I’ve heard people ask questions like, ‘Shebi the Bamiloyes have three children, the guys are stunting how far with the girl now?’ Even I have often wondered and hoped that someday soon Darasimi Bamiloye would take up a role or something. But once I saw her spoken word pieces -the obvious spirit move and another one titled breathe that she presented at the singles power night last year- I resignedly told myself that she’s found her forte and it’s not in drama ministry and that’s alright as long as she’s good at it and she’s glorifying Jesus with it.
Well, I’m glad to say that she’s stepped out of her cocoon and she’s done that gallantly. Darasimi Mike-Bamiloye didn’t just write the story of Haunted, but she also played the lead character, Rebecca superbly.
Once we hear Haunted, what quickly comes to mind is the early noughties Mount Zion blockbuster movie, Haunting Shadows. Well, both movies have their similarity with the obvious fact that Shadows from the past creep up on the present and threating the future of the characters, however, while haunting shadows majored on emotions Haunted seems to be the thriller perspective of it. The similarities does in no way affect the originality of Haunted as the plot is independent and different.
Haunted tells the story of a young lady, Rebecca a gangster who is involved in shady stuffs with the other members of her gang, the stray rats. Since she’d lost the only one she had -her mother- at a very tender age, it’s not quite surprising that she took to the streets. She’s haunted by the long hands of the law and her past. Running simultaneously with Rebecca’s story is that of the Johnsons, a missionary couple who lost their only daughter (don’t mistake only daughter for only child, they had a son) at the age of twenty, in a bid to abate the pain that haunts the Johnsons, they decide to take to orphanages in search for a daughter who would fit their daughters place. After long ten years of what seemed like a wild goose chase, they still hadn’t found a suitable substitute for their daughter and their hope is waning. Will Rebecca ever find a new life? Even if she does, will she ever be able to outrun her haunting past? Will the Johnsons ever find a daughter to fill the void their daughter left behind?
The screentime of Haunted is in the proximity of thirty minutes, and within that brief moment it delivers it’s message(s) in a succint and unmistakable way. Hanted is built on a simple yet rich plot and it’s not taut as it’s moderately spiced with humour. Technically, Mr. Johnson’s brain buckles whenever he’s under tension and so does the control of his mouth, the ridiculousness of it is a quite cringeworthy and very laughable. Another very funny thing is the lanky Daniel’s meeting with Rebecca, this one got me cackling.
I’d just drop a line from the movie that struck me; ‘When the devil confronts you with the realities of your past, you confront him with the realities of God’s word.’
All the actors/actresses are in character all through. Moses Korede Are and Blessing Boye respectively deliver Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Johnson convincingly.
One thing I find not quite right is the fact that all the stray rats including the boss (Gbenga Ayoola) speak neat english all through, this is atypical of the nigerian street person. The average nigerian hoodlum speaks pidgin or an english that has a tinge of an indigenous language’s accent and is interspersed with words and phrases of the language, even if they can speak neat english.
The picture and sound quality are good and when the credits roll a new Jaymikee song plays, one whose words are of course in syncronity with the crux of the movie and whose rhythm gets your head bobbing.
Generally, haunted is a brilliant thriller and a great debut for Darasimi Bamiloye. We look forward to more of her behind the scripts and also before the screens.
Story- Darasimi Bamiloye
Director/Screenplay/ D.O.P – Damiloye Bamiloye
Assistant director – Gloria Bamiloye
Production manager – James Tunde Owah
Background music/sound effects – Joshua Mike-Bamiloye
Watch the movie here