Not convinced Nollywood movies are worth watching? Well, this review would most likely change your mind, or not. You’ll have to read till the end to decide.
The movie, Nimbe, follows the story of the eponymous character who comes from a hostile home. Nimbe finds solace in school, and he gets good grades for his dedication. His physically unassertive nature would draw bullying at school, though. He collides with the dark world of drug abuse when he meets Ralph, another boy from a home where both father and mother are never around to pay attention, and suddenly, Nimbe finds himself in the mire of drug abuse.
There are few take-off points for this review, but I’ll start with this:
This movie is overly didactic. It doesn’t hide its intention. The first scene shows you a story you know already. Not novel in any way—the plot that is—but the story gets intensely emotive as it progresses making one forgive its preachy undertone.
Although the villainous character, AK, the drug dealer, renders a deeply touching monologue about the making of the woman, the mother, a perfect rendition that moves one to tears. This story is not about the sacrifices of motherhood, it is about the degeneration of the Nigerian youth; how you lose a son to the grips of social malaise; and Nimbe, played by Chimezie Imo, does well in playing the part. What we first see in him is the naivety of teenage-hood, the confusion of a boy who is losing his way no thanks to a brash, insensitive, and emotionally abusive father who fails terribly at fatherhood.
And this leads us to another talking point: the influence of the home on the child, in this case, the boy-child. Ralph, (Molawa Davis) who led Nimbe into the web of drug abuse and alcoholism comes from such a home, too. Though worlds apart economically as Ralph was from a rich home while Nimbe comes from a struggling family, one thing yoked the two boys together: the absence of a father figure, homely warmth. He becomes, according to Nimbe, the brother he never had. One wouldn’t accuse Ralph of being Nimbe’s sole pull into the world of alcohol and drugs. What he provided was a mild nudging, an influence; Nimbe already had a void he seeks to fill no thanks to a father who is not just emotionally abusive but also wanted him to be a hard boy.
This movie is a campaign against drug abuse. However, the team did well in showing us the tiny pieces of the making of the degenerated youth.
Characters, ha, the characters did well. Uduak, Nimbe’s mother (played by Toyin Abraham) pulled up a good act. She is an uneducated woman, probably from Akwa Ibom/Calabar (she did well with tongue rolling intonation) who, though, is a loving and caring mother, isn’t just enough to shield her son from the paths of destruction. The peak of her acting is the emotional breakdowns, which she did amazingly well. She almost got her son back through tears (what led to AK’s monologue), but the abrasive father, Bayo, will finally tear his family into shreds by sending his wife and son, Nimbe, packing because of a washed winning ticket. Weyrey!
Nimbe, as I said earlier, interpreted his role well. We saw excellent character development in his act—how he morphs from a timid boy to the one who could confront his father, murder without flinching and attacking Lemon, the boy who raped and aborted for his crush, leading to her death.
Bayo (Odunlade Adekola), came in all his glorious elements, proving remarkably why many people consider him as the best Yoruba actor. It also a good thing that he didn’t overact his script this time around. AK (Kelechi Udegbe) didn’t provide the energy I would expect from a drug lord, neither did he portray the calm but viperous gangster, if that is the intention. His character was flat; the turning point, however, was when he showed immense emotion when grieving his sister. Kelechi offered some awesomeness, and his emotive monologue is the sauce of a good actor. He is one.
Ralph (Molawa Davis) shows bright promises. Broda Shaggy provided some comic relief with his humorous lines, but that’s not all, his performance as a minor character was a decent one, too.
This story has just one intention, and it pursued it from start to end, offering no suspense or twist at the climax. The ending is rushed with Nimbe letting us in on what happened to all the characters at the end. There are many ways this movie could have ended that would have made it perfect, it’s so unfortunate it chooses the route of the Nollywood cliché. There are also few glitches here and there, but it is a good movie—no, awesome is the word—nonetheless and I think it deserves more attention, especially because of the lessons it teaches.
Director: Tope Alake
Assistant Director: Gbenga Ojerinde
Scriptwriters: Ronke Gbede, Yakubu Olawale
Have you seen Nimbe, what’s your take on it?
Image credit: IG @nimbethemovie