The independent movie community has, over the course of recent years, done a lot to offer audiences worthwhile alternatives to the nonstop barrage of prequels, sequels, reboots, and movies based on actual events being constantly churned out by Hollywood’s major studios. The recent release of the period dramedy Scenes From an Empty Church proof of that. Much the same can be said of Corinth Films’ British import, The Carer and Film Movement’s German import, Bye, Bye Germany. These movies, and indie flicks, such as Butter, Shanghai Calling, and The Decoy Bride are even more proof of how much the indie film community has offered audiences in the way of real, and real entertaining options. Of course even in the indie community, not every movie can be a success. Corinth Films’ Ghanaian import, Nakom is one of those lesser movies. Now that is not to say that the movie is a total failure. It does have at least some positive, that being its story. The story will be discussed shortly. While the story is reason enough to watch, the pacing thereof is problematic, taking away from the presentation to a point. This will be discussed a little later. Luckily it is not enough to completely doom the presentation. The cinematography also plays into the movie’s appeal, too, and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation. All things considered, Nakom ultimately proves itself to be a presentation that is worth watching at least once.
Corinth Films’ recent Ghanaian import, Nakom — released to Western audiences Aug. 17 on DVD – is an imperfect presentation, though is still worth watching at least once. The movie’s appeal comes in large part through its story. The story in question centers on its lead character, Iddrisu. Iddrisu is a young, soon-to-be doctor who is doing quite well in his medical studies. Out of the blue, one day, he receives a call from his sister informing him that his father has been killed in a motorcycle wreck in Iddrisu’s home village of Nakom. At first Iddrisu reluctantly stays, though he aims to return to his studies. He ends up staying much longer than he originally planned. That is partially of his own doing and partially due to pressure from his family and those in the village. Eventually the pressure from self and from others becomes too much and Iddrisu reaches a breaking point. How it all ends will be left for audiences to discover for themselves. The thing is that this is a story that will connect easily with audiences because it is that believable. It is not some over-the-top tale. Many if not all people have been in the position of being torn between a sense of self and a sense of duty, whether in the sense of this story or another. That in itself and the way in which the story is executed ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of the 90-minute movie.
On a related note, Jacob Ayanaba (who plays Iddrisu) does so well in his performance. He comes across as such an “everyman” in his subtle performance throughout. It makes suspension of disbelief in the story that much easier. Whether trying to comfort his cousin at the area hospital after learning of her pregnancy or handling the mental and emotional stress of taking on his father’s financial debt, or even trying to encourage another young, female member of his family to go to school, his performance is so genuine. It makes it so easy for audiences to relate to him. Taking that into account along with the story, the bigger picture here is solid proof of why the story featured here works so well.
For all that the movie’s featured story does to appeal to audiences, it is not perfect. The story’s one sole flaw comes in its pacing. The runs approximately 90 minutes, which is really not that long. Even in that time, there are some moments throughout in which the story tends to drag. Those moments are multiple, too. Some of those moments come as Iddrisu is studying and finds himself distracted by something. They also come at times as Iddrisu is eating meals with his family and little else is going on except for some dialogue. Those and a handful of other moments will tend to leave the movie feeling far longer than its run time. In turn, it will leave audiences feeling the desire to fast forward through the movie more than once. Even with that in mind, the story is still not a total failure, but also not a total success.
Keeping in mind everything noted here, Nakom proves to be an imperfect presentation, though still worth watching at least once. Making the movie more worth the watch is its cinematography. Audiences will be pleased to know that the entire presentation was filmed on-site in Ghana. So all of the stunning sunrise and sunset footage was really captured in the nation’s countryside. The footage of Iddrisu selling onions in the area markets is actually that of markets in the nation. The rural roads which he travels are also real. It might not seem like much on the surface, but the reality is that it actually adds to viewers’ ability to suspend their disbelief. The colors are so rich both in the daytime and even at night. What’s more, knowing that the scenes are in fact real instead of CG will encourage audiences to remain engaged even more. Again, it is an aesthetic element, but it plays so much into the presentation. Keeping that in mind along with the impact of the story and the acting (and even the pacing thereof), the whole makes the movie that much more worth watching, if only once.
Corinth Films’ recently released DVD presentation of Nakom is a presentation that while imperfect, is still worth watching at least once. That is proven in part through the movie’s story. The story is relatable in its focus. The situation in which Iddrisu finds himself and how he handles it will connect with most if not all viewers. The work put in by lead actor Jacob Ayanaba interpreting the script adds to the appeal. The subtle way in which he takes on the role throughout makes the story that much more worth watching. While the story and the acting are both of positive note, the story’s pacing proves somewhat problematic. That is because it tends to drag at multiple points throughout the movie’s 90-minute run time. Luckily, that issue is not enough to completely derail the movie. The movie’s cinematography adds its own appeal to the whole, offering even more reason for audiences to watch. Knowing that the movie was shot entirely on site in Ghana adds a certain sense of realism to the movie, in turn encouraging audiences to watch even more. Keeping this and everything else noted in mind, the movie proves to be a presentation that while imperfect, is still worth watching at least once.
Nakom is available now. More information on this and other titles from Corinth Films is available at:
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