Released on 20th January 2023 on Netflix, the movie Shanty Town made its fame on social media with lots of buzz from celebrity influencers. But is the movie from Giant Creative Media worth our while? Are there shortcomings that this movie, still in its season 1, must improve on? Here is decritic’s review of the movie shanty town.
- The Actors:
Who dares question the masterful acting? The actors of Shanty Town are not your wanna-be stars. These are actors who have made their bones in entertainment. They got us glued to our screens from the beginning to the end. With Richard Mofe-Daminjo (RMD), Chidi Mokeme resurrected from silence, Ini Edo back like she never left, Nancy Isime giving fans what to gossip as usual, the gifted Sola Sobowale, the flexible Nse Ikpe-Etim, the awesome Shaffy Bello, and a host of other stars.
Uche Jombo seems to have been under-utilized in the movie. Peter Okoye still needs some brushing up. For instance, the perspective we are given is that the wife of Fernandez is not available and that the man himself, is a Yoruba. But Fernandez Son’s (Peter Okoye) accent has Igbo written all over. In our review, Shanty Town failed in that regard.
Although the choice of the perfect politician in Richard Mofe Damijo is well-sold by the Director (Dimeji Ajibola), we think Bimbo Manuel would have nailed the role too.
2. The Language & Costume:
In a shitty-shanty town, what language do you expect? That’s right. Slangs, pidgin, and English. We saw some high-level communication from the cryptic language by the Politicians. Scar, the hoodlum, was also speaking the diversified language of a street star who has been around. The apex was his scene with Salewa (Nancy Isime). It was epic. A well-written script, well-played by Chidi Mokeme. The title captures the gbas-gbos of the movie – Shanty Town.
In terms of costume, we must applaud the costumier. The costumes are perfect.
The Director of this movie has placed careful attention to the location of Shanty Town. Indeed, everyone with eyes can see that this a shanty ghetto. However, we are disappointed with the location used as the club or hangout of the rich and powerful of society. Like seriously, Kohinoor? The Location Director would have gotten away with the act since the outside was not shown and certain part was carefully selected. But all that spoiled when Salewa entered the bathroom and the cameraman captured Kohinoor for us to see. Maybe, this is not a problem if there was a sponsorship deal from Kohinoor. But that is asking viewers, especially Nigerians on the island, to ignore that Kohinoor is not the standard.
4. The Plot:
This is a story of a lady who lost her twin sister and her mum only to find the sister at an older age on a dying bed in a hospital. The sister suddenly revealed she has been in Shanty Town working for Scar. It so suddenly happened that the Police too, have been looking at cracking down on the illegal activities in Shanty Town. She had to become her sister to get into Scar’s crew and crack down on the illegal operations. She became an undercover agent.
This would have been a beautiful and perfect story, but for the as-usual-hurried-fix-and-shoot altitude of most Nigerian script and screenwriters, producers and directors. How Ini Edo met her twin sister and took her identity and had the same interest in Shanty Town is all just too cosmetic and voodoo conjunctions. No, we must wait. We must mark our story and wait. We must carefully and patiently connect the story to link – that is the way you evoke make-believe stories, empathy, anxiety, suspense, et al. Because of this major flaw, the suspense in the movie was missing.
5. The Martial Arts/ karate Action:
It is no story that Nollywood is still crawling regarding real action movies. But hey, this is the excuse we make for them every time. The industry has money and has existed for years now. Cinematographic technology should not be an issue. Also, it is long overdue for our actors who wish to act in action movies to be well-trained in the arts. It is the least we can do. Nigerians, especially the Millenials and GenZ watch a lot of action movies. When we watch an abysmal act, it becomes laughable.
If we were to give a star of 5, our score review of Shanty Town will be 3.5%.
The plot was underdeveloped: not rich, bereft of suspense. I dare say the producers used our favourite A-List actors to lure us and keep us glued to our screens. I expected more: much more.
Again, what’s with the stark vulgarity? I get it that the setting should match the language, however, there was hardly any decency in all the scenes. It was shocking for the most part: the profanity, nakedness, and all what not, all rolling out without any breaks. I mean…
On the flip side, like I mentioned earlier, the producers used our favourite A-List actors, so I didn’t expect less of the delivery, despite the shallow storyline. Mokeme gets my vote; the Yor-Igbo blend was ‘palatable’!
All in all, it was not over the top as most expected. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t blown away. Nollywood should tone it down with casting all the known celebrities at once for a blockbuster; more often than not, the result is not excellent.
Could someone please explain what Peter Okoye and Regina Daniels were doing in that movie? Or even Mercy Eke? It would have been a platform to advertise good upcoming talents. For Christ’s sake, Mr. P is not even Yoruba: he just stared blankly at Mokeme when the latter spoke ‘his language’ to him. Let him just stick to his singing abeg!
Las las, dem try small: 6/10 for me.
Wow, you should join De Critic or be a guest Critic. Nice one.