Movie Review: Tunde Kelani’s Maami

Single parent MAAMI, and her young son are desperately poor. Gifted with a loving heart, enterprising spirit and brave soul, she is the centre of her son’s world, until he longs for the father he has never known, a man with a terrible secret.

Set over a two-day period, leading to the 2010 World Cup, MAAMI is an inspiring story of a poor, conscientous single parent’s struggles to raise her only child, Kashimawo who eventually rises to international stardom in an English football club. Arsenal FC, and becomes a national hero.

maami_posterThe movie is an adaptation of Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same name. The adaptation was done by Tunde Babalola while the film was directed by Tunde Kelani aka MAINFRAME.

I have so many thoughts about this movie and I don’t know if my high expectations of a Mainframe movie affected it. When thinking Mainframe, my mind flashes back to other classic movies that include OLEKU and MAGUN:Thunderbolt. These two movies had good storylines with very well written scripts and an amazing cast and crew to back it up.

MAAMI promises a good storyline. I mean who wouldn’t love to watch the story of a single poor mother who does all she can to send her child to school. Such tales are dear to the heart because it resonates with the majority of the African society.  This was my expectation but I was badly let down. The development of the story was poor and as the movie progressed, I found it hard to believe it was a Tunde Kelani movie. This movie had potential, I mean I love enriching drama which unfolds gradually and leaves me satisfied but this one left me cringing because everything felt wrong with the movie.

Script writing: The script-writing of this movie was poor. Very poor, coupled with the plotting. The flashbacks were poorly executed and too frequent, so much that I wondered if this movie was about the past, the present or the future. That was how much this film confused me and I found it hard to place. The arrangement of scenes were also haphazard. It was done so bad that instead of feeling empathy for the MAAMI character, I felt irritated at some point and I was like seriously?!

The Cast and Acting: Funke Akindele (Jenifa in the Jenifa series) played MAAMI, the single mother of Kashinmawo and at a point, her character got unrealistic. Should I call it Over-acting? It made me wonder if she was bringing her Jennifer character into this movie as well. Movie dialogue was bad, Kashimawo played by Wole Ojo (protagonist in Facade) also had poor delivery of his character. Movie editing and voice laying was bad and highly flawed.

maami_movie_still1The only redeeming character of the whole movie was the young boy (Ayomide Abatti) who pulled it off but the rest of the characters acted and made it obvious that they were were acting. Now that’s another flaw in my opinion.

Soundtrack: The soundtrack of this movie scored an E in my opinion and then the emphasis on Yinka Davies with some other guy singing and wasting 5 minutes of movie time when there were other things to focus on was another error I observed. The soundtrack had nothing to do with the movie. It just stood out of place for me and lacked direction.

Overall, the storyline had no solid foundation and was indecisive. At first, I’m supposed to believe this story was about a single mother, and later, you’re trying to tell your audience he’s trying to know his father who has a dark secret. This ‘father’ character in question was done in such a way that I found it hard to believe there was a need for this part because it just stood out and contributed to the diminishing credence of the movie. It felt like someone telling me a story and wanting to make sure I cried at a point where it was obvious that was what he wanted me to do.H

Anyways, another redeeming quality of the movie was the potrayal of the 70s and 80s and the video quality. Asides that, this movie by Tunde Kelani was hugely disappointing for me.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Adenekan Adebukunolami

    30th August 2014 at 1:21 am

    Ha ba! 2 bad a comment 2 give abt ‘maami’. Well written,beautifully acted,wonderfully directed n edited. God bless d casts real gud and evri1 who saw 2 d sux of d film.

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