Somewhere around the thirty minute mark of this movie (while thinking that I’d only been watching it for about five minutes), I found myself doing a strange thing. It’s a strange thing you’ll probably find yourself doing if you watch it too. You’ll find yourself rooting for the criminal.

Coming from Insanity is the story of a young Kossi (Gabriel Afolayan) who was illegally transplanted from his home country, Togo, and finds himself in the role of a slave to a rich Lagos family. Many years later, Kossi has grown into a young man who desires more for himself so he goes about searching the internet for ways to make money. Soon enough he discovers the art of actually ‘making’ money and as such a criminal is born.

The storytelling here is honestly the best part of the film. It carries you along in a way that you don’t expect going in. There are a lot of parts of the story that are just told and not shown, but the viewer never actually feels the loss because the writers laid a stake on your attention in the first scene and they never let go. As the story progresses, your investment with the protagonist’s character continues to increase, and the writer manages to create an undeniable attachment between the audience and the characters. This attachment does start to wane in the latter parts of the movie but never severely enough for your investment in the characters to shatter.

The cinematography, mood and general aura of Coming From Insanity is quite different from what new nollywood usually sells. There are impressive shots here too but they don’t scream as loudly as we are used to. Even the music is a bit more subdued here and all of these factors work well to move the story along.

The performances in Coming From Insanity are incredibly praise-worthy. Gabriel Afolayan owns the character of Kossi from scene to scene. The question of the accuracy of his Togolese man rendition is unknown to me, however, if I can say one thing it is that the rendition is consistent throughout the film. The supporting actors don’t drop the ball either. Worthy of note is Sani Musa Danja. You might remember him from Nimbe but this film gives him a new chance to shine and highlights his ease in front of the camera.

It’s hard not to be enthralled by Afolayan especially in the first scene where he approaches Sonia (Sharon Ooja) to inform her that in the future he will be coming for her. The swag is loud, proud and endearing. In this scene it works! But in some other scenes, the writers attempt to insert swaggered lines fall flat again and again like in the scene where Oyin (Damilola Adegbite) reunites with Kossi and asks about his relationship with Sonia. It also falls flat in the scene where Udoka Oyeka‘s character is trying to convince us (through his dialogues with Sambasa) that the police force treats all crimes with utmost seriousness.

Like the lines that fail to convince, there are also story elements that you might have to turn a blind eye towards. These elements show up in scenes like the ones where only Udoka and Sambasa (or Udoka alone) show up to apprehend what is supposedly a gang of criminals… and then go back home. Or the ones where the audio is barely discernible within a scene. Whether those elements are as a result of a low  budget, poor scripting, or hurried production is unknown. However, these things are not severe enough to remove from the film.

Coming From Insanity is not necessarily 100% greatness but it surely is a nice attempt at something. If not anything, it’s a nice attempt at telling a different kind of story in a manner that entertains.

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