"Banana Island Ghost" is a comedy movie for most Nigerians
"Banana Island Ghost" is a somewhat predictable comedy movie, but it's funny. It's the kind of movie a lot of Nigerians will like.
Given the obvious commercial success of the genre, BB Sasore, who helmed the 2015 TV series, "Before 30," decided to make the latest Nigerian comedy movie, "Banana Island Ghost."
"Banana Island Ghost" tells the story of a ghost, Patrick, who doesn't want to go to heaven because he doesn’t have a soulmate.
He convinces God to give him three days to fall in love and granting his request, God pairs him with the hard to love Ijeoma (Chigurl).
As a ghost, Patrick can see everyone, touch everything, be anywhere he wants, but he can only be seen by one person; his soulmate.
Ijeoma has just three days to get 18 million Naira to prevent the bank from reclaiming and selling her father's house in Banana Island to a billionaire, Mr King (Ali Nuhu).
She does everything possible to make the money, including pick pocketing, an act that constantly lands her in the custody of the DPO of Banana Island played by Saidi Balogun and his bumbling assistant Akah Nnani.
Patrick wakes up next to Ijeoma and doesn't approve of her. He goes back to ask God why he wasn't paired with someone like Damilola Adegbite.
However, her mischievous nature makes it easy for the two to bond as Patrick impresses and defends her using his supernatural tricks - like when he sprays fire extinguisher on her intimidating colleagues.
The movie does have its sentimental moments, as when Patrick tries to hide from God and is reminded of his ominipresence. The scene also reiterates God's unfailing love for his children.
There's also some delightful philosophy, as when God tells Patrick that his purpose is to help others find their purpose and when he reminds him that all his children are beautiful and created in his image.
The movie balances humor and poignancy, while successfully avoiding clichés. The actors especially first time lead actors Chigul and Patrick Diabuah do well to deliver an impressive performance.
As God, Bimbo Manuel showcases his talent as a natural. The other cast members also deliver, eliciting laughter when necessary.
The real winners in "Banana Island Ghost" are the special effects artists. The movie comes alive with impressive success in art direction and set design.
The cast also handle the action scenes with an efficiency that distinguishes the movie from other action comedy movies.
However, the script could have been better. The shock and denial of seeing and communicating with the dead could have been better exploited.
There was no struggle by Ijeoma to come to terms with her ability to see a ghost. She becomes comfortable around him so fast that it's unrealistic.
There are also questions that demand answers. Why doesn't her mother (Tina Mba) live in this coveted Banana Island house with her? Is there a special reason why Ijeoma is emotionally attached to the house?
The product placement in "Banana Island" is awkwardly noticeable. The scene with Dorcas Shola Fapson sipping a bottle of coke could pass for a Coca-Cola advert.
Other brands like Health Plus, Cold Stone, BRT among others find their way into the story a few times, even when there's no need for them.
"Banana Island" is somewhat predictable, nevertheless, it's funny and its just the kind of comedy movie most Nigerians love.
The movie opens in cinemas on August 4, 2017.
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