Movie Review: Mentally

Screenplay: James Abinibi

Director: James Abinibi

Producer: James Abinibi

Cast: Kunle Idowu, Toyin Aimakhu Abraham, Soma Ayanma, Comedian Senator, Abayomi Alvin, Eric Didier, Chris Okagbue, Rotimi Salami, Sukanmi Omobolanle, Jude Chukwuka Adekunle Gold, Woli Arole

Year: 2017

Consider this another review on comedy.

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“Mentally” was not on the list of films I planned to see at the cinema but there was a tasty discount that came with seeing it.  The discount provided that, I could see select movies for as cheap as N300 and “Mentally” fell on the list.  There are a number of films I was excited to see, but is there a Nigerian that hates ‘awoof?’ I passed on the other films and went in for ‘Mentally.”

Mentally is the second film featuring Frank Donga moving to a new town or city in search of greener pastures. The first film was “Hakkunde” by Asurf Oluseyi. While the heart and flesh of “Hakkunde” is laced with inspiration for the job seeking youth, “Mentally” is more of a humorous drama taking inspiration from social ills. The storyline rings in similarity to old Nollywood tales of comedic actors moving to the city to create chaos. James Alibini sends his lead actor to Lagos and offers him something a little different to work with.

When Akin decides to move to Lagos from his hometown, his mother rings a few words in his ears. She insists that her son remembers where he is from and never lose hold of his training and the essence of his background. Her naïve son, Akin (Kunle Idowu) ends up in Lagos with the hope that he would stay with his former school friend Emeka. On his journey to Lagos, we meet the hilarious driver played by Yaw and an introduction of Adekunle Gold in a cameo role as a conductor. From where we meet Akin and his mother, to the people he meets through his journey to Lagos, the film sets its tone as a comedy. It is when Akin arrives Lagos that we understand the purpose of “Mentally”.

In Lagos, Emeka welcomes Akin, takes him for lunch, and they meet with Emeka’s hyped friends. These friends are high on weed and will not let naïve Akin’s escape what it means to inhale weed. Pressure mounts and Akin gives in. There is chaos for a first-time weed smoker. Many scenarios, and what Akin does, and does not do after this leads to “Mentally” being an interesting offering to the pile of comedies in Nigeria.

A film does not have to be educational; it just has to make its audience feel. The crowd I watched with appreciated the purpose of “Mentally.” There was eagerness that demanded the next line of action. Not because scenes bored the audience, but because the transition always sent a message of “expect more laughter.”

Despite its humor and the line-up of stars, “Mentally” is the type of film that could have skipped the cinema format of release. While Kunle Idowu is establishing himself as a comedy sensation, it is interesting to see the type of roles being offered to the actor as he makes another cinema appearance in his second feature of the year.

If you are not getting a good discount to watch a film like “Mentally,” and are conscious of the cost of watching a film at the cinema, you can pass this and expect it on Africa Magic soon. However, if you are in need of genuine laughter that comes from film and cannot find a Nollywood film to satisfy this craving, go in and pay for ‘Mentally.”

About the Author

Rejoice is a 22-year-old  aspiring Filmmaker and a big dreamer. She’s also a ‘Theatre and film’ arts graduate from the University of Jos, Nigeria.

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