Director : Katung Asuwak
Producer(s) : Katung Aduwak and Tenyin Ikpe Etim
Starring : Bimbo Akintola, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Kalu Ikeagwu, Femi Jacobs, Gideon Okeke, Chet Anekwe, Linda Ejiofor, katherine Obiang, Damilola Adegbite, OC Ukeje and Aituaje Iruobe (Waje)
Genre : Thriller
Release Date : May 10, 2019 (Nigeria)
Awesome-o-Metre : 4.0/10
Revue of HEAVEN’S HELL
Heaven’s Hell is a psychological thriller about best friends (Bimbo Akintola and Nse Ikpe-Etim) whose lives seem happy and filled with love until secrets; betrayal, deceit and darkness wreck their worlds in ways they could never have imagined.
I am sure you recall the trailer where Damilola Adegbite threatened to marry Bimbo Akintola’s husband? Well, the trailer hoodwinked me into believing that Heaven’s Hell was going to be a thriller about romance but I couldn’t be farther from the truth because the crux of this film was addressing the social malaise of physical and emotional abuse and its adverse effects in society.
Still talking about the trailer, that threat by Damilola is literally the best part of the film and was a very bright selling point. Agreed that the film’s focus is a social issue, but the audience needs to be entertained while being educated. In all honesty, a lot of this film was boring because the producers wanted to connect stories of various families and this gave Heaven’s Hell a jagged and rough feel. I put this down to poor scripting and poor directing, because despite the multiple stories a skillful director could have put it together. This project is ambitious but Katung showed some naivety in his directing that you would be excused to think that Heaven’s Hell is a pioneer project.
Maybe because the film is supposedly based on an ongoing true life event, the conclusion of the film smacked of a lack of creativity. There was little conflict resolution and even though the producers attempted to use a cliff hanger to end Heaven’s Hell this was a bad idea because it left so many lose ends and almost implied a sequel…which for the love of God shouldn’t see the light of day. Also, Heaven’s Hell employed a lot of profanity and explicit scenes to attempt to shock the audience and yes it worked… it was however not balanced with sufficient depth and plot material to make the profanity and explicit scenes more like a realistic presentation of events than the actual focus of the movie… Another source of vexation was the text at the bottom of the screen was largely inaccurate and filled with typographical errors.
That said, the bright side of Heaven’s Hell is its sterling cast who individually put in fantastic performances. Bimbo Akintola is in a class of her own and Damilola Adegbite is just the perfect temptress.
I am sorry that I am being hard on Heaven’s Hell but when we pay premium, we should get good value for our money, and this film wasn’t it at all. That said, I respect Katung for his ambitious foray into filmmaking to address social ills. It is however a difficult task and not for the faint-hearted. It might be easier to pursue the cause against domestic violence by using his clout to back an NGO.