Sylvia Reestablishes Hope In Nollywood
Seeing Sylvia felt like finally getting to a pool of water in the desert. I mean, when one considers all the very bad films Nollywood has churned out this year. Sylvia redeemed Nollywood. I was so elated seeing this film, it restored my hope on the future of Nollywood.
Sylvia tells the tale of Richard (Chris Attoh), who has always existed between the real world and a fantasy world, which is home to his friend and lover Sylvia (Zainab Balogun). Filled with passion and love, the two devotees embark on a journey of commitment.
Time and life goes on leaving Richard in a dicey situation. He is now faced with the decision on a future and full commitment, either to the real world with its demands, or the surreal world that houses an increasingly frustrated Sylvia.
Events unfold leading Richard on a downward spiral.
Sylvia was written by Vanessa Kanu and directed by Daniel Oriahi, the movie also stars Ini Dima Okojie, Udoka Oyeka, Lolo 1, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Lord Frank, Bolaji Ogunmola among others.
Sylvia was a thrilling experience for me. I really loved the story and thought it audacious. When it comes to movies about spiritual spouses, the narrative usually leans towards a psychological explanation or Christianity becoming the hero of the day. I loved that Sylvia was a reaffirmation on the existence of Spiritual spouses. I however saw Sylvia to be more than a film about a “Spirit Wife”. One of the main themes of the film was obsession and I thought it a very creative way to approach a tale of love and obsession. Remove paranormal Sylvia and the movie could’ve easily become perhaps, “just another good film”.
I also liked the pacing of the film. The movie didn’t beat around the bush or bore us with scenes that were incosequential to the film. Every scene in Sylvia helped develop the story. Although, I would have liked if the film showed than told us about the one time, Richard gave into Sylvia’s demand (I’m trying not to spoil). I also liked the director’s fine attention to detail. An instance is the tragus piercing of young Sylvia. An eyebrow raiser would however be the unfilled ordered bottle of water in the scene at the eatery.
Casting and the actors’ performances formed the highlight of the film. At some point in the movie, I was agape at the flow and delivery of Zainab’s lines and expressions. Zainab emboldened her character. Zainab was paranormal defined.
On makeup, I loved how Sylvia’s makeup transcended from soft to fierce. It helped us see the two sides of Sylvia. But, the makeup for older Richard could’ve been a little more convincing.
Favourite line: You are my canvas and I’m like Picasso on Steroids -Sylvia
Favourite Scene: The Murder scene
Finally, the technicalities: The colour grading and score gave the film the thrilling and paranormal feel that the film should have.
Kudos to the whole cast and crew.
By Dika Ofoma, a movie blogger with Linjust. He is a cinephile who is interested in movie reviews and discussion.