Ijakumo is a movie that tries to tell a big, dramatic story. It’s about a pastor named Olajide who falls for Asabi, his church’s worship leader who also happens to be a stripper. It’s a tale of love, betrayal, and revenge. It sounds interesting, but it really isn’t.
At its heart, Ijakumo was poised to grapple with compelling themes – the interplay of faith and hypocrisy, love and betrayal, vengeance and redemption. Yet, one can’t help but ask – what became of this promising premise? How did this grand tableau reduce itself to a spectacle of banality and uninspired storytelling?
The plot, fraught with predictable machinations and clichéd twists, feels as though it was passed through the hands of one too many uninspired scriptwriters. It presents a labyrinth of moral crises, each more superficially explored than the last. Was the goal to stimulate introspection or merely to entertain with the absurdity of melodrama? Is it a tale of characters or mere caricatures, stumbling through a labyrinth of misadventure?
Olajide, the pastor turned philanderer, offers no genuine remorse or inner conflict, leading us to question – where is the depth of his character? Asabi, the avenging angel, is so singularly focused on her revenge, that her humanity is all but lost. Does she represent a woman wronged or merely a pawn in a game of clichéd plots?
Even visually, the movie falters, oscillating between the sacred and the profane with such heavy-handed symbolism that it borders on parody. Were the creators so unsure of their narrative potency that they had to resort to such blatant visual cues?
Ijakumo, with its promising premise and intriguing characters, had the potential to provide an astute commentary on faith, corruption, and redemption. However, in its current form, it seems to serve as a stark reminder that a good premise alone cannot carry a film. Like a beautiful melody played out of tune, the cacophonous result is nothing but a disservice to its original promise. The question remains – where did Ijakumo lose its way?
What went wrong in Ijakumo?
To be fair, Netflix’s Ijakumo is a cinematic catastrophe, a 2-hour journey that leaves viewers not intrigued, but wondering what they just spent their precious time on.
Ijakumo’s story feels contrived and too painful to watch. Its narrative arc attempts to weave together elements of suspense, drama, and what seems to be a poorly conceived romance, yet manages to fail spectacularly at all three. Characters find themselves in situations that lack credibility, and as a result, the audience is never truly allowed to connect or empathize with them. The plot twists – if one can even call them that – are predictable to the point of parody.
Character development is another massive letdown. It’s almost as if the writers picked character traits out of a hat and stitched them together in the hope that something coherent would emerge. Regrettably, the end product feels more akin to a Frankenstein’s monster than a well-crafted character.
Visually, the film is a muddle. Although it appears the creators attempted to employ bold cinematography and unique aesthetics, the result is a hodgepodge of incongruous visual elements that distract more than they dazzle. Certain scenes are so poorly lit that it becomes a Herculean task just to discern what’s happening.
And the dialogue? Let’s just say it oscillates between groan-inducing clichés and lines that sound like they were written by a computer algorithm gone rogue. The characters speak, not with the layered eloquence and nuance we expected, but in platitudes and grand declarations, void of any true emotion or substance. Is this a film that sought to tell a human story or a poorly drafted sermon?
In addition, the film’s pacing is so inconsistent that it lurches between slow-burning scenes that char rather than smolder, to sudden high-action sequences that feel disconcertingly out of place.
Ijakumo is a cinematic journey, but not in the way it aspires to be. Instead of taking viewers on a thrilling ride of suspense and emotion, it leads them down a path of missed opportunities and unfulfilled promise. It stands as a stark reminder of how the grandest of intentions can unravel in the absence of thoughtful execution. As much as it pains me to say it, this film is better off in your ‘watch later’ list – permanently.
Image source: Premium Times