It might have its flaws, but Obara’m is a step in the right direction to create a new form of narrative for Nollywood.
Obara’M, directed by Nigerian film director Kayode Kasum, tells the story of family dynamics in this musical drama. Translating directly to mean “my blood”, the film follows the story of Oluchi (Nancy Isime) and her father (Nkem Owoh), alongside young and rising star Darasimi Nadi who plays the character Ihunnaya.
Released on 26th August, 2022, the project’s storyline portrays a new and intriguing plot. Kayode Kasum is known for telling stories extracted from real experiences, and he continues in this vein by telling a Nigerian story that is filled with real-life situations. The film opens with a promising musical scene as we are introduced to rising and upcoming star Nadi who is seen singing her way to school alongside her grandfather Nkem Owoh. Nadi’s gift was inherited from her estranged mother Nancy Isime.
In the process of giving a better life to Ihunnaya and Oluchi, her father Nkem Owoh gives up the ghost. This forces Oluchi, who abandons her motherly responsibilities for a music career in the city to return home to the village to take care of unfinished family business. Oluchi’s decision to do this sets the tone for the film’s progression. Asides from the theme of family that this project is highly focused on, it also showcases the idea of betrayal and contentment.
Ideation and execution are two sides of the same coin. It is apparent that Kasum wants to showcase powerful music scenes, but it becomes inconsistent as the story progresses. The style of the film does not remain cohesive and the audience is left with an unsatisfactory feeling as the beautifully executed singing does not match up with the performances. Obara’m, though a good movie, has cases where its vision isn’t brought entirely to fruition.
Another flaw can be found with the story’s plot. The execution of the story’s plot felt inadequate, as the climax of the story was reached without properly establishing most of the characters of the film. For example, we see Bolanle Ninalowo claim to be Ihunnaya’s father in the second arc of the film and this scene quickly escalates into a brawl. When Oluchi and her music band dissolve, Ihunnaya runs back to the village without an explanation leaving the plot a bit disoriented for its anti-climax.
The appearance of The Cavemen in this film is quite refreshing. Despite the good feelings this gives, it felt more like a marketing strategy for the film than an avenue to showcase their acting prowess. There is nothing wrong with using singers to market a film, but ensure that their attachment to the project is well utilized. Sidney Talker and the rest of the band members were not properly established and the comedic actions are not truly felt.
If there is one thing the director utilizes to its full potential, it has to be the use of Darasimi Nadi as the star that carries the entire project. Nadi stands toe to toe with Nancy in terms of performance and it’s quite fun to see on camera.
It might have its flaws, but Obara’m is a step in the right direction to create a new form of narrative for Nollywood. The music is well produced, the costume and production design bring the characters to life, and you can easily relate their character delivery to a troublesome sister or family member who chooses to be rebellious but is still loved.
The film is currently playing in cinemas.