Behind the scene | 30 September 2009 06:59 CET

Imagine Mercy Johnson without hair


Forgiving and forgetting is one of the hardest things to do. 'Before the Light' shows this and more, as it explores this virtue that is difficult to have. The metaphorical title of the film shows how when things go wrong, our true selves come into light. Other important themes are also touched on in this highly emotional movie.

The movie is an extension of the Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot production partnership that brought us 'Reloaded,' but this time under a new production outfit and film school called the Royal Arts Academy.

Directed by seasoned director, Ikechukwu Onyeka, and shot in the beautiful city of Abuja, the movie takes the viewer on a soul searching quest. Its story is that of guilt, betrayal, loss, love and forgiveness. The characters experience pain and sadness in a way that attracts the viewers' empathy. Its viewers are likely to be as emotionally touched as those of Reloaded .

Desmond Elliot plays Harold, a doting husband in his second marriage to Temi (played by Ini Edo). He indulges her, though she gets on his nerves much of the time. Then, he receives shocking news that his ex-wife, Tammuno (Mercy Johnson), has terminal ovarian cancer. He is devastated and spends more time with the dying woman than his family.

Temi, meanwhile, is obsessed with the idea that Tammuno is trying to win back her husband. Her obsession pushes her into the arms of another man, Patrick, played by former West African Idol contestant, Eric Arubayi.

By the time Temi realises her mistake and tries to make up with her husband, she is pregnant with Patrick's child.

The movie tries to portray how difficult it can be to forgive a person in such a situation.

Though the acting by the major performers is good, certain factors put a clog in the wheels of the film. The sound quality, for instance, is dodgy from the beginning, and some of the earlier scenes are not very audible for this reason. As is common with Nollywood productions, scenes also suffer from unnecessarily prolonged action.

Still, it's not all downhill for 'Before the Light'. It helped that the producers thought it wise to use musicians for parts where singing was required. The soundtrack would also get a pass mark as it did not give away the storyline, unlike some Nollywood flicks.

Thanks to great camera work and the backdrop of the lovely Abuja scenery, the setting adds to the overall quality of the film.

Also, it is interesting to see Mercy Johnson, in the movie, scrape her hair till she becomes bald. Imagine Mercy Johnson without hair. You
don't need to imagine. Be sure to have your handkerchief within reach if you're the weepy type.

-By Obidike Okafor

Other sites The Nigerian Voice