Movie Review: 8 Bars and a Clef


Director: Chioma Onyenwe

Producer: Chioma Onyenwe

Cast: Bimbo Akintola, Wale Ojo, Ade Bantu, Linda Ejiofor, Samuel Abiola Robinson and Kehinde Bankole

Year: 2016


This is a story of a dysfunctional family, with a young son, unfortunately suffering dyslexia. Dyslexia is a disorder that involves difficulty in learning to read or interpret words or letters. There is the selfish mother more concerned about her lover than her son. It is never mentioned if as a result of constant care she gets exhausted of taking care of her son and then she finds solace in her lover. Instead, we see her lover find solace in her, he demands from her and he always gets what he wants from her. This story is similar to those we see of mothers on newspapers, who neglect their children that need care. It is great that we see this play out as a film, so visually we follow it and we see why children need special care.

The story is a strong one and Chioma Onyenwe does not offer an over-flogged plotline. The plot of this film has a lot of depth. She provides us with a fresh and enlightening story. It drags on some occasions but this is a story that is realistic. The selfish mother that refuses to give care to her child, we hear that all the time. The best part of the story is that the lead character ends up conquering his challenge by going after his dream of having a career in the difficult music industry.

The film boasts of a stellar cast. Bimbo Akintola is a selfish mother who caters to the ego of her boyfriend (Ade Bantu) instead of her very talented young son. Bimbo is pure gold, she pulls through every role professionally and excellently and this is no exception. Ade Bantu makes a splash with an acting debut here. The unstable boyfriend that spends more time on the booze, he manages to pull through his role quite efficiently. Kehinde Bankole is a great actress and she does well here too, as the comforter. Wole Ojo is also commendable. They all do a great job to cover for the bad acting of the lead actor Ibk Spaceship boi. While Samuel Abiola does an incredible job as the younger musician, when the roles turn, Ibk lets down the character. It is his debut role but for such a serious story, searching for a better actor for the lead role would have been excellent. In general, the actors all hold their own in this production. Great acting from most of the cast!

A great plot and actors do not always save the film. 8 bars and a Clef was not just your average star-studded film, the stars delivered. Musically this film is fantastic. The soundtrack is one I expected to blow off the airwaves in particular but unfortunately, the energy put into acting was not put into cinematography and the sound. A lot of hitches totally dealt this film a great blow, from really bad sound to not having a great cinematography.

For a debut feature, Chioma Onyenwe holds does quite well.


About the Author

Rejoice Abutsa is a ‘Theatre and film’ arts graduate from the University of Jos

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