“Raised Apart” Explores Dual Roles and Identity in Nollywood
At the heart of “Raised Apart” lies Bovi Ugboma’s dual performance, where he takes on the roles of Bamidele and Ejiro. Bamidele, the sophisticated doctor raised in luxury, and Ejiro, the streetwise artist from the gritty slums of Ogiron, make up the central characters.
The story kicks off with the birth of twins, setting the stage for a journey that unfolds 30 years later. Bamidele was raised to be a doctor in America, and Ejiro, living with his drunk father in the slums of Ogiron, couldn’t have had more contrasting upbringings. When their paths unexpectedly cross, the comedic chaos begins. Bamidele, bound by an arranged marriage, enlists Ejiro’s help in a ruse that has them switching identities.
The comedic elements in “Raised Apart” are unmistakable, with Bovi’s impeccable timing and clever humor permeating the storyline. However, the film’s comedy, while admirable, doesn’t ascend to the pinnacle of excellence. At times, the humor feels somewhat forced, failing to deliver the hearty laughs expected from a comedy of this nature.
However, Bovi’s performance is undoubtedly a highlight of the film. As a renowned Nigerian comedian, his ability to infuse humor into the characters of Bamidele and Ejiro is commendable. His comedic timing is impeccable, and there are moments of genuine hilarity throughout the film. Nevertheless, the humor in “Raised Apart” occasionally teeters on the edge of predictability, leaving the audience yearning for deeper and more nuanced comedic elements.
While “Raised Apart” explores dual roles in a unique fashion, it falls short of achieving truly outstanding execution. One notable shortcoming is the depth of the characters. Both Bamidele and Ejiro remain one-dimensional, failing to elicit the emotional investment required to genuinely engage the audience.
In the case of Bamidele, his character is defined primarily by his sophistication and privilege. While these qualities are integral to the plot, they lack the depth needed to make the character truly compelling. Similarly, Ejiro’s portrayal, while capturing the essence of a street-smart artist, lacks the subtleties and complexities that could have made him a more memorable character.
The absence of character development is a missed opportunity in “Raised Apart.” In a film that hinges on the exploration of identity and the complexities of dual roles, delving deeper into the characters’ inner conflicts, desires, and fears could have added a layer of richness to the storytelling.
As the film unfolds, it becomes evident that pacing issues begin to surface. “Raised Apart” initiates with a strong and engaging narrative, but it gradually loses its way as the plot progresses. Moments of confusion infiltrate the storyline, disrupting the synchrony between the narrative and the comedic set pieces.
The film’s endeavor to explain the twin switch, a pivotal element of the plot, ventures into implausibility, resulting in perplexing moments that leave the audience in a state of bewilderment. The transition from a relatively straightforward setup to a convoluted explanation creates a rift in the narrative, forcing viewers to grapple with inconsistencies in the storytelling.
The film’s pacing, while initially captivating, falters as it progresses. The energy and momentum that carry the story forward begin to wane, leaving audiences with a sense of detachment from the characters and their plight.
The climactic final scene of “Raised Apart” introduces a bewildering twist that leaves viewers with a sense of ambiguity. The convergence of the twins’ lives and the inclusion of another character, Holly, add a layer of complexity that the film struggles to manage effectively.
Rather than providing clarity, this scene generates unanswered questions and a lingering sense of frustration. The film’s decision to introduce Holly at the last minute further complicates the narrative landscape.
The final act, while ambitious in its attempt to tie together various narrative threads, ultimately leaves viewers in a state of bewilderment. Instead of providing a satisfying resolution, it raises more questions than it answers, leaving the audience to grapple with the intricacies of the plot long after the credits roll.
In retrospect, “Raised Apart” emerges as a commendable endeavor that seeks to explore the concept of dual roles within the framework of Nollywood. However, it falls short of achieving the brilliance it aspires to. Bovi’s performance, while commendable, doesn’t quite reach the level of a fantastic dual portrayal.
The film’s lack of character depth, pacing issues, and the lingering enigmas of the final act contribute to a cinematic experience that is both promising and puzzling. “Raised Apart” serves as a conversation starter, encouraging discussions about the potentials and challenges of dual roles in Nigerian cinema.
Yet, it leaves us contemplating not only the complexities of identity but also the intricacies of its own narrative, ultimately making it a film that provokes thought and discussion. While “Raised Apart” may not attain the heights of cinematic perfection, it does offer a unique lens through which to examine the multifaceted nature of identity in the realm of Nollywood, a realm that continually evolves and surprises.
Release Date: October 18, 2023
Runtime: 1 hour 24 minutes, and 18 seconds
Streaming Service: Prime Video
Director: Oliver Iorkase
Cast: Bovi Ugboma, Ireti Doyle, Chioma Omeruah, Gbenga Titiloye, Afeez Oyetoro, Afolsbi Adeyami, Amaechi Muonagor, and Udoka Oyeka