(112): Kannywood Movie Review: TANGARAN

Director:         Ali Gumzak
Producer:       Sani Mai Iyali
Story:             Ibrahim Birniwa
Year:               2018
Company:      Famli Investment Ltd.
Cast:               Maryam Gidado, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Nuhu Abdullahi, Lawan Ahmad, Isah Feruzkhan, others.

A couple of days ago, a UN report showed that men outnumber women in Nigeria. Several people, especially on social media, disputed the data, saying that women are way more than men. True or not, Ali Gumzak-directed film, Tangaran seems to have slightly corroborated the claim as three guys jostle to tie the knot with a beautiful damsel while she chases two others. Although not a focus of this review, this portrayal is arguably not the norm in today’s northern Nigeria. Thus, it’s equally not the usual case in many Kannywood films.

Humaira alias Hanny or Honey (acted by Maryam Gidado) is a greedy lady who dreams of marrying a man who possesses certain, unique “qualities”, as she repeatedly mentions. These include beauty, smartness, brilliance and wealth. She vows to settle with nothing short of these. Lawan (Isah Feruzkhan) is married to a quarrelsome lady who continually asks him for money. He refuses to give her anything while he spends thousands for Humaira who, in return, doesn’t truly love him. Bashir (Lawan Ahmad) is another fellow in unrequited love with her. His sick mother, always shown on a hospital bed, pressurises him to get married, lest she sees her grandchildren before her last breath. Usman (Sadiq Sani Sadiq) is the last of the trio. A scion of a wealthy family occupies a house that is later confiscated by his mother for bringing in women into it like a “hotel”, she scolds. After spending a fortune for Hanny, she dumps him, too. 

The avaricious Hanny attempts to snatch a friend’s posh boyfriend, whom she believes gets all the qualities she desires. However, Ishaq (Ali Nuhu) rejects her in highly dramatic sequences rendered in measured dialogues. Earlier on, Hannatu prefers Adam (Nuhu Abdullahi) for, she says, he is more handsome, smarter and wealthier, though the fortune shall come only when his millionaire, yet stingy, sick father dies. For this reason, she invests in him by spending money on him and buying clothes for him. Expectedly, he eventually dumps her. The law of Karma would not allow her to sail through after all her “use-and-dump” schemes.

The film's title, Tangaran [ceramic dish] conceivably stands for the character of Humaira. The three guys she scammed in broad daylight should have discovered her mission of being “in love” with them from the very beginning. She is, after all, a “tangaran” that breaks too quickly; thus, whoever has one has to be very vigilant in handling it, but none of them was that cautious. Equally, the title may refer to Humaira’s pampering of Adam, who ultimately, brashly rejects her proposal of marriage. Either way, the film’s title suits the two scenarios quite perfectly.

As a social drama, the setting of the film is fitting. There are beautiful dialogues in realistic settings; indoor shots and relationships built on kinship. Quite unconventionally, there is no song and dance routine throughout the film. More interestingly, the background score is original – a contextualised song that adds more to the plot. Without exception, all the casts performed moderately well. The central character, Maryam Gidado, did much better. In her usual demeanour in several films, she looks calm and innocent, and yet outsmarts and deceives her preys.

The director did well. However, there are errors here and there, which he and his team could have avoided. The editor added a whole sequence twice. This is an obvious mistake that should be noticed and corrected before the release of the movie. Likewise, the ending is somewhat abrupt. The reasons Adam gives for dumping Hannatu is barely convincing and too similar to what she tells others. The two instances could be connected in some way. All in all, I rate the film 2.5/5. I recommend it to Kannywood fans who miss watchable flicks for a while this year.

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim
University of Cologne
Cologne, Germany


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