Why Toyin Abraham’s Ijakumo is your average Nigerian movie

After seeing the thriller of the Nollywood movie,  Ijakumo, I couldn’t wait to see the movie. The thriller was sultry, sensual, and suspense-filled. But did the movie meet up to my expectations? I guess we will find out at the end of this review.

Ijakumo is the story of a young boy, Jide, who, in desperation to become rich, opts to become a fake Pastor through the help of his village girlfriend, Ashabi.

Luck shined on him when his Ashabi introduced him to one of her father’s friends, a strong herbalist, to help him drag people to his church.

Ashabi’s father is the strongest Ifa priest in the town, but he refuses to help Jide because he believes Jide would misuse power and wealth when he has it).

When things were improving for Jide, Ashabi got pregnant for him, and Jide drugged her, taking out the pregnancy and ruining any opportunity of her getting pregnant again. According to Jide, he was getting into the limelight, and Ashabi was too local for him.

Then, Ashabi sets out to get revenge, using a choir in his church who is later seen as a stripper outside the church, to bring him down. Was she able to achieve her aim? What did it cost her? You’d find that out when you watch the movie.

If you do not particularly like or believe in indigenous supernatural powers, then Ijakumo is not for you.

That being said, I must say that the story wasn’t a bad watch and interestingly we had people clap in the cinema (that was a little shocking though).

However, the one thing that Ijakumo lacked was depth and attention to detail. If you must produce an indigenous movie, then everything must make sense.

Let me ask the writer a few questions – if Ashabi has such a level of power she exhibited towards the end. If she could appear and disappear, why did she need someone to help her get the flash drive from Jide?

How can Jide be in such a terrible group, and he doesn’t have any supernatural power? Why was the disease that spread in their coven only affecting their people?

What is the story/logic behind it? What was the Igbo man doing in the village the day he came across Jide? The one wey shock me pass; how can a renowned Pastor be that comfortable in a stripper’s club?

Moving to the dialogue, was it necessary to be that raw? I could go on, but this clearly shows how the story lacked depth and critical thinking. It could have passed as an amazing movie on Africa Magic or maybe Netflix. Not the cinema.

I hope Nigerian directors understand that if there must be a crowd/fight scene in a movie, then it must be well coordinated and authentic. Please, what was that choreography we saw toward the end of Ijakumo?

It is bad enough that the scene was irrelevant; it wasn’t even well done. And then, Ashabi and her cohorts were going to rescue people, and they were shooting sporadically like that? Make I no talk.

That aside, did the director watch the film before it went out? Because why did Junior Ashabi say she was pregnant for two weeks, and the subtitle told us two months?

Anyway, I have to commend the choice of actors, especially the ones that had to transition; it was smooth.

Good make-up is one of the highlights of Ijakumo, with the tribal marks and injured face well depicted.

Now, let’s talk about the actors! Kunle Remi has grown so much over the years, and it is beautiful to watch. Right now, I would be interested in watching any movie that has him in it. Toyin Abraham is indisputably a beautiful actress, and I doubt anyone would have played that role better.

All the actors did well; one thing that kept the movie up until the end was the acting.

Ijakumo was a good watch, but the writer and director didn’t think it through. It had the potential but ended up only scratching the surface. For ratings, it would be getting an 8/10.

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