(131): Nollywood Movie Review: VOICELESS
Nollywood Movie Review: VOICELESS
Director: Robert O. Peters
Producer: Rogers Ofime
Company: Native Media
Writer: Jennifer Agunloye
Year: November 18, 2020
Cast: Asabe Madaki, Yakubu Muhammad, Sani Muazu, Uzee Usman, Abba Zaki, Rakiya Atta, introducing Adam Garba, others.
Indisputable, only a few Kannywood productions attract the attention of the audience these days. Although the dialogue track and the actors in Voiceless are Hausa, the film does not belong to Kannywood. The movie, on the one hand, mounts a frigging assault, on the other hand, a serious challenge, to Kannywood. Though it’s unfair to match the glory of Nollywood and that of Kannywood, I can feel it in my bones that they must envy Nollywood for punching them and knocking their teeth out by producing the first wholly Hausa film that is now sold to Netflix. Here’s my review of the film.
Voiceless is an insurgency-inspired romantic-thriller motivated by the infamous abduction of Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram. It revolves around the story of Goni (Adam Garba) and Salma (Asabe Madaki) – two victims kidnapped by a heartless “Sojojin Aljanna (The Army of Paradise)” terrorist gang. Salma was taken along with her fellow schoolgirls to deny them western education. They were raped, tormented, and some of them subsequently died. At the same time, Goni and his close friend Bulus (Abba Zaki) are forced to work for the insurgents as skilled mechanics.
Goni vows to help the girls escape, with his friend, Bulus lending him a hand. Goni and Salma fall in love. Their love grows deeper every day, which results in him impregnating her. She gives birth to a baby boy after their 300-day captivity. However, amid betrayals, suspicions, and deep distrust between the gang leaders, Lafiya/Shugaba (Yakubu Muhammad) and Banza (Uzee Usman), the abductees get the strength and the will to escape. Unfortunately, after regaining freedom, they face another pitched battle for acceptance from their loved ones. It hurts Salma’s father, Sani Mu’azu, who is a Muslim and gets under his skin, that one of the terrorists gets his only daughter pregnant. He can’t bear seeing his daughter with the illegitimate child every day. He becomes incandescent with rage and threatens to kill her and the baby. She leaves the house in a huff while her Christian mother, Rakiya Atta, tries to stop her. The drama continues.
It’s difficult for any film critic to deny the makers of Voiceless the credit of producing the first (in Nollywood) and by far the best Hausa film ever. No exaggeration. The film is touching with a crucial message to the ideal world. One thing I admire most about the film is the way the story of terrorism is noticeably divorced from Islam. Happily, the work is created by non-Muslims; an achievement of which we (Muslims) can be proud of! I salute the filmmakers for doing the Hausa language an excellent service by rendering the film in it. The actors, too, deserve my commendation, especially the central characters.
Well, like any work of art, there exist some gaps here and there that may need to be plugged. The following are my observations:
There are errors in the film’s English subtitle. For instance, “shi wawa ne”, is translated as “he is a coward”; the word “coward” takes the place of “fool”. There are also grammatical and spelling errors in many places. Perhaps my high expectation of the film made me believe that should not happen. Nonetheless, there’s, probably, no error-free subtitle. Some more editorial work before the release of the film would have solved this issue.
Finally, after the abduction of the girls, there is this place where journalists are having an interview with some Nigerian army officers together with the families of the victims. Still, there isn’t any live/old news broadcast of the trial. The Nigerian citizens should be shown, watching TVs/listening to radios, sympathising with the victims. Only that of a woman from CNN, directly on the camera – not even on a TV set, broadcasting international news, that’s mostly irrelevant to the mysterious happenings in the film. The woman’s scene should be either wholly avoided or shown differently! I, therefore, give it a rating of 9.5/10.
Bashir Shuaibu Jammaje