#Nollywood Movie Review of ‘Head Gone’

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Head Gone is the story of prisoners, who escape as prison officials transfer them from one facility to another and psychiatric patients who also escape as hospital personnel convey them from one mental home to another.  The process of reigning these people in and the accompanying drama is the thrust of the film.

Dare (Baba Dee) and Lanre (Sound Sultan) Fasasi, (both musicians) collaborate to produce this comedy, anindication that the whole spectrum of the creative sector in Nigeria is beginning to interphase appreciably.  A fusion of talents from movies, music, fashion, comedy, the visual arts, etc. in their undertakingswill bring about a faster and more robust development of the sector.

Quality research went into the screenplay of Head Gone as shown by the kind of characters created in the movie.  These characters come with all manner of mental health problems: Johnny Guborg (Basketmouth), Carlos Adigun (Saka), Prof. Clem (Peter Fatimilola), Gen. Chukwuma (Zack Orji), Dr. Bayogo (BasorgeTariah), Kilimanjaro (Akpororo), etc.

Gen. Chukwuma is engaged in an imaginary warfare;Basketmouth is a drug addict, who poses as a cab driver, endangering the lives of his passengers; Prof. Clem is a mental patient, who is mistaken for a surgeon … the list is endless and the risk faced by the society with the unleashing of these criminals on the one hand and the mentally unstable patients on the other can only be imagined.

The irony in the story is that while trying to recapture these individuals, unsuspecting people are apprehended.  The characters played by Segun Adefila and the man whose car was stolen are sad reminders that people could set out on a normal morning and face unforeseen and unfortunate situations, which may alter the course of their lives temporarily or permanently.

It is difficult to call Head Gone a portmanteau film though it tries to imitate one. A lot of action is jam-packed in the flick that the scope of each character is not well explored.

People in this part of the world generally regard any type of mental health problem as madness. This movie is a right avenue to confront that notion.  However, that cannot be achieved in two hours.  Therefore, I ‘second the motion’ by Toni Kan (writing in the Thisday newspaper of November 23, 2014 under the headline: Is Head Gone the Funniest Nigerian Movie Ever?) that the producers should think of remaking the film into a sitcom. Head Gone is definitely a concept, which will work better as a sitcom.

In each episode of the sitcom, a particular mental ailment is underscored – the likely causes, symptoms, manifestations and prognosis are highlighted – whilst keeping the viewer amused on TV.  The producers should avoid a situation where the screenplay becomes watery because there will then have many episodes, in which the story will be told.  The creators must captivate the viewers by designing the sitcom after the best in the world: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Friends, etc. so that the audience will tune in daily or weekly to watch the programme.  A situation where the nurse (Eniola Badmus) in Head Gone walks for more than one minute without any accompanying action must be eschewed.

Screenwriter Solomon Iguanre, who undoubtedly understands what is at stake, should lead a team of writers to develop this sitcom, which may turn out to be a hit if well handled.  The idea of using art to challenge society’s preconceptions is a tool that Head Gone, as a series, should deploy to critical acclaim.

This model is an excellent one because, in one breath, mental health disorders pose grave challenges to sufferers and their kin while on the flip side; the issue is dramatized through comedy.  It will be brooding to have such a critical issue televised through intense drama.  We await the realization of this dream.

Amarachukwu Iwuala

Amarachukwu Iwuala

A writer … in pursuit of excellence

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