I had stumbled on the trailer of Iyore as far as back as the middle of last year and immediately began to anticipate the release. I was curious to watch this traditionally casted movie, set in the heart of the benin Kingdom with the cast in the customary Benin attire. Finally, on Sunday the 3rd of May 2015, I got to watch the intriguing movie which I love to refer to as the Shakespearean-Benin movie because of the choice of words of and the grammatical construction.
Iyore is a Frank Rajah Arase film that was set in Benin Kingdom like I earlier mentioned and a little bit of the Yoruba Land which shares a border with the Benin Kingdom. It is the story of re-incarnation, love, tradition, customs, beliefs and obedience. It plays up the rich heritage of the Benin Kingdom, giving us an insight into what really has made the Kingdom thick over the years. Their respect for the gods of the land, what may be presumed to be barbaric but yet embraced by the people at that time (not sure what is obtainable today). Scary how a maiden is married to a King knowing that she is to have no sexual knowledge of any man. She is to remain a virgin until death as she is even to be buried alive with the Oba alongside 2 others.
Initially, I couldn’t quite grab the twist of the movie but it all began to make sense after a few scenes. The actor behind me with his wife and friends kept cracking me up with their comments in between the movie but helped me to see the movie from a clearer perspective as I have somewhat embedded their thoughts into this review whilst remaining constructive and unbiased.
Location: Frank Rajah and his team used the Benin Kingdom judiciously in telling the story and if the movie was actually not shot in Benin City, I will be shocked because it was so real that I could actually imagine that I was in the Benin Kingdom.
Narrative: The narration was clear. We could understand what the message was though it took a while for us to figure it out which was part of the suspense. The 2 hour movie( which we must say thanks to Frank for not trying to give us a 2 part movie but tried to compress the story in 1), ended on a note that not many had expected.
Unfortunately, I can’t explain this to you in details lest I ruin it for you and be called a spoiler. So, hurry to the cinemas and get your tickets.
Language: I guess that has been clear from the start that it is the kind of movie that our children should be encouraged to see in improving their grammar though a few work still needs to be done in terms of diction and in the subtitling of the movie.
Costume: I really have no words but to say if you have never been to Benin or have no clue what their attire is, just watch Iyore. Go take a peek at the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people.
Sound: It was a good one. Heard someone in the background say this was great. Even the sound track was quite captivating and Frank, where did you get that singer. He was just too good though I wanted to make him shut up at some point in the movie when things got tense and his voice was still in my head. He deserves to be celebrated.
Casting: Rita Dominic, Joseph Benjamin, Paul Obazele, Okawa Shaznay, Yemi Blaq, were a few of the cast whose names easily come to mind and they were good in interpreting the roles assigned to them. It has been a while I saw Paul in such a role and I must say he was good. Rita was good, Okawa was beautiful, Joseph was splendid, Yemi was awesome and the entire cast was great. They weren’t all popular faces but what mattered the most was that they delivered.
Recommendations: For me, this is a movie that everyone should watch and learn from. Yes, we have our religious beliefs that govern us today and that we hold dear but let us not dabble into things that our generations unborn will get to pay for leaving them with pain and unfathomed sadness. It is a story to learn from and that ticket money will not hurt you to visit the cinemas and watch a movie that is worth the fee and should even be charged more. I won’t put a star to it rather, you tell me what you think after you see it.