Release Date: June 11, 2021
Directed By: Niyi Akinmolayan
Produced By: Bovi Ugboma
Cast: Bovi Ugboma, Nkem Owoh, Ada Ameh, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Charles Inojie, Rachael Oniga, Akah Nnani, Zubby Michaels, Sophie Alakija, Theresa Edem and Venita Akpofure
Awesome-o-metre : 4/10
My Village People stars Bovi as Prince, a playboy who visits his village for the traditional marriage ceremony of his sister Princess (Venita Akpofure). While there he gets entangled with a beautiful and mysterious girl called Haggai (Theresa Edem). This “entanglement” escalates beyond the physical and leads down a shadowy and sometimes funny, rabbit hole.
The plot of this film is intriguing especially since the myth of “Village people” always pursuing the city people, so I went into the cinema expecting to be entertained and the film started on a high with so many laughs especially from Bovi! Then suddenly came a scene which was obviously inspired by another Nollywood movie – Sylvia. This film shamelessly ripped off Sylvia so much so that they also looked for a physical medium/element by which a character could freely passage to another realm.
The one thing that robbed this film of its entertainment value is the uneven and jagged tone as it swung from a horror film by employing jump scares to a mystery and then (sometimes) a comedy. I understand that the film is supposed to be a dark comedy but is the mockery of Christianity just for cheap laughs necessary? I felt like I had been transported to 1996 with the depiction of witchcraft as a group of people by the waterside with a bonfire. It was embarrassing if I am being honest because I really thought we had gone past that.
Also, there were so many unnecessary characters in My Village People and this of course led to unnecessary scenes and plot holes and a needlessly long runtime of about 2 hours. I could not wait for the whole charade to be over so I could leave.
However, My Village People had really cool VFX and their use of the sprinklers to mimic actual rainfall is commendable (although I noticed some inconsistency in the volume of the rainfall) Their choice of location, costuming and score are also decent and scene appropriate. The cast (individually) also put in good shifts too with Sophie Alakija being my standout character.
What I can say about My Village People is that it does have its moments, but its failings far outweigh the laughs. While Bovi and a few other characters held their own using their innate comedian skills, the film as a collective failed to impress me.