Epic movies in general tend to come across as somewhat complicated and overwhelming, perhaps because of the transporting between settings and time. This style of film making therefore requires extra intellectual effort on the part of an average viewer to fully understand the script of the film.
‘Iyore,’ literally translated – ‘Life after death’ is a romantic epic movie based upon this precept. The movie sets its plot in the historical Benin Kingdom and proudly explores elements such as; culture, romance and reincarnation. It was directed by Frank Rajah Arase.
The movie boasts of great star power; Rita Dominic (Osarugwe), Yemi Blaq (Ovie), Bukky Wright (Queen Adekoya), Joseph Benjamin (Prince Azuwa), Paul Obazele (Oba), and Okawa Shaznay who plays the role of Princess Ajoke.
This epic piece offers a fine blend of history and fiction, brilliantly woven around a complicated love theme – ‘Forbidden love’. The film presents two estranged lovers, Rita Dominic (Osarugwe) and Joseph Benjamin (Prince Azuwa), who are torn between finding the right balance between true love, fate and destiny. It puts to test in no small measure how far a lover is willing to go for his/her loved ones.
The easy chemistry between Joseph Benjamin and Rita Dominic in this mythical tale really makes the film a success, alongside brilliant interpretation of roles from most of the cast, although they were a few weak links in the cast, but this was overshadowed by applaudable performances from the likes of Rita Dominic, Yemi Blaq, Bukky Wright, Joseph Benjamin, Paul Obazele and others.
Although, the film generally has many strong points working for it, it struggles in its attempt to pull off an easy transition from setting to setting. It goes from past to present and back again over and over again which gives a rather confusing impression leading to lack of followership from its audience.
Another rather major flop in the movie is Princess Ajoke’s (Okawa Shaznay) lack of transformation over the years! She appears exactly the same after a whole 19 years; hair flying, clingy top, bogus earrings unlike her contemporaries Rita Dominic (Osarugwe) and Joseph Benjamin (Prince Azuwa) who have grey hair to prove!
Yet again, the viewer is introduced to a scene where Ajoke talks immortalization of Osarugwe and how the kingdom is forever honored by her huge sacrifice. A statue made in her honour is even shown, but a little yet very costly mistake is made as the label on it appears rather roughly done (might even come across as disrespectful if in real life). This sadly gives out the fact that the statue was indeed borrowed for the movie.
Overall, ‘Iyore’ movie would appeal to its audience– Enjoyable indeed!