the set up


Posted on Posted in Movie Critiques

A madame (Tina Mba) picks up girls with potential to be spies and undercover workers to help settle a pain of the past she sees a chance in making great gain and cashing out big time. How does she find her potential workers? Ladies that have experienced an abusive childhood and who understand the importance of freedom, the fight for justice, and child protection.

There is one question, though. How did this woman become so bad ass? It is not clear how her academy comes about. She just rises from the dust. How? This makes many of the moves in this movie not entirely believable. This is a Nigerian movie for God’s sake. If a person is vast and has everybody’s information at her finger tips, we should be able to tell how that is possible. We should be able to see some sort of works towards that, and not wuruwuru to the answer. Nobody becomes successful overnight. The movie would have paid off better if much of the energy is channeled towards this, and not on other things which end up not being relevant in the end.

There is a hint of the theme of Child Abuse: illegal drugs on children, sexual abuse, but none of them stay relevant in the main story or at the end. All afterthoughts most likely. Everything that happens looks like a hint to the real gist, and never really is the real gist. Is this how to tell a story?

So many sub plots make their way into this movie which honestly are aimed towards categorizing the movie as world-class, but all the time, there is an irk feeling that leaves them unvalidated and almost unconnected. This movie tries too hard to be international, like an American ghetto Coming of Age tale, but lacks the logic and technological compass to achieve this.

The characters need to take a breather. What is the rush? Most of the intimate moments are lost in this rush. The viewers never really get to digest anything.  Maybe there is not much to digest either, as the movie keeps hoping from concept to concept before it reaches its final destination of the real deal, which also gets jumbled with new concepts as well. This filmmaker is in the habit of doing this, and seriously needs to repent.

Chike (Adesua Etomi-Wellington) then keeps talking about her plan and how it has been thwarted. What plan? Jeez! There is also not enough convincing training of madame’s girls that makes them ready, neither do we see anything they practiced being put to use. What a pain to watch!

This movie doesn’t mirror or ring a bell for anything Nigerian. It is totally fake! The pseudo-suspense is also too much, so much that the audience might find it difficult understanding what is really going on. What is going on, really?! Why is anything that happens in this movie relevant?

Key players in Nollywood need to start sifting the kind of scripts they want to act, so that nonsensical stories never make it to the big screen big time.


Isedehi Aigbogun, also known as ISD, is a staunch academic, holding a B.A., M.A., and PhD (in view) in English Language.

She’s a Screenwriter, Screenplay Analyst, Consultant, and Film Scriptic.

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2 thoughts on “CATCHING UP ON “THE SET UP”

  1. I love the fact you spoke from the stand point of a professional but Nigerian just want to have a reason to go to Cinemas and eat popcorn.

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