It has taken Robert O. Peters' 'Voiceless' several months, a name change (first titled 'Make Room'), to get to Nigerian cinemas.
The bright side of the months spent anticipating, is that it gave its makers ample time to visit and revisit the drawing board.
ALSO READ: Voiceless releases in Nigerian cinemas
Relying minimally on the narration of one of its principal characters, 'Voiceless', written by Jennifer Agunloye, plunges its audience into the heart-wrenching chaos initiated by insurgents. Goni (Adam Garba) and Salma (Asabe Madaki) are kidnapped from their villages by insurgents led by the mayhem crazed Banza (Uzee Usman).
The pair later fall in love and attempt to plot their escape amid major to minor conflicts some of which tackle girl child education, gender-based violence and victim shaming.
There is no doubt that 'Voiceless' is beautiful. The film's cinematography and special effects sufficiently capture the severity of violence, so much that it leaves you feeling a pang of guilt that you would dare consider aesthetics in the face of the film theme.
Regrettably, the mesmerizing shots, score and performance hardly make up for the kick in the gut that the film suffers.
At the heart of 'Voiceless' is a sincere attempt to address all the imaginable vices of insurgency. Sadly, this task understandably becomes too herculean for it to bear. Signing up for Jack's master of all trades class earned it its first and most prominent miss.
The first rush of disappointment hits when the audience discovers that these themes rely heavily on dialogue to mask their minimal development.
The film's plot progresses too speedily and, this affects how it introduces Salma and Goni's romance. It could have slowly eased into the idea of a romantic twist, allowing the audience to recover from the preceding massacre.
Inspite of its imperfections, 'Voiceless is the future of Nollywood visual storytelling. Filmmakers might turn to it for a thing or two on how to make war-themed films.