Let’s Talk Elements: For Maria Ebun Pataki

CATEGORY: Film | Movie Review
Let’s Talk Elements: For Maria Ebun Pataki

At a time when women are opening up and being outspoken about various reproductive issues and challenges, there was no better time for Netflix to release this movie than when it did. Although a 2020 production directed by Damilola Orimogunje, Netflix brought it into the limelight by releasing it on their platform in January 2022.

The movie has since earned global applause for its unusual theme of postpartum depression and the uncommon challenges of motherhood. The BBC described the film as ‘intimate, artistic, unusual”, while The Guardian (UK) described it as “a quietly affecting Nigerian film.” Some of the elements that stood out for us in this intriguing movie include:


The storyline

The unpredictable ending is one of the contributing factors to the unique storyline of this movie. Unlike the happily ever after endings, it gives a glimpse into an extreme reality of the situation at hand. It opens people’s minds to the harshest possible effect of postpartum depression and uses an apt representation of people, their social status and the regular modern Nigerian family to tell the story.


Casting & Acting

The well-thought casting in this movie is one of the greatest contributors to its success and a big part of what makes it a delight to watch. The lead actors did an amazing job of putting up convincing acts in the movie, so much that one might find it a little hard to imagine other actors playing their roles. Gabriel Afolayan, Tina Mba and Meg Otanwa are all great actors who have demonstrated their strength in character interpretation in several movies over the years. Their character interpretation in this movie was no exception to their well-known acting prowess.



The cinematographer of this movie did show some interesting skills and well-thought framing decisions. The sets, use of colours, positioning of the lights, picture compositions and strategic shot angles all depicted the life of a typical Nigerian family of that social class, and contributed to the realistic and relatable feel the movie gives. 



Sound production is an integral aspect of filmmaking as it can aid or ruin the satisfaction derived from watching a movie. This movie makes use of nature and natural ambiences as the source of its sounds. There is an intentional use of minimal sound in this movie which gives it a natural, realistic and relatable feel, drawing you in to the space and experiences of characters per time.

Postpartum depression is real! Give this movie a watch, learn a thing or two about the issue, and spread the word. See you in our next review.