Movie Review: Esohe

Director: Charles Uwagbai

Screenplay: Bimbo Manuel

Cast: Jimmy Jean Louis, Misty Lockheart, Desmond Elliot, Chris Attoh, Bimbo Manuel, Ufuoma McDermott, Toyin Aimakhu, Jemima Osunde and  Monica Omorodion Swaida.

Year: 2017

In “Esohe,” the reincarnation and reunion of Ifagbai, the son of Eghosa the Oba’s warrior, his long-lost lover, Esohe, presents a puzzle to Gary Barbar (Jimmy Jean Louis). He suffers repeated nightmares and sees apparitions of events he knows nothing about.

“Esohe” is another story that takes from the theme of love and reincarnation, but this is the most complicated of the many you have seen in the past.

Gary Barber (Jimmy Jean-Louis) left Nigeria immediately after graduating from the University to pursue greener pastures abroad. Years after, he is settled and working in the United States of America as a University lecturer and living with his girlfriend, Claire (Misty Lockhert). While things look really good for them, Gary suffers from strange re-occurrences, he occasionally blanks out and re-emerges in another life. That life is thousands of years back, in the Benin Empire of Old.

While these episodes do not look really bad in the first minutes of “Esohe”, it gets worse. Being with and around Claire means that she too suffers from similar attacks. The only solution to their problem is a visit to Nigeria for answers and they do.

On arrival, Gary meets Esosa. There is a past between the two, they feel the connection but both of them will vow on anything that they’ve not met before.

The screenwriter then gives us the 101: Years back Gary was Ifagbai and Esosa was Esohe. Due to a deformity, Ifagbai is born with, his father rejects him. Ifagbai ends up with Titilola (Toyin Abraham). She grooms him and it is while with her that Ifagbai finds Esohe. Together they have a once in a lifetime type of love story. Which is the essence of “Esohe”.

“Esohe” is a story on re-incarnation with love as a guiding theme. The screenwriter produces enjoyable moments of the Bini Culture and while a little splash of culture always offers tangible viewing “Esohe” gathers too many complications.  It takes patience to understand what the film is set to do (for at least 40 percent of its show time).

“Esohe” attempts to be a memorable epic but too much dialogue and inconsistency take the crown off the head of the story. “Esohe” is a mix of many things, including “Iyore” and “Doctor Bello” but does not meet up to any of the two.

With all of its shortcomings, “Esohe” made an effort. That effort would have been glorious if a little attention was paid to cutting down on dialogue and scenes that should have never made it out of the editing room.

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