Shockingly little happens throughout A Young Time Ago's nearly two-hour runtime, and the little that does happen is all so poorly thought-out. As we're introduced to protagonist Tayo at a bar, a woman whom he doesn't know insists on hearing his love story—which turns out to be a story about how supernatural forces seem to have orchestrated the rape of the woman he once loved in school, and how a singer who was last seen with her tries to wash his hands of any suspicion (even if he thinks that he actually might've raped her anyway). It's an already tasteless and nonsensical plot that leads nowhere. Characters talk vaguely about who's to blame and how they can evade the fallout of the crime, while the survivor never really gets a voice or an opportunity to reclaim her control over what's happened to her.
The performances are awkward at best and totally inauthentic at worst, often leading to unintentionally hilarious line readings. And the overall technical package, while not necessarily bad, is just so flat and lifeless that it becomes impossible to track the film's emotional trajectory. And while we should consider ourselves fortunate to be able to see films from countries like Nigeria, which don't normally get a boost from mainstream streamers, we should always remember that a film this ill-conceived shouldn't represent the local industry it comes from.
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Actor: Daniel Etim Effiong, Mofehintolaoluwa Jebutu, Timini Egbuson, Tolu Osaile
Director: Tolu Lordtanner