Every Nigerian film is a comedy. The title, story line or genre is entirely irrelevant; take my word for it, it’s always a comedy.
Nigerians take the word ‘acting’ so literally, that this is exactly what they do, ‘act’. The phrase ‘acting natural’ can never be fully explained until you see a Nigerian movie first hand.
American accents flow from tongues that have never crossed the border. Every emotion is so dramatised and animated that you would be forgiven if you didn’t take any of them seriously.
The position of being amongst the top 5 film producing countries in the world is not because of acting quality, but because of the sheer magnitude of films produced every hour.
You would be lucky to find a Nigerian film that doesn’t have at least 7 sequels. Upon watching the entire collection you are more than likely to discover that the content of these ’7 films’ is made up of long periods of the main character walking down a road for 10 minutes, accompanied by a sound track with the uncanny title, ‘he’s walking down the road o!” Of which the chorus (with the exact same words) is repeated over and over for the duration of the scene. Seeing as they are all comedies though this can be forgiven; because you are likely to spend those 10 minutes laughing at the fact that you have been watching a guy walk down a road for 10 minutes!
The special effects in Nigerian films are truly special. You know for a fact that the props must come from the directors sons toy collection; with the infamous ‘pishaun, pishaun!’ being heard loudly in every battle scene, (pishaun is the sound made by a gun by the way).
Nigerian beliefs are very evident in their films. Every storyline has some sort of moral which is never sacrificed in the place of entertainment. It is even rarer to find a film that does not end with the words “To God be the Glory”. Despite these moralistic beliefs and traditions it is also clear that Nigerians are trying very hard to incorporate American values. They too have begun to realise that sex really does sell. A disturbing trend to say the least.
It is apparent that the English have a considerably higher movie budget than Nigerians. Guns actually sound like guns and most of them can act natural with ‘acting’.
The english pay a lot of attention to dialogue. Morals are inconsequential, but you are likely to hear a lot of memorable lines like ‘if the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it’ (don’t ask why I remember that line – it was funny at the time)
The most noteable English films usually revolve around mobs and gang culture. Someone with a less than ordinary accent is likely to owe another person money, and the banter and drama that follows is the main source of entertainment. They have a bit more respect for creative genres, and with franchises like James Bond and Harry Potter it is evident that they can be fairly elaborate when they need to be.
Lets face it, there really is no comparison between the English and Nigerian film industry. Going to the cinema in Nigeria is like going to a party because the novelty of the big screen is still yet to wear off. 50 percent of the films have the same actors playing different variations of the same roles in similar story lines; but i guess you don’t need originality in order to sell.
It is perhaps tough to decide which is the better of the two worlds. A film industry that lacks creativity, but reminds us of good moralistic values; or an industry that provides entertainment without regard for the impact of their message. I guess we will have to watch and see.