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“A Green Fever” Explores 1980s Nigeria Through a Murky Political Lens

The film assembles potent building blocks in service of an intriguing premise about a family caught in political intrigue.
March 9, 2024
7:40 pm

With “A Green Fever,” Taiwo Egunjobi, as director, boldly attempts to craft a taut historical thriller set against Nigeria’s tumultuous 1980s military dictatorships. However, inconsistent plotting and structural issues ultimately prevent the story from fully realizing its dramatic potential.


We open on architect Kunmi Braithwaite (Temilolu Fosudo) frantically seeking help when his young daughter Ireti (Darasimi Nadi) falls dangerously ill. By chance, he pleads at the foreboding home of Matilda (Okezie Precious Ruby), unaware her ruthless military lover Colonel Bashiru (William Benson) secretly plots a violent coup during his clandestine visit. Believing Kunmi a government spy, the paranoid Colonel takes him and Ireti hostage as tensions boil over.


Taiwo Egunjobi

This high-stakes setup brims with potential for an impactful thriller exploring complex characters faced with impossible choices. Egunjobi quickly establishes an ominous tone through strikingly framed shots and disquieting music. Veterans like Benson impress, conveying the Colonel’s casual cruelty through chilling matter-of-fact delivery. Nadi also stands out as the talented but tragically underutilized Ireti.


Yet as the night unfolds, the film struggles to fully develop the dynamics it introduces. Promising threads surrounding social class divides and abuse of power lack meaningful exploration before being dropped. Matilda’s subplot about stardom dreams distracts more than deepens the central political intrigue.


While Egunjobi crafts standout suspenseful sequences, the shifting relations between the central characters often feel more contrived than believable. Major narrative choices feel designed to drive the plot rather than emerge organically from the established motivations.



Heavy exposition substitutes for nuanced development as connections between the four flip drastically without justification. Characters make jarring decisions betraying their purported intelligence and bonds formed on-screen.


The subplot about a mysterious cash delivery serves little ultimate narrative purpose. And references to traumatic historical events feel shallow without proper setup. Overall, the convoluted third act twists, while surprising, feel more convenient than truly earned through dedicated groundwork.



While Egunjobi displays commendable visual polish, the uneven script ultimately underserves the story’s sophisticated ambitions. The film exhibits admirable aspirations through its historical lens, yet its treatment of real-life national tragedies comes across as superficial.


In the end, it is promising to see Nigerian filmmakers undertaking more nuanced genre efforts beyond Nollywood’s usual fare.


One hopes Egunjobi continues refining his craft. With tighter writing and structure, his cinematic talents could finally yield the memorable thriller that “A Green Fever” only intermittently delivers on. For now, the film serves as an intriguing but imperfect step for this emerging voice.


A Green Fever

Release Date: February 25, 2024

Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes, 7 seconds

Streaming Service: Prime Video

Director: Taiwo Egunjobi

Cast:  Darasimi Nadi, Ruby Okezie, William Benson, and Temilolu Fosudo

TNR Scorecard:


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