Harry Itie is a smart guy. We like him. He anchors the Entertainment beat on TV Continental. And he runs a great blog.
But we vehemently disagree with his review of 93 Days which we finally watched over the weekend.
To be honest, we find ourselves looking at him a bit askance, because we went in expecting to be underwhelmed by the film based on his considered opinion and then we found ourselves (all 3 of us) blown away.
We found the movie beautiful all through.
The actors? Brilliant.
The screenplay? Brilliant.
The film score? Brilliant.
The Director of Photography? Brilliant.
That montage where they go through the hospital, showing each of its remaining survivors fighting through the deadly disease? Brilliant.
The in-film branding – where we sighted UBA, the Danjuma Foundation, Nigerian Breweries, Terra Kulture, the Guardian and others without interrupting the film experience? Brilliant.
The depiction of Nigerian life – across religion, politics and healthcare? Brilliant.
The handling of the deaths – without dramatic exploitation, some told to the end, some implied, all delivered with panache? Brilliant.
So, honestly, we don’t know what Itie is talking about. And that’s us, who don’t get too excited, just because.
If anything makes us sad about this project, it’s only how rare this lightning strikes.
It’s a disaster that we have so few beautiful works of art that capture the threads and beauties of the contemporary Nigerian spirit. That tell our own stories in ways that connect with our better selves.
It’s a disaster that for music, we only have Asa.
It’s a disaster that for books, we only have Chimamanda.
It’s a disaster that for photography, we only have Kelechi Amadi-Obi.
And it’s truly sad that for films, we haven’t had much success – until now.
And when next?
PS: Oh, and you have to watch out for when Somkele Idhalama, completely distraught, pulls off her wig. It’s a beautiful, poignant moment mirroring Viola Davis launching think pieces across the globe when she takes off her wig for How To Get Away With Murder. Genius.