“Depiction does not equal endorsement” is a common saying in criticism, especially in cases of sensitive topics in film, but what happens when certain depictions are proven to have some real level of endorsement, like in the case of Coming from Insanity.
It is a common occurrence on Nigerian social media that if someone criticizes someone with ill-gotten or unexplainable wealth, that person and his supporters are regarded as haters or bad-belle people. The attack against the criticizer is usually so wild that it is almost certain that the critic wishes he hadn’t voiced out, this case can only get worse when endorsements like Coming from Insanity is let loose into society.
What message then does this movie pass on to the general populace? What sort of youths are being bred by this movie? What sort of ending does this movie have?!
It seems like some filmmakers sometimes forget that film is a major medium whereby society is being shaped. If a thief cleverly steals in real life and gets away with it, must it be copied and pasted verbatim in film? What is wrong is wrong!
Moving on, hearing the “real” Kossi’s voice in the beginning as the narrator of the story, one is almost sure he is speaking from a place of solitude, especially with the lowly tone and mood, as well as with the introductory backstory of child-trafficking from Togo to Nigeria. As the story progresses, it is easy to imagine that dear Kossi is in prison somewhere narrating his story, when in fact, it appears he is most likely basking away somewhere, gloriously recounting his mind-blowing victory.
If this really is a true-life story, everyone involved in the making of this movie should be brought to book, because there are no indications that this real-life Kossi did time for his crime! How did this story come about? It appears some people know someone’s whereabouts. Kossi, come out! The authorities are looking for you! Oyin, bear in mind that you are an accomplice!
That been said, Coming from Insanity is one of the best Nollywood movies to watch in recent times. The details, precision, suspense, cultural exploration, and determination from an almost hopeless case is worth reliving in one’s memory.
The filmmaker says this is a true-life story, it is believable. If not, it must have been copied from a gangster Hollywood movie.
I, personally love two moments in the movie. The first part is where Kossi sees the mallams brutalizing a man for trying out his fake dollars on them, but still risks showing them his own anyway. The second part would be where Kossi covers his friend’s eyes and asks him to feel the paper he hands him. He tries this many times till his friend feels the paper one day and is convinced that this isn’t just paper, but money, and asks “how much is this?”
Kossi is very intelligent, and he is loved for that. This character sheds a new light on the actor, Gabriel Afolayan (almost didn’t recognize him without the beards though). The actor does a good job trying to sound Togolese. Impressive, but for some reason, not very impressive. Maybe because there are countless actors in the Hollywood counterpart painstakingly learning whole new languages for a role, and not just adjusting their vocal cords. I would expect some level of code mixing or code switching at the least.
The movie would have worked better with briskier dialogue in areas that do not directly move the major plot forward. It would have also been nice to see specific acts that makes Oyin appreciate Kossi so much as to care about him even in his new crime, and not that he was just a very good houseboy.
Then again, it is difficult to continue to believe this is a true-life Togolese-Nigerian story when majority of the scenes look like scenes that have occurred in some Hollywood movies: the entire counterfeiting procedure, and the FBI-like EFCC operations; and most especially the fact that Kossi is still at large!
In totality, it is a fun movie to watch. There is nothing new in the sun. This is certainly a pacesetter. Looking forward to more heart throbbing, suspense filled movies in future from this inspiring filmmaker.
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.