The interpretation of the screenplay is forceful and persuasive, it's guaranteed to awaken the viewer to the plight of women around them.
Halima (played by Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge) is a teenager who has been betrothed to a man four times her age. Zara played by Stephanie Linus is a doctor who is trying to live her life like normal but is constantly haunted by her past.
I’ve never cried for a Nigerian movie, but Stephanie Linus made me cry! (And I’m not ashamed to admit it). “Dry” is an emotional social conscious drama. In essence, it’s based on a real life story surrounding culture, child brides and Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). Linus’ film is possibly one of the most tear-jerking humanitarian films to come out of Nigeria. After watching the film I now understand the objections of many who though “Dry” should not only have won Best Overall Movie Africa but also Best Movie West Africa at the recently held Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
The film is set in Aberystwyth, Wales and in Northern Nigeria. As I watch the film, I found I fell in love with the lead characters Zara and Halima who both bring believability to roles they play. As Zara tries to move on from the pain of the past in Wales, it affects her present including her love life. Halima on the other hand has her childhood snatched away from her as a result of being a child bride. Both characters have one thing almost everyone can relate to - the quest to reclaim oneself.
Fagge gives such a moving performance playing the role of Halima, it's hard to believe this her first feature film. Also the supporting actors and extras brought a true to life representation of the characters they play.
Watching the plausible scene sets, I understand why it took almost two years to produce. One of such believable scenes was the burning of the village medical centre. The medical procedures seemed so real, the clip where the local mid wife pulls out a blade is guaranteed to make you flinch.
There are so many emotional and significant scenes in the movie. There’s the scene where Halima protests she’s too young to marry. In one scene Halima runs home to her parents crying and begging that her husband beats her to which her father responds “Go to your husband’s house and learn to love him”. The scenes where she’s raped, experiences childbirth and when her husband throws her out of their home will have you in tears.
“Dry” employs the use of flashbacks to enable the viewer understand where Zara’s own pain stems from. Comedian Clint Da Drunk also plays a role in the film. He uses humour to pass across a message about the poor state of medical centres in rural areas.
Linus brings attention to issues we wouldn’t really talk about or pay attention to. Without talking or pointing fingers at religion or the traditions of specific ethnic groups, the film addresses major issues including the stigmatization of the women, rape and abuse. The interpretation of the screenplay is forceful and persuasive, it's guaranteed to awaken the viewer to the plight of women around them. It’s no surprise “Dry” is an award-winning movie.