By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Lotanna (Remembering your father) tells the story of a young man who became distressed at an early age when he discovers that he has to offset a 20million naira debt owed to a mysterious “Don Creflo” by his late father. The titular character (played by Chris Okagbue) encounters a myriad of trials and challenges that sort to break his spirit. But armed with an adamantine resolve to succeed, a reverberating voice, friends, some enemies, and mysterious individuals he encounters along the way, he eventually triumphed.
The movie captures the scenery of the 1970s, which was beautiful. Lotanna as a child was tenacious, assertive, obstinate and high-handed. But being plunged into a world of chaos at such a young age, propelled by the unflinching desire to vindicate his late father and ensure he isn’t remembered fallibly, Lotanna was forced to abandon all his childish predispositions on becoming a man.
It was Ifan Ifeanyi Michael’s debut as a producer and he did an extensive job at it, but at a point he became impetuous I guess as some of the costumes, furnitures and props on set didn’t exactly match the “70’s setting” he was capturing and some of them were a little bit over exaggerated.
A clear example was when Lotanna was trying to procure a weapon for some operation. The revolver the dealer was peddling was more of an antique (like some weapon used during the American civil war in the 1860’s) than one obtainable in the 1970’s. A quick survey of some of the revolvers or pistols used during the Nigerian civil war (1967 – 1970) could buttress that.
The casting was great. It was an all-star ensemble featuring Chris Okagbue, Keturah King, Beverley Naya, Ireti Doyle, Bimbo Manuel, Jide Kososko, Chris Attoh, Ama K Abebrese, Liz Benson etc.
All the stars put up a stellar performance (especially Jide Kosoko who’s acting was surreal and effortless, making it seem like he wasn’t acting at all), except for Chris Attoh who was finding it a tad onerous in portraying the “throw-back” theme of the movie and was unable to “connect” with the viewers. He was trying too hard it seemed, his delivery of the the role was kind of forced.
One of the best scenes for me was when Zara (Beverly Naya) came to see Lotanna (Chris Okagbue), they exchanged a few heated words and she slapped him. He pushed her against the wall violently, maybe in an attempt to hit her, but as they gazed into each other’s eyes you could almost feel the surge of passion that coursed through their bodies as they entangled in an amorous kiss and romantic session.
Kudos to the scriptwriter, the dialogue and conversations were fluid and slightly humorous. Credits should also be given to the screenwriter and director for a job well done. The cinematography was on point, and the theme song (performed by Praiz and Naeto C) was mind-blowing. It should no doubt win, or be nominated for “Best Original Soundtrack” in any upcoming Movie Awards.
‘Lotanna’ gave us an elucidate outlook of what the 70’s fashion used to be, the Afro hairstyle worn by both men and women, suspenders worn over wide leg pants depicts a flow of colourful fashion outfits that are partly in vogue by stylish individuals of this century.
On the overall, “Lotanna” is a great “family” movie you would enjoy if you are an avid lover of prodigious movies which are divergent from the norm that has been attainable in Nollywood.
Watch the trailer below: