Director: Muyiwa Aluko
Screenplay: Damilola Orimogunje
Cast: Linda Ejiofor, Chioma Omerua, Joke Silva, Funny Bone, Bethel Njoku, Stanley Chibuna
Muyiwa Aluko’s past features have established him as one Director with impressive investment in the technical aspects of his film. “Bandits” is his first attempt at comedy, he usually explores other genres. The Nigerian audience is big on comedy and this may be why Muyiwa takes this route with “Bandits”.
In Bandits, Fred is about to marry Chisom when he loses his job. While he has plans of getting back on his feet and has an Uncle he can always turn to, the Uncle dies. It leaves Fred frustrated. To complicate his misfortune, his Uncle does not leave him with an inheritance of a lifetime (as he thought he would get). Instead, he leaves him a note and a painting. Fred has not saved enough to continue wedding preparations with Chisom and to escape all of his debts, he decides to sell off the painting, but he finds out that the painting is worth more than the type of inheritance he expected from his uncle.
Having at its centre characters like Chigurl, Funny Bone and even handing Joke Silva a comedy script, should win “Bandits” a lot of fans. “Bandits” invents a new dimension to the comedic stories we get in Nollywood. Unfortunately, it does not quite bring the laughs.
“Bandits” gathers some of Nollywood’s famous faces and they work with a script that makes a caricature of expectations and life’s unpredictability. The dialogue and an overzealousness from the cast announces the feature as a forced attempt at making its audience laugh. The action from the actors reeks of ‘too much’ effort. They execute their roles well but there is also an excessiveness to it.
Muyiwa has established himself as a director with eyes for details and what he executes on “Bandits” will confirm that. There is keen attention to details in the way scenes are shot. However, combining comedians with exaggerated dialogue does not make this any exceptional than all the other comedies you might have seen.