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Nollywood-Suspension Of Reason Needed

Suspension of disbelief is a term,used by many,to describe the relationship between an audience and a work of fiction.In movies,especially in genres like science fiction and horror,based on a premise of fantasy,and replete with fantastic or non-realistic elements,members of the audience are required to suspend disbelief,by overlooking the short-comings of the medium(film).This dramatic faith is deemed necessary for the audience to engage fully with the story and to be entertained.Even if there those who contend that rather than suspending disbelief,an audience simply chooses to believe the events taking place in the “secondary” world of a movie,suspending disbelief,for the duration of a movie,can be sustained only under certain conditions.

Maintaining belief in the “secondary” world of a movie,demands consistency of reality.The events depicted in the movie must be consistent with the movie’s premise,the fundamental concept on which the plot is based.Plot holes,gaps and inconsistencies,would undermine an audience’s ability to maintain “secondary” belief.The ability to retain “secondary” belief,would also suffer from poor acting; fake special effects,especially if the effects are gratuitous or inconsistent with the general story line.The genre of the movie,to a great extent,will determine the extent to which the audience is willing to suspend disbelief.For real-life genres,such as drama,action and romance,for obvious reasons,the willingness  to suspend  disbelief is that much lower,than for genres like horror and science fiction.

Which brings us to Nollywood.Given it’s lack of technology,it is only natural that Nollywood has had to “specialize” in real-life genres like drama and romance,the occasional “juju” movie notwithstanding.Unfortunately for Nollywood,these are genres where the audience can be unforgiving,when it comes to the quality of the scripts and of the acting,and rightly so.For the scripts and the acting,are the major selling points of these genres.People watch drama,romance or thrillers for the plot and the acting,not for fantasy or special effects,unlike fans of horror or science fiction movie(not to mention porn),who might over-look poor scripts and mediocre acting ,as long as there is plenty of “action” on offer.

That much of Nollywood fare is mediocre is not in question.Some of these movies are egregiously bad.In fact execrable.Even the Nollywood practitioners themselves admit it.More is the pity.Because,among there numbers are some brilliant talents.These talented actors and actresses are being let down by a cannibalistic system,one that feeds on it’s own.With the exception of the ‘a-laugh-a-minute’ comedies,featuring motor-mouths like Osuofia et al,any one weaned on Hollywood movies,would need more than suspension of disbelief to watch a Nollywood movie to the end.You would need suspension of reason.This alienates a critical and well-heeled audience.That the most educated and discerning people in Nigeria,are not patronizing and thereby contributing to the growth of Nollywood,is so painful.It is a tragedy.


2 responses to “Nollywood-Suspension Of Reason Needed

  1. dapxin February 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    That the most educated and discerning people in Nigeria,are not patronizing and thereby contributing to the growth of Nollywood,is so painful.It is a tragedy.

    The question remains though; what can concerned parties like you and I do ?

  2. henryik2009 February 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Hi Dapxin,
    Thanks for your comment.Patronizing Nollywood,as presently organized,simply rewards,and promotes mediocrity,because that sends a message that they can continue with business as usual.Not patronizing it at all,might lead to it’s demise.And Nollywood is important,not only because it provides so many jobs,but also because it is a vehicle through which we can tell Africa’s story,through an African perspective.
    What we can do is to push for the right regulatory regime.Check the posts on Nollywood for my view,on how proper regulation can improve Nollywood.

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