1. THE INTRO: This crazy movie, before you even gain a sight of anything on the screen, titillates you with a haunting sound of the forest.
And you cannot but respond to the auditory stimuli which continues it’s journey to the crescendo with the sound of war drums when the bird eye of the camera finally opens and takes a gentle flight over the ominous verdant forest below.
Then follows the Yorùbá chant, the unapologetic Yorùbá Poetry that encapsulates the spirit of the story that holds you spellbound to the screen till the very last second.
And throughout the movie, the sound effect (SFX) holds the telling tight, so tight you’d scream!
Every movement, every strike, every touch, every cry, every chuckle is stringently documented.
No Yorùbá epic movie has paid such attention to sound effects.
Even the music that plays when the credits scroll up the screen at the end is painstakingly sequenced.
Everything has a unique sound!
Ha! A Yoruba epic movie!
2. THE UNAPOLOGETIC NATURE OF JAGUNJAGUN: Jagunjagun is unapologetically rendered in Yorùbá!
The monologues and dialogues in Jagunjagun oscillate between poetry and incantations with the best of syllogisms, thereby having the unspeakable linguistic capacity to make nature tumble in obeisance to power voices.
Even simple conversations are loaded with metaphors and imagery from Yorùbá linguistic cosmology.
When the characters speak, you can hear the power and majesty of the Yoruba language in their voices. They speak with passion, power, and colour befitting each scene and personality.
It reinforces the intrinsic power of words rendered in the language of the gods. Gbọ́tìjà, son of Làgbàyí practically speaks to trees and have them obey him.
Can the trees understand the English language? Rendering this movie in English would have destroyed the epic linguistic-cum-spiritual dimensions of the story.
3. JAGUNJAGUN obviously meets Netflix’s technical specifications on scripting, picture, acting, and sound. That is why the movie is showing there.
The story gets you curious. You just want to know the end of these warriors.
The sound will definitely knock you out of your seat. Nothing escapes notice.
The actors deeply weave their spirits into the life of the script so much that you get lost in every scene.
There are moments you’d hold your breath. Other times, it’s a heavy heave.
The picture quality is topnotch.
4. What Jagunjagun achieves with the lighting, cinematography, and visual effects (VFX) is simply epic. I have never seen such in an epic Yorùbá movie.
There are camera angles that are poetic and emblematic of warrior psychology. On Gbọ́tìjà’s way to war school, some shots reveal him as a silhouette as the evening sun appears in the horizons.
The lights are skillfully managed in power rooms and scenes shot at dusk. Light reflections on men of might sometimes depict them as gods among men.
5. Jagunjagun is a thoroughly researched movie project. It is evident in the costumes, the stunts, the makeup, the settings, and the twist in the story line. The introduction to Ògúnjìmí’s palace already creates the aura that you are entering the abode of a brutal warlord who inspires fear.
From the settings, you can tell that they were built for filmic purposes. We don’t get to see a lot of Nollywood movies with settings specifically made for shooting purposes.
The war scenes are creatively designed in such a way that every stunt contributes to the progress of the whole story, not just meaningless stunts. The director created cinematic order in the disorderliness of those scenes.
6. Characterisation. All the actors (major and minor) handle their roles with rare professional touches.
The casting doesn’t keep some actors in their comfort zones. Mr Macaroni is a warrior, miles away from his usual comic roles. Tayo Amokade, known as Ijebu is kept way out of comic functions. The same goes for Yemi Elesho who is also a war student.
I know you are trying to create a negative review so that we can say you are woke. It’s ok.
But let’s not deny these guys their flowers.
If it were easy, everyone would do it.
Femi Adebayo achieved a feat that many African movie makers have not been able to achieve.
Now, we are waiting for the critics to produce an epic movie that will beat #jagunjagunthemovie
Until then, let’s give all the brains behind this project their flowers 🌹🌻💞
MEASURING THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVER AND DEITY; ÌRÒYÌNOGUNKÌÍTÁN VS AGẸMỌ
Meet Bukunmi Oluwashina, Ìròyìnogunkìítán in “Jagunjagun.”
Her name (Ìròyìnogunkìítán) solidifies the concept of the immortality of stories, especially stories of war.
She is a slave girl and a goddess rolled into one. The duplicity of her character is the joker of the plot.
When she is Ìròyìnogunkìítán, her humanity shines forth. She is part of Ògúndìjí’s spoils of war. She carries in her bosom the memories of her home and how she loses everything.
She is the relentless lover of Gbọ́tìjà who encourages him to prove himself as a worthy warrior ready to conquer all obstacles in the way of love.
It is with her we learn that love is war; that love is courage.
But this soft-spoken beauty of Ògúndìjí’s house is whirlwind and fire when she becomes Agẹmọ. She knows neither tenderness nor love.
When Ògúndìjí-invoked Agẹmọ’s spirit descends on Ìròyìnogunkìítán, she moves in the speed of light and thunder and fire.
Agẹmọ is the go-to deity of war whenever Ògúndìjí’s men meet a higher force on the battlefield.
The costume changes (that of a masquerade). Agẹmọ is ará òrun, a blood-thirsty fierce force always waiting to be invoked.
But, in a moment of weakness, when the tree comes to the aid of Gbọ́tìjà, it is revealed that Ògúndìjí subdues Ìròyìnogunkìítán so that she becomes a reluctant custodian of the Agẹmọ deity.
Bùkúnmi Olúwaṣína applied her unquestionable artistry to the execution of the two characters she embodied on the set of “Jagunjagun.”
It is no wonder that in 2015, she was the Best Actress of the year (Best of Nollywood Awards) for her movie “Ayọ̀mi.”