It is without a doubt that the Nigerian movie industry has evolved big time, from story lines, to effects and make up, scenes and background. This new age of Nollywood comprise of a different style of actors and actresses. In the post, we compare the ages together, stating their features as well as the obvious changes criticizing the defects, and celebrating the all time greats in the industry.
An evolution from chalked appearance to the real look.
This heading applies literarily. The old Nollywood evolved from stage drama, which had the use of crude materials and effects.
Most make up involve the use of chalk, from gray hair, to gray beards, to the appearance of a Babalawo or Chief priest. However compared to the innovations of this new age it seems laughable. Now where characters are transformed by creative intense makeup, backgrounds are artificially stimulated, and effects are more life like.
The old Nollywood had a lot of in discrepancies. Like red oil or tomato blood. Funny right? Or an unconnected slap that finds the person supposedly slap, dazed. This one is weakening, you would be like nigga nobody touched. There was one particular film this one occurred. The protagonist was Yul Edochie, in a particular scene, another character had to slap. Oya here comes the slap, and bam, the guys hand was not any way near Yul`s face, and before you know it, the sound of the slap was inserted and Yul was on the ground holding his face. It was really funny, because this one was just to obvious, but nothing was done. No reshooting, no extensive editing.
Another of such discrepancies, is the sound of the gun, it goes something piooooo!!! Oh how I wish you could hear me pronounce, but if you are well breasted with old Nollywood movies, you will know full well how their gun sounds. Like what the hell, is it a water gun.
Talking about toy guns, old Nollywood movies legit used toy guns, from policemen to armed robbers, no wander the sound was pioooo.
Forgive me for my bad mouth. Yes this one was it should have been back then, but then it went on for too long. Trust Nigerians, picking the cheapest over quality.
It was very bad, that the highlight of a comedy was the comedian, yabbing (local parlance for criticizing). Take for instance a comedian will mix poison with a drink, with the aim of giving an enemy and then test the drink after mixing it, and then he will tag it, epic Nollywood movie. Funny right, but that was what was happening in a way. The absurd part, the director we preview and then call it a wrap, and put it outside for the world to see. Wahala.
However, with the industry becoming a powerhouse in the Nigerian economy, there was the need to shift to producing cinema worthy movies. Block buster movies. This ushered a new age, commonly referred as the new Nollywood. Though it is yet to be perfect, at least we do not see tomato blood, or hear the sound pioooo. And it is very assuring, knowing Nigeria is striving to attain the best when it comes to the movie industry.
At this point let us examine the features of the old Nollywood movies. What glued Nigerians to their screen for nothing less than two hours?
First of all, they were comedy related. There was no old Nollywood movie that was comedy related. I mean even the ones meant to be serious still got you rolling on the floor. Whether it was the effects used in the movies, or the general fact that Nigerians love cruise, it was just perfect for the old Nollywood movies to be purely comical. The legends in these times were the likes of Osorfia, Sam loko Akin and Paw Paw, Mr. Ibu, Saka, Otega and a host of them. Whenever you saw these guys in a movie, you just knew you were going to have a good time. I doubt there was any one who will watch any of these guys movies back then, and not laugh out loud.
Just recently, as a result of the new trend tik tok, Nigerians began to relive those good old days, using the scenes to create memes and trending them of other social media handles.
Secondly, they had love as their central theme. Most old Nollywood movies were centered on the love between to cast in the movie. From prince falling in love with a poor maiden, screaming I burn for you. To a rich man`s daughter falling in love with a poor guy, shouting it is him or no else. One way or the other, there was love in the air, surrounded by twist and turns as well as rejection. Yul Edochie always found his way in this kind of movies. Either he was burning for someone, or he was a player who was tamed, among many others.
Furthermore, in an old Nollywood movie the antagonist was always diabolical. Ah, it was either an uncle who wanted his late brothers family to suffer, to a chief wanting the crown to himself, either way the white eyed man must be visited by the bad guy. We had a lot of legends in this category. The likes of Ngozi Ezeonu, Kannayo. O. kannayo, Peter Edochie, and a host of many others.
Finally, in the old Nollywood days, diversity of actors and actresses were not seen. This means the first character you played in your first ever movie, was the character you will play for a long time. If you started as a witch aunt, you go tire for the role. This was as a result of the similar story lines in the old Nollywood era. These movies were predictable.
Now we move on to the features of the new era, and somewhat contrasting them with the old era.
While the new era is love themed, compare to the old era, such love is not threatened by a “step mother”, but actual threats to relationships in the real world.
New Nollywood movies encourage actions and stunt. Though this has not yet been fully develop, you will agree with me, that we are seeing a shift to action movies.
So the question is which is your favourite? There are still persons who could kill for old Nollywood movies, and so are persons who fancy new Nollywood movies than an old Nollywood movies. But both are exciting in their own way.
In conclusion, while the old era of Nollywood movies have not be made extinct. We still have people representing the old era, especially the epic movies. However, we see some old Nollywood legends sifting their old backs, and blending into this new era, and still relevant. For this, we celebrate them. All hail the legends.