Not recommended. While ‘Alubarika’ isn’t terrible as far as acting and production goes; at two and a half hours long, it makes for a frustrating cinema experience – especially if you are not a sucker for Yoruba movies by nature. And even if you are a sucker for Yoruba movies (nothing wrong with being one), you have to know that ‘Alubarika’ is just another run of the mill Yoruba movie.
It’s plenty good for African Magic and IrokoTv, but ‘Alubarika’ is no ‘Olekú’. It doesn’t stretch any bounds nor does anything new. It’s nothing special. It’s basic as to be same as every other Yoruba drama premised on teaching moralities. But cinema is primarily for entertainment, not teaching. Beyond that, ‘Alubarika’ drags. And drags. And drags. And drags. Unnecessarily and discomforting-ly.
Note to Yoruba Nollywood: We don’t hate you; quite the opposite, some of our all time best movies are Yoruba home videos. But you have to understand that cinema is intrinsically different from home entertainment. We appreciate that for certain profitability considerations and expediencies you have to stretch movies to “part two” to sell more DVD units per movie. However, in cinema you can’t have a character crawling, turning and reeling in pains and regret, playing remorseful for twenty five minutes.
Movies made for cinemas need to be compact and concise – straight to the point, forever moving forward. Characters remembering long stretches of already shown footage is a morale killer when your audience is sitting upright in a cold room with no way to pause or fast forward. We therefore strongly suggest you modify cinema offerings for cinema.
It is interesting to note that even though they expressed appreciation for the moral lessons offered in ‘Alubarika’, every member of the audience we were blessed to speak to, responded in the negative when we asked them if they would have paid to see ‘Alubarika’ in cinema had they known what it is; too long and too scattered. We wish you well.