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Up North Review; Starring Banky Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Akin Lewis, Rahama Sadau, Michelle Dede

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Up North Review; Director: Tope Oshin

Cast: Banky Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Akin Lewis, Rahama Sadau, Michelle Dede

Almost everyone who has taken part in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would agree that it is a treasure trove of all kinds of stories. Up North tells a pretty great one that manages to draw on some nostalgia about time in service, but goes beyond that to chart its own course and tell a truly heartwarming and lovable tale.

Bauchi is the setting for Up North. It is the town that spoilt billionaire kid Bassey, acted pretty convincingly by Banky W, falls in love with when he is forced to go there to observe his service year. While at camp in Bauchi he meets and becomes friends with Sadiq and that relationship, and the experiences he has in the course of camp stay begin to work on him and make him more responsible. Through a brilliantly executed social influencer tie in, Bassey exposes the audience to the beauty and richness of Bauchi just as he is himself exposed to the state.

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The wide expansive shots that this film utilized so well are perhaps the best thing about it, but a close second is the friendship between Bassey and Sadiq which is developed easily and stays true and sweet to the very end. It is the only love story involving Bassey that anyone should pay attention to in this movie.

Where the film is able to develop an adequate romance between a mostly silent Adesua Etomi acting as Zainab and Ibrahim Suleiman’s Sadiq, it fails woefully in giving the same care to the romance between the other two key characters. Steps are skipped and the audience is force fed a contrived romance with no real punch for its lack of actual chemistry or appropriate dialogue to back up the supposed growing feelings.

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Still this, as well as the flawed resolution to the father/ son story angle, is a very forgivable flaw in a film that also builds a feel good and jubilant story around some underprivileged girls from the North without resting on easy tropes. Here education is highly esteemed and supported Up North and the film underlines this fact over and over again.

Ibrahim Suleiman really is the star of the film giving a beautiful performance in every scene he appears. All the other actors also perform well with another very memorable performance coming from the little known (in Nollywood circles at least) Saeed Mohammed.

With visual appeal ranking very high, Up North wins at painting a pretty decent picture of every theme that it explores and does this with extreme respect for the culture and religion that it draws upon. Lapses in story are forgiven on this note, and on a tourism note Up North actually becomes pretty darn spectacular.

From us at Sodas ‘N’ Popcorn HQ, Up North earns a Popcorn and Soda.

Read Also: Kasala Review – Directed by Ema Edosio; Starring Judith Audu, Mike Afolarin, Gabriel Afolayan, Sambasa Nzeribe

This review was written by our film critic, Obianuju Okafor

Obianuju is a freelance content writer who has an avid interest in Nollywood. She has training in film-making from The School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University and the Afriff 2016 scriptwriting workshop, which enables her to gab knowledgeably about what works and does not in Nollywood films.

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