Last night the 7th of March 2014, Silverbird Cinema stood still for the premiere of Emem Isong's Royal Arts Academy's APAYE: A Mother's Love . So many people graced the event which was really surprising because they were 4 great events same night and still the beautiful crowd at Silverbird was so much that they had to end up using two halls for the premier because the first hall was filled to the brim with people even sitting on the stairs
still no place to stand and more crowd was outside, never seen so many people at one spot before! That is because Emem Isong has proven over the years to be a strong contender in movie making with her outstanding crew and she has won the heart of many with her warmth and down to earth nature. The movie premier proper started really late i would guess that was due to the overwhelming crowd and they needed people to settle-down before proceeding. Julius the Genius Agwu was the MC of the night, he really cracked us up with his jokes and then finally the movie started...
Yours truly was there and here is my review of this wonderful movie.
TITLE: APAYE: 'A MOTHER'S LOVE'
DIRECTOR: Desmond Elliot
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Niyi Akinmolayan
STARRING: Clarion Chukwurah, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Belinda Effah, Mbong Amata, Milicent Jack.
PRODUCER: Emem Isong
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Joyce Orieko/Jephthan Robert/Faith Robert
STORY: Joyce Orieko/Jepthah Robert
SCREENPLAY: Uduak Isong Oguamanam
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Austin Nwaolie/Dickson Godwin
EDITOR: Daniel Tom/Andy Jimmy
DATE OF RELEASE: March 2014
LOCATION: Bayelsa, Port harcourt
COUNTRY AND LANGUAGE: Nigeria, English
Apaye: A Mother's Love' is a moving story of one woman's quest to succeed against the odds. Inspired by true events,'Apaye' is the story of Elder Irene Yepayeye Uriah, born in the creeks of what is now Bayelsa State, left to fend for her six children. She struggled and toiled to provide for her family and to make sure they enjoyed a life that she never had against the odds. She became a woman of substance in a community that never believed any good will come from her.
I loved the trailer and had high expectations considering the fact that outstanding veteran actors Clarion Chukwurah and Kanayo O. Kanayo and amazing young actors like Belinda Effah and Mbong Amata starred in it and it was produced by one of the best producers in the country at the moment Emem Isong and directed by Desmond Elliot who has proven to be not just a good actor but improved drastically as a Director and is fast becoming one of the best.
Was my expectations met?
The movie started slow as the characters were being introduced and it gradually picked up pace, the Niger Delta landscape was captured really well and the location was perfect for the story considering it all started before the Biafra Civil War. Most of the characters were indigenes, you could tell from their intonation and skin colour which helped the richness of the story.
I particularly liked the casting for the main character as Belinda Effah played the younger version of Yepayeye and while Clarion Chukwurah was the older version, never realised they had a striking resemblance until now but wasn't too happy with the youngest Yepayeye.
As we got deep into the story, i give kudos to the writer as the lines were very natural and lots of comic relief that got the whole viewers laughing and relating with the situations.
Clarion Chukwurah brought her all into play, she became this woman she was playing and as she always does, just blew us away and made us see the character not her.
Kanayo O.Kanayo played his role so well that he made it extremely believable, the way he says his lines and all his actions were just amazing and people screamed 'that is KOK' at a point stressing the fact that he always delivers and never dissapoints his fans. Great performance from him.
Belinda Effah gave another award winning performance, she carried her viewers along to feel her joy and pain and was outstanding in her performance.
All the actors played their roles in making the story believable and immortalising a great woman that loved her children and made sure they went to school and became the great people they are today.
My only critic will be directed at the makeup artist, The character KOK got married to Belinda while she was young and he already had grey hair and after Yepayeye became Clarion Chukwurah and met with Kanayo O.Kanayo he was still same and she has become a full grown woman, i think either the character should have been changed to an old man or he shouldn't have aged so much the first time we saw him so that he will have all the grey hair when we see him with her while she has aged, because KOK marrying Belinda with him ageing at all will already make the viewers know he wasn't a young man. Secondly Clarion Chukwurah's makeup as an old woman when telling the story could have been better if added to her undeniable skill as an actor to bring her part to the table, by walking bent and sounding old.
We applauded Desmond Elliot as the Director of this amazing project and discussed how greatly he has improved on his directorial skills, there were some really amazing shots and some cool shots that you could tell was just done to prove they can do it...Hehe. He has proven he can take on any project which puts him on the short list of outstanding director.
My low points will be, at a point where it felt like i was watching a documentary and not a movie i guess it was because they were trying hard to tell the story of this wonderful woman in a short period of time but at the end of it, i was happy i saw the film and would love to go to the cinema and see it again.
I would have loved if at the end of the movie as we see in most Biopic films, a gallery of the real life family although we saw a picture of the real Yepayeye at the beginning but would have still loved to see pictures of her and children and the end, that will give a more WOW effect.
I also personally feel some scenes should have been shorter and some should have been longer so we can feel what this great woman had to go through to make sure her 6 children got a good life but at the end the Director Desmond Elliot explained they had to cut some scenes because her outstanding deeds were too much to compile in just one film and i totally agree with that.
This is the point i am suppose to give an overall score for the movie but will leave you to do that, The movie is showing in all cinemas nationwide make sure you go and see it and don't be told because it is an AWESOME film and a very inspiring one at that.
MY FINAL WORDS
I will leave you with Yepayeye's best words YOUR DESTINY IS IN THE HANDS OF GOD AND YOURSELF...No matter the situation you find yourself if you have the will and zeal to succeed no one can stop you except you. This movie brings to light a strong reminder that we should never loose HOPE we should keep working hard and striving to be the best at whatever we do, grab every opportunity with open hands and keep a positive spirit at all time.
Today is International Women's Day, what a great day to share the story of an outstanding, courageous, brave, loving and hardworking woman Elder Yepayeye Irene Uriah-Dieah fondly called APAYE.
Watch the trailer below and Go to the cinema to watch this film if it doesn't inspire you nothing will...Wink