The Lockdown Inspired by the Ebola Epidemic, But It is A Comic Relief of Sorts

Historical events do motivate good narratives on the big screen, but the directors’ interpretation of such events is mostly subjective
BY Nalu King

Omar Samir enters Nigeria oblivious of the virus he carries. His arrival at the New Calvary Hospital raises alarm as he is detected as Patient Zero. People present in the hospital at that point in time are forced to be inmates and their lives change for the next 21 days. The people who are involved must battle with their situation and deal with missed opportunities from being locked down.

 

Lockdown is a 2021 movie that was written and directed by Moses Inwang. The movie was released on Netflix on August 5, 2022. This movie could have been inspired by the events around the circumstances that led to the entrance of the Ebola virus into Nigeria of 2014 but with some twists. Lockdown uses the “Holovirus” for emphasis, instead.

 

Lockdown deviates from the contemporary niche in Nollywood. It presents a setting that is relatable to Western movies on zombie apocalypse or pandemic. In addition, the movie is an attempt at portraying a pandemic and how it ruptures a people’s everyday lives. It draws this theme from an angle that exposes how millions of lives can be affected by one mistake, measures taken to curb such a virus and the huge part the government of any country must play to curb its spread.

 

 

The movie opens with a simultaneous action of the characters. It gave the inkling that everyone has somewhere to be and are eager to get there but the simultaneousness eventually proves that they all met in one place – the hospital. This technique is very effective because the story didn’t lose its touch whilst making the characters prepare for their various activities. The story had in mind that they would all meet somewhere. It channeled all their planning towards the place without losing the essence of the story.

 

The movie also typifies a dream for the Nigerian Police Force. The reality is that the Nigerian police force may not tackle the situation of the virus as depicted in the movie but that is a dream and hope which Moses Inwang outlines. The doggedness represented by the men of the Nigerian Police Force to curb the virus by all means necessary in the face of social pressures and temptations to succumb to corruption exemplifies a hope – by the film makers – that the Nigerian police force can be better.

 

The movie does not indulge songs too much, but the little beats and songs used were in the right scene and at the right time. The melancholic beat that follows when the character of Chioma Chukwuka gets infected may cause your eyes to wet. Also, when Chike’s “Beautiful People” was played with the soft beats, it resonates with the hope that things would be all right.

 

The characters of Josh2Funny and Charles Awurum were comic relievers. They played son and father respectively and their characters give us a comic relief from the emotional tension and strife inherent in the movie. Josh2Funny, who played Sunny, was not a minor character who may just crack jokes and disappear. His role was significant and carried with him humor for every scene – humor dipped in violence of some sort.

 

 

It is of great essence to comment on the character of Tony Umez who played Mr. Martin. He hasn’t been on our screens for years and from what the Lockdown shows, he has not lost his clean, crisp and clear spoken English despite playing the role of a delivery man. This applies to Omotola Ekeinde who is rarely on our screens but has not lost her touch in acting. She is forever “Omosexy.” Jerry Amilo, who played the character of Musa Kabiru would make an amazing Deputy Superintendent of Police.

 

The movie has a balance of the Yoruba and Igbo language. They come in tiny amounts and were excellently depicted by Sola Sobowale and Chioma Chukwuka respectively. Sola Sobowale plays the typical party-crazed, loud Yoruba mother and Chioma plays the typical money-minded Igbo nurse.

 

The audio from the movie has a mixture of pre-recorded studio work and on-set work. This gives a different voice texture and tone and can create confused feelings for viewers. This reservation doesn’t deter the wonderful creation that Lockdown is.

 

The movie was beautiful to behold and is recommended for persons that love to see a movie related to pandemic and isolation.

 

 

Network: Netflix

Cinema Release date: May 28, 2021

Run time: 2 hours 24 minutes 15 seconds

Director: Moses Inwang

Cast: Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Sola Sobowale, Tony Umez, Chioma Chukwuka, Inidima Okojie, Deyemi Okanlawon, Jidekene Achufusi, Ben Touitoui, Charles Awurum, Josh Alfred, Jerry Amilo.

TNR Scorecard:
4/5

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