Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Thriller
Editor’s note: I was going to caption it the best but that would be unfair to our childhood memories filled with the likes of Karashika, Nneka The Pretty Serpent, The Diamond Ring just to mention a few. I was also going to give a very obvious prediction- that this film will bag top 2019 film awards but there’s no soothsaying skill there. If you have seen Sylvia, you will know.
Verdict: 8 Stars
The makers of Sylvia deserve a standing ovation. From continuity to the technicalities of cinematography, casting, costuming and story, location choice, there is no question. The Daniel Oriahi movie has set a new standard for Nollywood filmmakers.
We released the teaser trailer some months back
The thriller which stars Zainab Balogun (Sylvia) and Chris Attoh (Richard Okezie) is nothing of the Romantic Comedies that our filmmakers have shoved down our throats for so long.
Screenwriter Vanessa Kanu explores the belief in the existence of “Spiritual spouses”. For lead character, Richard Okezie, Slyvia is the reason he has attained successful heights. But his lady-love is UNREAL, a woman existing in the world of his dreams. Their relationship blossoms from childhood through adulthood.
For the audience, we are unaware that Sylvia’s plot to keep Richard as hers begins from the mysterious death of his mother. However that’s the dramatic plot that unveils later. For the now, things take an unexpected twist when Richard meets Gbemi (Ini-Dima Okojie), falls in love at first sight and moves to make her his wife.
While the story is largely themed around the belief in the paranormal, it successfully brings to light issues that you’ll find relatable. From selfish men to hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
After watching Sylvia, you’ll have a whole new respect for the acting abilities of Zainab Balogun. I particularly like that the industry has not forced a stereotype on her. I’ve seen her play the hilarious, confused event planner ( Wedding Party), a returnee cook who falls in love ( The Royal Hibiscus Hotel) and now an obsessive spirit and she unarguably kills it!
Casting was impeccable. You’ll notice that they didn’t pull a mammoth crowd on this production.
Detail- I can’t overemphasize the importance of continuity and the obvious errors filmmakers take for granted. This isn’t the same dirty game with Sylvia. Attention to continuity is paid using dialogue and costuming. The story unfolds and calmly ascends its climax.
It’s a movie you’ll thoroughly enjoy. However, the only mild spoiler you might notice would be Chris Attoh’s makeup as an old man. The artiste did a below par job on his beard.
This movie deserves all the accolades it can get. It certainly leaves the Nollywood template. The symbolism of the Red Hibiscus?? A well thought out production! The first in 2018 and that’s in no way an attack on some really great productions this year.
Photo Credit: TheSylviaMovie/ Instagram