When the trailer of The Man of God was released, we anticipated the movie date on Netflix, especially since it was directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, a renowned movie director in Nigeria.
The Man of God is a movie focused on Christianity, family and morals. The film starts with a church scene where a pastor is seen leading a prayer session, and whilst the session is ongoing, a young boy sneaks out of the church to play with friends outside the church premises. The boy, who later turns out to be the pastor’s son, is seen in another scene being disciplined by the dogmatic pastor/father who believes that his son is inhibiting the features of ‘satan’ and the beating would make ‘satan’ come out of him.
The boy, Samuel, is later seen telling his mother while attending to his wounds that he would leave the house and never come back when he has the chance. The timeline jumps to years later, and Samuel is seen living the life he has always wanted, far away from his parents and home. Although the movie was about two hours long, here are some of the elements that stood out to us.
While the movie’s main plot can be perceived to be on religion and Christianity, other twists and themes were subtly included to produce “awws” and “hmmms” from the audience. The plot successfully portrayed the Nigerian reality of pastors using a church or religious gathering as a money-making scheme or a front for illegal activities. Another reality would be the holier-than-thou attitude that most Nigerians portray when disciplining or admonishing a person, like in the case of Samuel and his father, the pastor.
Casts and Characters
The casting was spot-on because each cast embodied their character with emotions and professionalism. Akah Nnani as Samuel, Osas Ighodaro as Teju, Dorcas Shola Fapson as Rekya and Atlanta Bridget Johnson as Joy. These actors were so convincing that the audience could feel every emotion the characters felt in every scene. Although they were in only one or two scenes, some of the extras, like Eucharia Anunobi, interpreted their roles so well that the audience wished they were given more screen time.
We know that sounds are important in every movie because it interprets each scene’s emotions and environmental attributes. Sounds in a movie can make you cry or laugh or be afraid, especially in a horror movie. The background sounds chosen in this movie were appropriate in conveying emotions like in the scene where Teju confronted Samuel about his plans to run away and leave her. Also, the choice of Fela’s music and identity being used in the early scenes was on the mark because of how carefree and wild the iconic Fela was in his lifetime. Popular Christian music was used in the church scenes to make them relatable to the audience.
The cinematography was impressive, with breath-taking shots and scenery. The audience could relate to being a student at the University of Lagos through shots like the library, classroom blocks, walkways, leisure spots, etc. The movie perfectly captured how most Nigerians want to grow from a modest and comfortable apartment to an over-the-top house with a beach in the backyard. Although some shots failed to convey the emotions in that scenes, especially where Samuel and Joy had a date in a public place after not seeing each other for years.
The costumes for each character were appropriate and fitting for each era and scene. From Samuel’s rebellious days in the university to his still-rebellious but somewhat religious outfits as a music director in the church. ‘There was also Teju’s youthful looks in school to her Mummy G.O outfits as a wife to the music director and a leader in the church. We could also see Rekya’s outfits as a carefree and hustling young girl to a “boss lady” and sophisticated woman. The costumes interpreted each character and what each scene represents.
The Man of God depicts Nigeria’s religion and family ideology, and we can totally relate to it. Have you seen the film? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!
Till the next time we review another movie, stay entertained!