast and crew of the movie did a great job working in her community just after she passed on.