(121): Kannywood Film Review: Uwata ce

Director:         Falalu A. Dorayi
Producer:       Isah A. Isah
Language:      Hausa
Year:               2018
Company:      TJ Multipurpose Concept
Cast:            Isah A. Isah, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Abba El-Mustapha, Amude Booth, Maryam CTV, Maryam Gidado, etc.


At the time when most Kannywood films are either an overblown rehash of the industry's previous or impoverished replication of Indian movies, comes a determined film with a squarely original story from the same industry entitled Uwata ce. The film shows quite an extraordinary, scandalous saga between a mother and her grown-up children.

Hajiya (Maryam CTV) is an older widow with two sons and two daughters all of whom are married, leaving her together with her stepson, a 22-year-old Salim (Amude Booth) whose mother is no more. The film begins with Hajiya and her servant having a chat in her room when one of her sons, a short-tempered young man, Khaleed (Sadik Sani Sadik) blows in. He is extremely displeased with Hajiya and the servant in isolation. Hajiya is a rather dubious woman. She, however, loves Salim excessively and thus, denies him nothing.


One day, while eating, sudden nausea comes over her and later culminates into a severe fever. At Salim's persistent, he drives her to a hospital. After diagnosis, Hajiya is found pregnant which proves to be very shocking to both Salim and her. The doctor, too, is confused as he was aware of her husband's death seven years ago. Dumfounded, Hajiya becomes guilty and so obsessed. She goes to another hospital but gets the same result. 

To conceal the scandal, the desperate Hajiya attempts to have an abortion despite the dangers it poses. Consequently, she begins to bleed profusely. Salim is terrified of her condition and thus calls her elder son, Mukhtar (Isah I. Isah). The unconscious Hajiya is taken back to the hospital. Her children are keen to find out the cause of her unexpected acute illness, and they later become anguished by the sad story of Hajiya's awful act. 

Having her fate sealed for her, Hajiya sinks into the fit of despair. Dutifully, her elder son tries to soothe her feelings while the rest of her children severed all relationship with her. The later revelation that Salim is responsible for the pregnancy worsens the situation. The scandal is disclosed and for that, Hajiya's daughter is divorced. Hajiya repented of her sins and died in the end after being forgiven by her children.

The film is theme-centred in addressing its serious subject matter. It is made with freshness and expertise seldom seen in Hausa films. It stays consistent and full of suspense from the beginning to the end. Characters are presented correctly and they all shine especially Hajiya (Maryam CTV), who gives the best performance of her career. I commend the efforts of the director (Falalu A. Dorayi) together with all the cast and crew members.

The film also excels in passing the intended message. It points to the importance of marriage for, particularly, menopausal widows with grown-up children who, less often remarry. If Hajiya had remarried, she wouldn't have become a victim of the scandal. Her tragic end is also an alarm for sugar mummies to think twice. Additionally, the film emphasises that parents should be obeyed and respected unconditionally.

On the other hand, some evident flaws of the film are; the confusing first scene of Hajiya and her servant which doesn't critically connect to the plot, inappropriate portrayal of Salim after knowing about the pregnancy -- he should not have had no feeling of guilt despite being responsible for it, the repetition of dialogue when Hajiya and Salim were coming back from the same doctor for the second time and the poor presentation of the abortion scene.

In conclusion, Uwata ce is a must-watch film for all, and it deserves 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by
Habibu Ma'aruf
habibumaaruf11@gmail.com
Kano

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