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Shanty Town nollywood latest movie review

Shanty Town nollywood latest movie review

Last updated on October 10th, 2023 at 12:20 pm

Experience the hustle and bustle of Lagos in Shanty Town, an exciting series from Netflix.

This drama captures the stories of sex workers, gang leaders, and corrupt politicians from Nigeria’s largest and most populated city.

Get ready for an electrifying tale of survival amid complex political struggles and poverty.

Shanty Town Cast:

Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ini Edo, Chidi Mokeme, Nse Ekpe-Etim, Shola Shobowale, Shaffy Bello, Ali Nuhu, Uche Jombo, Zubby Michael, Nancy Isime, Yaw Naija, Omowunmi Dada, Mercy Eke, Shola Sobowale, Regina Daniels, Judith Audu and Peter Okoye.

Seeing the teaser and announcement of the cast from the movie, Shanty Town had us on the edge of our seats, wishing for a captivating Nigerian drama.

Shanty Town was received with mixed feelings when it came out.

The acting was great, but it felt like a hybrid of three different stories- Oloture, King of Boys, and Blood Sisters all rolled into one.

There wasn’t anything particularly special or original that set it apart from other series released around the same time.

The Story Line

We are taken back in time to Shangisha community, where a mother is running with her two daughters to escape from some bandits.

Sadly, as they attempt to flee, one of the girls is unfortunately shot by one of the attackers.

Back to the present, Scar (Chidi Mokeme) is a ruthlessly efficient leader of the mysterious community of Shantytown.

He is seen negotiating several questionable deals throughout the movie with his accountant (Ali Nuhu), who appears to be a representative of a higher power.

This only proves that Scar has tremendous influence within this underground society.

To celebrate her freedom, Jackie (Mercy Ike), a soon-to-be former sex worker in Shanty Town, throws an extravagant party.

After his meeting with the accountant, Scar attends to show his support for Jackie’s success.

At her freedom party, Jackie proposes the idea of gaining freedom to Shalewa (Nancy Isime), another sex worker and friend.

Shalewa is ecstatic at the prospect, and she is overjoyed when Jackie promises to loan her the money.

Things don’t go as planned when Scar reveals that Shalewa owes more than she thinks.

Meanwhile, another character, Inem (Ini Edo), is released from prison.

We are made to know that she was once a sex worker in Shanty Town but left due to the role she played in a drug crime.

The identity of the person Scar had been working for was kept a mystery until the second episode.

Where it was discovered to be Chief Fernandez (Richard Mofe-Damijo), a politician.

You can imagine Scar’s displeasure when Chief Fernandez requested that he reduces his involvement in criminal activities prior to the upcoming elections.

Scar goes back to Shanty Town, where tragedy strikes as he unexpectedly kills Jackie.

Scar is then forcefully taken away by Governor Dame Dabota (Shaffy Bello), who devises a sinister plan for him.

For the successful execution of his plan against Chief Fernandez, Scar turns to Shalewa for assistance.

Shalewa has a way in with Chief Fernandez’s son, Femi (Peter Okoye).

In a bid to speed up the process of having Femi be the downfall of his father, Scar gives Shalewa a charm to use on the man.

At the start of the movie, two sisters—Inem and her twin—appear to be living a cheerful life.

Tragedy stroked when Inem’s sister was murdered, leading to shocking revelations within subsequent episodes: Inem is actually an undercover agent seeking revenge for her sister’s death.

Inem decides to liberate Moji (Nse Ekpe-Etim) and the other ladies of Shanty Town by plotting a plan to get rid of Scar.

During a lunch date, both Femi and Shalewa are abducted by Dame Dobota and taken to a hideout.

After several attempts to kill Chief Fernandez, chaos ensured both parties were attacked, Chief Fernandez escaped.

However, his victory is short-lived when he is arrested.

Shanty Town is a massive testament to how much Nollywood actors have grown by perfecting their craft.

The acting performances delivered by the cast were truly professional and had a stimulating effect on viewers.

With so many exceptional performances in the blockbuster film, it’s hard to decide which one to start with.

One might suggest Chidi Okoreme, who portrayed Scar and made us feel a chill run down our spines.

Then there is Ini Edo leading us to root for protagonist Inem through her sheer versatility. On the other hand, Mercy Eke was given limited scenes but somehow still captured our hearts and left us teary-eyed when Jackie (her character) passed away.

Last but not least, Shaffy Bello brought life to his lines with subtle social cues that made them even more believable.

The cinematography is another excellent feature of the film. The amount of expertise that went into filming each scene was noticeable.

One scene that’s a great example to buttress this point would be the opening scene, where we are introduced to the Shangisha community.

Everything from the camera angles to the bomb effect kept us on the edge of our seats.

There were also several political satires that referenced issues affecting our society. Although hidden, one could easily relate a few characters to certain prominent figures.

As mentioned earlier, Chidi Okoreme delivers an excellent acting performance.

His role as Chidi hits the ball out of the park. In addition to adequately portraying the complexities behind the character, he reminds us why we refer to him as the OG Nollywood lousy boy.

This would be the actor’s first role in a significant budget film within the last five years. The release of Shanty Town is a comeback for the talented actor who starred in early 2000s movies such as Abuja connection, Blood Battle, Anini, Saviour and Last Kobo.

While Shanty Town has a great concept behind it, the several tropes in it make the film lack a sense of originality.

Rather than take a new spin on the tropes, Shanty Town follows the cliche route and focuses more on visual effects and stunts.

For example, the gang leader who works for politicians has been done before; a lady who wants revenge for her twin has also been done; two political rivals determined to make each other fall; and the sexualisation of women through prostitution is a few crime dramas’ go to storylines.

Viewing Shanty town might provoke confusion and frustration as the script doesn’t clearly indicate the direction the story is taking and the dialogue fails to capture your attention.

It is also predictable, as during the opening scene, one could easily assume that the shot twin wasn’t dead, so her character would run on a vengeful storyline.

The film felt overly long, as it was padded with unneeded shots that did not contribute much to the story.

For example, the dance scene during Jackie’s freedom party could have been shown within a minute, and the fight scenes between the supporters felt like the producers were trying to tell us how much work went into the stunts.

It’s slowly feeling like Nollywood writers rely on the theme of “juju” to explain how a villain gains his power and becomes undefeatable.

While it’s good that writers are exploring certain cultural elements, it was a sore sight in this series.

Shanty Town may not have been a great way to start the year, but the acting and cinematography are both excellent.

Shanty Town is now streaming on Netflix.

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