The movie “Lotanna” by Ifan Ifeanyi Michael is out in cinemas across Nigeria, directed by Toka Mcbaror with the screenplay written by the award-winning Kemi Adesoye. “Lotanna” stars Liz Benson Ameye, Bimbo Manuel, Jide Kososko, Chris Attoh, Chris Okagbue, Keturah King, Victor Olaotan, Meg Otanwa, Ama K. Abebrese, Henry Adofo and introducing Raymond Lorkohol.
Honestly, I expected more from this movie, the movie was way below average. When you have A list actors in your movie, character interpretation should be explicit, Nollywood movies have grown to a certain level where we need to get a perfect story of what the movie is trying to say. From the beginning of the movie, Liz Benson and Bimbo Manuel did a great job getting the
attention of their audience to try decipher the story ahead of them but as it progresses, the climax kept reducing and it was killing the anticipation of the audience. The setting for this movie is one which is very difficult for movie makers to attempt these days, setting a movie in the 70’s comes with lots of challenges like getting the perfect costumes for cast members. In Lotanna, the choice of costumes for cast members was good beyond average, the designer tried as much as possible to make sure the costumes actually didn’t just look good on the characters but went ahead to enhance the story that was been portrayed and add excitement to the movie.
One thing that really put this movie off was the fact that the movie itself had no standard plot, at the beginning of the movie we thought the movie was centered around the death of Bimbo Manuel who played the role of the father or Lotanna but then again we see a switch to the musical struggles of Lotanna after the death of his father. Many people will agree with me that Lotanna the main character had no defined role, he was a Washer man, a struggling musician, and a thief all at the same time. The movie had so many distractions to the main plot of the story, so many scenes were left half way and that leaves the audience with unanswered questions.
Half way into the movie we see the love story between Lotanna (Chris Okagbue) and Zara (Ama K. Abebrese), I think it would have been a better diversion if we saw a little bit progression in their love story but instead, they deviated into a different subject almost immediately. I must really commend Chris Okagbue who acted the role of Lotanna, he was awesome with his character and he actually tried to focus despite the so many distractions he had to deal with in the script. He played the role so well and his great voice made it so believable and interesting to watch, another character that felt shielded was Liz Benson, she had conflicting roles. At some point she was being the ‘no nonsense mom’ but later on she was portrayed as being sick a whole different contrast from the original character. “Lotanna” brought great actors under one roof but didn’t really put them to use, the actors needed more emphases on their individual role and the way the movie turned out was more disappointing. Chris Attoh had a more confusing role, he was trying to lead Lotanna in the right direction and bad direction at the same time, another confusing situation was the love triangle between Liz Benson, Bimbo Manuel and the protagonist. From the previous videos and pictures released in 2016, it shows some cast members like Beverly Naya and Ireti Doyel were cut off and scenes were off from the original intended but as regards this movie I had better expectations.
One of the things that stood out for in the movie was the soundtrack, it will definitely be up for awards for best soundtrack in a movie and if for anything it made the movie better. Also the choice of characters was to an extent excellent, finding an actor who can act, sing and play a musical instrument could be challenging but then Chris Okagbue definitely deserves an award for his role and also the cast members seemed well polished and it was not just them assuming the roles but they actually understood their script. If you haven’t seen this movie, then don’t be left out. “Lotanna” is currently showing in cinemas across Nigeria so go out and see it.
Also published on Medium.