Critically Reviewing ‘The Killer’ Who Cries In Awry
It was a tug of war to search for him, yet a piece of cake to get him.
First, being a product of final year students whose several lips, as old as they seem, have yet to be weaned from the tutelage of art and strategies of film production which, can sustain them sufficient knowledge to mastery; it is expected, when a million flaws are spotted. They are still learning. And learning they say, never ends.
Nevertheless, without the addition of tom-tom or Maggi, one must also say: Well done and possibly plunged them into an ocean of accolades for the work. At least, even if the work was far from what one would call a masterpiece, it was equally one, anyone can say is near-intermediate. For this, the entire mass communication students (broadcast option) of 2021/2022 set and their coordinators, some of which I can mention as Mr Sikiru (Abacus) and Mr Aderemi Adeagbo, plus the Head of the Department, Mr Tope Abiola, deserve some accolades and I am giving it, here.
The movie, the killer is one of many, if I will be the one to scribble its script, titled: The Nemesis or probably go traditional about it and call it: “Iyan Ogun Odun,” which, I would translate virtually in English as “Twenty-year-old Pounded Yam”. The reason for this would only be that “Iyan Ogun Odun” is an incomplete proverb, which not only integrated the Yoruba-speaking audience into the movie but also completely encapsulate the entire idea of the movie through its thrilling title: “Iyan Ogun Odun.”
The statement is often ended as “A ma jo ni lowo felifeli”. Translating this, one would simply say: “is usually hot and painful.” (sic). And relating the proposed title with the movie one would understand that the essence of it is simple: The killer is a movie about the haunting past hunting the glamorous present and the present webbed in a panic about who it could be.
Featuring the thinner Detective, Banji, who was always present a few minutes after every death harvest of the anonymous killer, Banji became a frustrated Detective alongside his colleague both of which were constantly baptised in the puzzle of the unnamed killer.
It was a tug of war to search for him, yet a piece of cake to get him as Banji was later discovered to be the killer and the saviour at the same time. He killed those he was meant to protect under the guise of a killer and then, try saving them in the attire of police.
In other words, we could say the movie is simply about a saviour killing the supposed ones he ought to save. It is unrealistically insane to say, the killer would be the police officer, running here and there to investigate the case of the anonymous killer. Without a doubt, the killer is one movie laced with mystery, crime, suspense and thriller that watching from the beginning, you may not know the end until you’re dragged to it.
Even, the scriptwriter, Continua, who scribbled Banji’s character and Akin, who played the role well really did a good job. Banji’s character was one with contrast, one of the top traits expected from every character in any literary work. He is also a round character, whose role changes. What of the politicians and that Don of girls plus Mr Idris and that erotic sex scene…how many can it be counted; these characters, really tried.
But, as much as the movie would have been just perfect, examining some plots, and the mode of some other characters or cast, the actions and effects, gave away their million-dollar perfections to flaws visible to my critique binoculars, personally. Following are the wittily and tersely picked, gaffes.
Flaws in The Killer
First err visibly observed in the movie was in the third scene after the dreading prologue. The campaign ground was a show of already planned hooliganism and this was clashing with the politics of peace, the politician was preaching. This was understood when observed, there were men, like the men of the underworld holding cutlasses and with fiery eyes, round-up campaigners.
In truth, thugs hiring might be one thing that politicians and especially, Nigerian politicians are experts in doing, the truth is, they never show off them on any campaign ground. They usually call on police and other security operatives to stand as their guards, though, these may be façades. Nigerian Politicians have never allowed their thugs to show off their materiel unless disorderliness besieged the ambience. Unlike the thugs in the movie. I believe this must be an oversight or was unnoticed, it should be corrected in the next production, if there will be any scene like that.
Another one was the first herbalist scene, the politician again was observed with his eyes dilating sideways to the camera. That alone, communicated nervousness and unpreparedness. It should be cautioned next time, no one is expected to look at the camera, you have no business with the camera, but with the characters on the film. So, it is expected to be corrected because continually, this was seen, and repeated in most of the scenes with some other characters, too struggling to be captured by the camera. Lol! It was understood, that it is a training movie and every cast, being students, would want to be visible for reference purposes. But next time it should be done with a stylistic respect.
Furthermore, we have sounds of a generator used penetrating most of the scenes. It was in fact, a noise disturbing the ears of the viewers to the extent that we have to decide on either listening to the industrial mechanical tones or the voices in the movie. In some other scenes too, there were times where soundtracks used overpowered the voices of the characters, thereby, depriving us the opportunity to get a hold of everything said.
And the point of order before a close, there was a great deal of camera mishandling, too. So much! This occurred in the sense that the camera was shaking, shaking, and shaking, to the point that we cannot grasp the key parts of some scenes. For example, the scene of the election poll was the worst scene with camera mishandling. A most important part of the scene, where thugs came trying to snatch the ballot papers was not captured, properly. The camera had bent sideways, even, who stabbed the police officer to fall and how was not captured. Why the voters were running away was not captured until the time some of the thugs got to where the camera was focusing, initially, which was the ballot boxes stand.
Next time, it is expedient for the camera to strategically follow every scene as it goes, to capture them. The camera only follows all actions taken in a play, because it is the only vision of the audience, without the camera focusing on the action in a movie, it is only as if, the audience is blind. It is well understood that this is a training movie, but it can be made better.
There were some other scenes too, where some characters didn’t put more action into their efforts.
Additionally, next time, it is advised that real guns should be used because the toy guns used were written on our faces that they were fake and it is a slap on our dear faces as viewers. Though, some movies might be fictionally-inclined, the goal of every character and costume used is to make it real to us. This is why in some part of the movie gunshots fired at the killer’s victims show sight-tearing wounds, causing their respective death.
Meanwhile, the scene of sexual intercourse of Mr Idris with one of the female students was a wow— very perfect of Mr Idris and the prostitute aside from the fact that she also lacked some actions. Someone was dying by your side and you still stay on the bed, it shouldn’t be so, this is a life losing itself already! This also happened when the killer went to kill the madame nurse. An unknown person was suddenly seen in your room and you can’t shout at first, startled, show it in your body, staggered and make attempt to run. She only stay, rambling on a spot, until the killer stood up to perform his special rite.
Finally, the incantation of the second herbalist discharging voodooistic duties to Mr Idris and his friend was wrong in some places. For example, Mr Idris and his friend came for promotion in their workplaces and the next incantation that came out of the herbalist’s mouth was that of one, praise-singing Esu, a deity considered to be the messenger of Eledumare (God) in Yoruba land. Esu is adjudged to be the deity that resides between heaven and earth. In some Yoruba terms, Esu has been seen as one deity responsible for mischief. Mischief if picked then, how can the praise-singing of the god of mischief be the next incantation to say when someone said they need promotion in their workplace? Ironically, maybe, the incantation was what was responsible for the mischiefs that later befell both of the friends, I wouldn’t know.
Next time, regarding this, there are books for Ifa incantations, I have one and I have used it once to memorise some lines of incantations when I was to act as a herbalist in one of my church’s stage plays. And if reading books can be cumbersome, Herbalists can be consulted to teach you a line responsible for the good, a line responsible for bad, and responsible for Obatala among others to suit your message.
Drama is known to be a play mirroring life, it is still the imitation of human actions as Aristotle called it. If human actions will be imitated, then, they must be done correctly and accurately.