A Young Time Ago does not offer anything new in its plot


Movie Title: A Young Time Ago

Release date: September 1, 2023

Director: Tolu Awobiyi

Duration: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Cast: Timini Egbuson, Wale Ojo, Daniel Etim EffiongSophie Alakija, Mofehintola Jebutu, Sandra Okunzuwa, Tolu Osaile

For quite a few years, Nollywood has leveraged the creation of a wide range of content through movies and television series.

This is in the sense that gone are the days when viewers relied on family dramas and epic films to temporarily escape reality; Now, we have genres like romantic comedy, thrillers, and sci-fi that are becoming top content ideas across production companies.

Romantic films are a recurring genre that is shown on streaming platforms and movie screens. Judging by the emotional turmoil these films cause in viewers, it’s safe to say we live for it.

A young time ago

Some good examples would be Royal Hibiscus Hotel, Love in the Pandemic, and Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards.

While romance films are known for their cheesy storylines and undeniable chemistry between the lead actors, they must also possess one vital element: fresh ideas. With over a thousand romantic films, audiences have become very familiar with the plots and patterns: boy meets girl; They fall in love but they try; Something threatens their passion, but they get back together. This pattern of story progression runs through romance films, making it essential for a producer to ask, “What makes this story special?”

Unfortunately for the 2023 film A Young Time Ago, there seemed to be minimal scrutiny or reflection on its premises as it offered nothing new in its plot and reminded viewers a lot of old Nollywood films about tertiary institutions.

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However, the above maintains the impeccable casting, production design, and cinematography choices showcased in the film.

The plot

The first scene begins with a woman rushing out of the house. We are then introduced to Tayo, who we see talking to her boss. Uncle Gee informs him of a lady, Ukara, who is coming to visit him.

Ukara arrives and starts talking to Tayo. Her conversation leads Tayo to narrate her love story.

The producers show a flashback of Tayo as a young adult in college. He is very close to Kemi and likes her. However, Kemi is unaware of this fact.

One day, a singer named Magic came to his school. Kemi is in love with Magic and agrees to go to his party and abandons Tayo. Unfortunately, she is raped at the party.

A young time ago

After several days of silence, he tells Tayo about the incident. Enraged, Tayo joins a cult group to get revenge. The magic is captured and fired as he tries to escape.

After Magic’s death and her father’s orders, Kemi leaves the country. This tests her relationship with Tayo, who is soon arrested for Magic’s murder.

Their paths soon cross, leaving a ray of hopeful love.

The good

Without a doubt, A Young Time Ago has a lineup of incredible songs. The soundtrack is magnificent. The selected songs offered viewers a sense of nostalgia and were not distracting.

The production design is also applaudable, as the choice to execute an accurate visual representation of a university setting was well made.

A long time ago we saw actors bare their souls through their characters. The casting choice was a good one, as the similarity between older and younger Tayo is uncanny, especially when it comes to his mannerisms.

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The bad

The film needed clarification on the message it was trying to convey. While it is very understandable that the film preaches the moral message that rape is the scourge, the introduction of supernatural elements did not add up. In the end, Uncle Gee is revealed to be an angel, but he’s not fully developed to see how that plays out in the story. While we understand that he is the one who, in a way, changed Tayo’s life, his sudden revelation is hard to believe. The writer could have helped by providing more clues about him beyond the man in the suit we saw at the Magic party.

The performances of some cast members were also flat. The morning scene, where a group of friends were lamenting about what to do with Kemi, did not convey the desired effect that she should have. The characters had almost blank expressions, making it difficult to buy whatever they were selling.

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Finally, we come to the narrative. A while ago, romantic clichés were used a lot: boy in love with a girl who doesn’t notice him, the girl falls in love with a bad boy who just wants to use him, the boy sacrifices himself for a girl, the boy spends his entire life He waits for a girl, although he is not sure he will ever meet her, the girl returns and they live happily ever after. The elements that differentiate A Young Time Ago from romantic cinema are the theme of rape, although it was a generic approach, just as the introduction of supernatural elements did not fit.

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final verdict

5/10. A Young Time Ago may not offer a new perspective on storytelling, but it will take you back to the years when singers from the Mohit record label ruled the airwaves.

A Young Time is streaming on Prime Video.

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