Reviews And Ratings: Shanty Town (Series) On Netflix - 9jaflaver



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Reviews And Ratings: Shanty Town (Series) On Netflix



Reviews And Ratings: Shanty Town (Series) On Netflix

Bretheren, Nollywood has started their 2023 on Netflix with a bang.

No, I am not exaggerating. If you haven’t seen this movie wake up and go and watch it, you’re not bigger than peer pressure. If for nothing else, watch it for Chidi Mokeme, let him show you that class is permanent. Who God has endowed with a gift, never loses it.

Without further ado, let’s get into the thick of things with this much anticipated (on my end) 6-episode series, Shanty Town

Title : Shanty Town

Producer: Chinenye Chichi Nworah

Writer(s): Xavier Ighorodje, Donald Tombia, ShirleyAnn Ede, Ayomikun Paseda
Director: Dimeji Ajibola

Cast: Ini Edo, Chidi Mokeme, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Nancy Isime, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Zubby Michael, Peter Okoye, Shaffy Bello, Shola Sobowale, Ali Nuhu, Mercy Eke.

Plot:

An undercover detective on a revenge mission, infiltrates a crime ring, and uncovers damning information on their activities and associates.

Review:

Yes, I know the plot is a bit thin and straight to the point, but that’s basically the premise of the story. Now, let’s get into it.

As earlier stated, Shanty Town is a crime drama, think of something along the lines of KOB, and you basically have it.

To be honest, I don’t know where to start with the review of this movie, because everything was damn near perfect, but let me begin with the writing. I’m very particular with writing, because I find a lot of Nigerian productions have some underwhelming writing behind them, but the writers of this story did a GREAT job. There were quotable quotes, relatable lines, witty words, and perhaps my best part- a healthy exploration of Nigerian indigenous languages; there was Yoruba, Igbo and Ibibio, aside the usual pidgin. Na the Ibibio sweet me pass. It was so well written, there were no plotholes, nothing to make you go, “Na for Naija this one dey happen?”, the suspense was suspensing, the drama dramad. Every event was interwoven to bring us to the climax and what a climax it was. It has been a long time since I watched something from Nollywood that didn’t make me pause and scrounge my face a bit at how unrealistic it was for the setting (okay, I take this back because of The Wait). The writers crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s, but the dialogue, particularly for the character of Scar, was my favourite part of this series.

This leads me to my next favourite part- the acting. To be honest, I have this theory that where there is a Star cast, one of two things could happen; the performances will either be really good, or really bad. No in-between. So, when I saw the cast for Shanty Town, I was hopeful it would fall under the former. Thankfully, it did. Everybody brought their A-Game, so, I’ll just be mentioning a few performances that made this series worth the watch. Perhaps my biggest concern was Mercy Eke, but she blew me away with her performance in the first 2 episodes. I didn’t know she had it in her to be so good. You’d never believe this is her first proper movie. I hope she gets more roles in the industry. Nse and Ini Edo were their usual brilliant selves, and then when they were speaking Ibibio to each other, E sweet me die. The seamless movement through languages was a joy to watch. Shaffy Bello had what some would call a minor role in the movie, but her delivery in the scene she was introduced pleasantly surprised me. I knew she had it in her, but I was no less giddy with excitement at how well she delivered her character. RMD, always the epitome of charisma and carriage, killed his role as DaCosta Fernandez. The inspiration for the character, and to some extent, Scar, was a little too on the nose. At this point, the owner of Lagos should start collecting money from these movie makers for the inspiration. Nancy Isime also pulled off a stellar performance, I’m beginning to enjoy her in crime dramas, from Blood Sisters to this Shanty Town, she’s always so good at them. PS, THAT scene was a body double, not Nancy. If you haven’t watched it, when you get to THAT scene, you’ll know. The body of the double was bodying grin.

Now, I have to take a special paragraph for this man, because walahi, na him get this Series. CHIDI MOKEME IS AN ACTOR!!!!! As in, HE DEY ACT. God will bless whoever cast him in the role of Scar and God bless Chidi for doing that role justice. My multi-lingual king reminded us of why he’s called a veteran. If you no feel that performance, check yourself. I love a good villain, give me a villain I can root for, a villain I want to succeed, and Scar was that villain. Kudos to the writers once again, for writing a character that was so exciting to watch, but even more kudos to Chidi Mokeme for bringing their vision to life. Delivery is such an important part of production, it can either make or break a movie, and Chidi delivered Scar in ways I haven’t seen a villain delivered since Shola in KOB. MC Oluomo would be proud, every agbero in Lagos would be proud. I don’t want to downplay what the new generation Nollywood actors have achieved, but Chidi is their daddy. I could only think of 3 others that could give us a performance so good, and I doubt any of them would have chewed Yoruba and Igbo like Chidi did. I hope this performance does not go unrewarded. It was an award-winning performance, and I really hope he makes it to a second season.

Now, on to other things. Like, the action sequences. There were guns, fist fights, bloody murders and a yellow and black bus that was dispensable. The action scenes were well executed, I loved that they blew shit up, and had a bus in an accident. The goriness associated with hacking a person was well done. There was some NECESSARY nudity (because I know some of you will start asking “was it necessary?” Yes! Yes, it was), some of you don’t realise that certain scenes can exist for viewers to learn more of a character. Trigger warning, there’s also rape, so, if that’s too heavy for you, be mindful. Overall, the action scenes were all well produced.

I liked the Setting. The series is set in Lagos, so, we see the ghetto side of things, as well as the more posh areas. Nothing is extravagant per say though, but every setting was put to good use.

With the music, I must commend the 2-for-1 deal some filmmakers are able to secure by casting a musician and then just using their music as part of the soundtrack. It’s a good way to bypass intellectual property rights issues, and the producers applied this by using music from Peter Okoye (P-Square), who was already a cast member.

Technically speaking, the cinematography was great, the editing was good, and the sound was thankfully, good as well. At least I did not have my remote on hand to turn the volume up or down depending on the scene. The costumes were good, I liked that Nse’s character had a steady choice of Ankara outfits, showcasing some Nigerian fits. I also liked Shaffy’s fits. Whoever was in charge of Special Effects was equally brilliant, the body parts were very believable

The series explores themes of human trafficking, corruption, organised crime, there’s a hint of spirituality etc.

As for criticisms, whole the fighting scenes were god, certain parts of it were subpar to be honest. It could have been better. Another teeny tiny one, at the early scenes where the wig of one of the characters partially slipped off, so, we could see her cornrows underneath. It’s an insignificant gaffe, but a gaffe nonetheless.

Overall, this series was a work of brilliance. A well-thought out piece and I’m hopeful Season 2 will be in the works. Please please please, watch it if you haven’t. And if you have, what are your thoughts on it?

Rating: 9/10


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