Coming From Insanity, a review by ‘Chukwu Martin

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Death is the ultimate punisher in this flick. It finds its way around, sentences the criminals and leaves us with a modern tragedy. Boom! The end.

Written, directed, and edited by Akinyemi Sebastian Akinropo, produced by Ibidolapo Ajayi for The Movement Pro Production in association with BOI Nollyfund and distributed by FilmOne, “Coming From Insanity” is sure to be a money-spending adventure.

Gabriel Afolayan plays the leading man wearing the accent of Kossi the Bear, the eponymous protagonist/anti-hero from Togo living and working as a houseboy in Nigeria since he was a boy. Years later, still owing his service to a family who would later think it okay to send him back to Togo with N500,000. Grown Kossi must find his way out and join millions of Nigerians in the search of a better life, and this he did with a little more craze than many would even dare. His idea is simple, an idea that many Nigerians and many around the world have thought about many times. That idea that keeps you up at night because you don’t have the moral balls to pull it off. This story rockets to another level of Kossi lording a group of unsatisfied, and greedy youths to making their own money. This act possesses the main events of the narrative.

Starting with a narrative style, Kossi (Gabriel Afolayan) lends his voice to guide us through his adventure. Gabriel Afolayan finds his trigger and we can see him in his cinematic element like never before (well you might choose otherwise). He brings a certain amalgamated beauty to the screen expressing in dashing flashes, innocence, brutality, suave and a boyish charm that runs through the entire film.

This crime drama pilfers cleverly from many films in its genre despite its claim to be a True story. It however retains its originality in detailed visual appreciation of the film worlds social culture, context and its decent use of actors. I say decent because the cameos are subtly pitched in the film, not over-burdening the screen with unnecessary blabbers and screen time.


Quoting from Kossis line in the film, he mentions “…Obsession makes perfect…” The filmmakers however seemed a little more ambitious than they were obsessed with this project. Director Aderopo and Producer Ibidolapo have certainly pulled off an impressive debut, and since practice, they say, makes perfect, we can believe that a bigger, better beaten obsession will emerge from their stables.

Coming From Insanity seems to lack worthy subplot(s) and the sub-characters are a bit too bland to move the essence of this criminal adventure any further. To this, Gabriel Afolayan (Kossi) has to carry the cross. This is not the misgiving of the actors however; the writing and directing must take the fall for it. But then again, the fact that it is accounted as a true story creates a personal effect on its audience and this, I should say, is, perhaps what makes all flaws permissible . The film has a strong potential for elevation into that big crime syndicate and motion picture that could redefine an underexploited genre but perhaps staying true to the original story reduced the need to explore the potential of the story.

Here the question of Fiction and History come to reason. Should the accuracy of True life stories be sacrificed for the spectacle of Production value?

Coming From Insanity is a fruitful exploration of a crime movie for a year such as 2019, Nigeria, where yahoo has stemmed into a socio-economic culture among many. I say fruitful because to gauge a film’s effect, I believe the viewers interest in the outcome of the characters and events during viewing play quite a major role in the films impact and significance. This was the case with the audience around me in the theatre, hearts racing and girls squeaking in apprehension seeking to be soothed by their partners as they guessed what might become the end to the life of their supposed hero. For me, it was a matter of interest to know that the filmmakers were telling a true life story and these rather unscrupulous events actually happened; that is, if they told it “exactly” as it happened or tried to lie with the truth in their hands. Nevertheless, Coming From Insanity is a laudable attempt to revive true stories and crime stories in our narrative culture in Nigeria.


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