There was an argument about its pioneering claim in Nigeria but what is certain is Kajola is a noteworthy and quick to be tagged trailblazing effort from Niyi Akinmolayan. Kajola which translates as ‘commonwealth’ in the Yoruba dialect is from the stable of Port Harcourt based record label and film studio Adonai Production. CGI is an acronym for Computer generated Images and ‘Kajola’ combines real images/camera shots of Lagos and abstract computer generated illustration to deliver a story shot in the year 2059 and the plot is Lagos, Nigeria. A rebel leader, Allen is born that is played by Adonijah Owiriwa compulsed by the torn Lagos state after a second civil war – The rich relocate to the island area of the state, transforming their side of town while the mainlanders were abandoned. Allen led a rebellion against the government in a plot codenamed ‘Kajola’ . Police Chief Yetunde [played by Keira Hewatch] is to stop the rebellion. Somewhere into the movie, they came to a realization – that they were lied to. “It is a story of love, lust and struggle for power” in Niyi Akinmolayan’s words. “We have told the same story in a different premise using sci – fi as a medium and using special effects” the director/writer added.
Still can’t picture what the movie might be? Imagine a music video director Clarence Peters taking the video for Mike Anyasodo’s fine fine lady and making it into a 90 minutes flick or a PXC doing a music video of the mentioned length for M.I.’s safe or Djinee’s Overkilling – one doesn’t need to be a technie to understand it’s a herculean task that requires team and perseverance. The script was written five years ago by Niyi Akinmolayan, the director who is a self taught visual effect compositor.
At a press conference held on the 9th of June, the Director explained how the movie was inspired by his relocation from the mainland to the island and Charles Dickens’ tales of two cities. Besides been a CGI movie, It might also interest you that the movie gulped a 130 million budget and lasted a production period of 18 months. Camera shots were taken in Lagos but moved to Port Harcourt for editing, special effects and post production. The challenge with power since relying on the grid system would be unwise was to acquire six generating sets with 40 dual core computer systems used to simulate the explosion scenes in the movie. The characters were not generated, Desmond Elliot played the power drunk Inspector General of Police, less known acts Adonijah Owiriwa, TJ Morgan, Cassandra Odita and Keira Hewatch of ‘Dear Mother’, ‘Tinsel’ and ‘Just the two of us’ soap opera fame starred in Kajola. Lead actors took professional one-month marital art classes and their leather costumes were hand made to suit each character – is that enough appetizer to see the movie? Kajola would be available on the 30th of July at the Cinemas.
When the budget was mentioned – check for the sponsors produced Riverdrill Group, New dawn and Greater Port-Harcourt City project by the River State government.
Stating clearly that a movie can’t not be reviewed from a trailer but it serves well as a window and a decision should be reached after seeing one but only appropriate that a review comes after the screening to happen a week before the movie is available in cinemas.
The movie wouldn’t pass with its criticism [draw from watching just the trailer] – deciding to leave out the underwhelming CGI that doesn’t enhance the movie’s sense of realism as it is a springing effort from Anthill and Niyi, one would notice conspicuously the flaws with the make up. The benchmark is the average science fiction already available in the Nigerian market largely from Hollywood and Kajola should achieve in terms of realism something close – the 130 million naira budget gets mentioned and James Cameron’s Avatar set in Lagos is expected. While the actual plot mechanics of Kajola are inventive, still can’t be said if the world set in 2059 where the characters inhabit makes sense but the trailer clearly shows underwhelming CGI that doesn’t enhance the movie’s sense of realism.