I can count on my fingertips the number of films that have been adapted from books in Nollywood. I have always advocated this approach, knowing that Nigeria has more internationally recognised authors than auteurs. So, each time I hear about a movie adaptation of a book, whether or not it is a popular literature, I am enthralled by the enlargement of creative intelligence.
More so, there is a kind of feel-good sensation, knowing you have read a book on the film you are now seeing or about to see. Sometimes, it tasks your critical mind on how well or otherwise the interpretations are playing out, and while one is seeing their favourite characters come alive, they may choose to compare the director’s creative license to a mental picture earlier created from the writer’s narrative.
TATU, an epic adventure movie by Don Omope is the latest addition to Nollywood book-movie, authored by Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, the retired Director General of the Debt Management Office.
It follows efforts like’ Half of a Yellow Sun’, written by Chimamanda Adichie; ‘The Narrow Path’ by Tunde Kelani, adapted from Bayo Adebowale’s ‘The Virgin’; ‘The Concubine’, a 2007 movie adapted from Elechi Amadi’s book of the same title; ‘Maami’ written by Femi Osofisan and adapted into a movie by Tunde Kelani; ‘The Perfect Church’, produced by Wale Adenuga Productions from a book by Ebi Akpeti; ‘Dazzling Mirage’ by Tunde Kelani, adapted from a book written by Olayinka Egbokhare; ‘Beast of no Nation’, adapted from a book written by Uzodinma Iweala.
Before now, we’ve had few movie adaptations from plays, including ‘Kongi’s Harvest’ by Wole Soyinka; ‘Bullfrog in the Sun’ made from ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘No Longer at Ease’, both written by Chinua Achebe; ‘Bisi Daughter of the River’, adapted from the play of same title by Ladi Ladebo, Jab Adu and Kola Ogunnaike; ‘Aiye’, based on Hubert Ogunde’s play of same title; ‘Ija Ominira’, from Adebayo Faleti’s novel; ‘Koseegbe’, produced by Tunde Kelani based on Akinwumi Isola’s book of same title and ‘Orun Mo Orun’, from a play by Moses Adejumo, aka Baba Sala.
Running in Nigerian cinemas is TATU, one of the high-budget movies powered by Bank of Industry (BoI) under the NollyFund scheme, and next in release after Jade Osiberu’s success with ‘Isoken’.
A fast-paced action drama with contemporary take on the classic African story, TATU stars eyeball-gifted actor, Segun Arinze, in a conscious use of the sight organ as shown graphically on promo posters. And with comic moments from the likes of Hafiz Oyetoro, aka Saka, and Frank Dunga, the epic film appeals to me as a potpourri that assuages the different tastes of a film lover like myself.
For a film that parades some of the best crop of actors from Nollywood, you cannot have enough of the versatile Toyin Abraham, same way that Gabriel Afolayan has always had his way with movie roles. What more can one say about Sambaza Nzeribe, the AMVCA 2017 Best Actor. And with a theme on conflicts arising from a mother’s quest for a child, TATU must have been creatively crafted to educate and entertain. Little wonder it earned its place with heavyweights like Bank of Industry’s NollyFund, Patriarch Technologies, FilmOne Production and FilmOne Distribution.