Swallow is NOT Kunle Afolayan’s best work
Swallow is a film about a woman named Tolani who is faced with the pressures from 1980s Nigeria including her job, love life and peer pressure from her friend who tries to introduce her to the drug smuggling business. The film, which is an adaptation of Sefi Atta’s book “Swallow”, features Niyola, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Deyemi Okanlawon, and Frank Donga, amongst others. The screenplay was co-written by Kunle Afolayan and Sefi Atta.
I’ll just go straight into it. The story had great potential but in an attempt to be deep they flopped.
I think Afolayan focused a lot on the technicalities of the film such as the cinematography, timelines and the costumes and forgot that all these great things had to be supported by a great story.
The introduction of the characters took way too much time and most of them were insignificant to the overall story. The film was titled swallow but I can tell you that the “swallow” aspect of the movie only took up a total of 10 minutes in a whole two hour film — We didn’t even get to the main point of the film until after 40 minutes. Was the film about drugs or poverty or love or fraud or a showcase of Nigeria in the 80s?
The most random things happened in that film eg the church scene with Afolayan as the preacher (unnecessary) and the scene where the little boy got lost — why????? How did these fit into the story?!!
The only reason I was able to watch till the end was the casting. All the actors were excellent. They understood the assignment. I was most especially impressed by Niyola as this film was her acting debut. She delivered the most simplistic role gracefully. Ijeoma Grace Agu was a great supporting actress too, showing off her years of experience in Nollywood.
I love the fact that Kunle Afolayan uses new actors on his films as main actors. The trend is quite evident in his past films such as October 1 with Ademola Adedoyin and Citation with Temi Otedola.
I also love the fact that Kunle Afolayan has carved a niche for himself with his creation of period pieces. He had a great concept with Swallow but missed it on the story aspect. This is not his best work. I’ll give it a 4/10.
Swallow is available to watch on Netflix.