Set in urbane Lagos, Alero’s symphony is another blockbuster from the Amstel Malta Box Office platform. The movie “Alero’s Symphony” featured the cream de la cream of the movie industry and notable Nollywood personalities of timber and calibre. The cast which include Bimbo Manuel, Caroline King and Matilda Obaseki is said to combine class and finesse in its making. The debut of two protégées into the movie industry is also what makes this movie tick. Chibuzor Orji of the defunct Plantashun boiz popularly known as Faze made a debut into Nollywood alongside the multi talented Ivie Okujaye, winner of the 5th edition of the Amstel Malta Box Office.
The setting of the movie is also distinct in its own right as it encapsulates a unique and rare combination of the opulence of an urbane setting and the serenity and splendour of Mother Nature. The movie, which is of a musical genus, blends the urbane hip hop music of the youthful generation with an African variant of it.
The first of its kind in Nollywood, the movie tells the story of Alero- a young lady who has an unusual love for rap music. This unusual inclination is a passion that burns through her soul, one she knows she cannot but pursue to make a definite meaning of her life. But being a straight “A” law student, expectations are high and she is being reminded daily that she must not thwart those expectations. Her father, a high flying legal practitioner has plans for her to join his prestigious chambers after she graduates from Law school and so her dream of becoming a rap artist of renown seems to be just a dream.
Due to her sister’s impending wedding, the family decides to go on a vacation to a resort to spend their remaining few months together as a family. It is here she meets Lovechild, a fisherman and musician whom she develops a liking for. Their friendship transcends their shared dreams of becoming musical stars and tilts towards romance. As expected of two individuals from vastly different strata of the social cadre, society and decorum speak against their union and stifles any dreams they have of being in a relationship. But will societal expectations and decorum succeed in destroying the fragile hope of love for these two?
The greater part of the movie is set in a nature inspired environment. The use of natural settings in this movie is peculiar and creates an outdoor ambience of adventure and exploration. The use of natural resorts like Akodo Beach Resort and Lekki Conservative Centre bequeaths a nature loving atmosphere which comes across as real and sporty to the viewer and also helps in a better appreciation of Mother Nature and her many endowments.
Izu Ojukwu, director extraordinaire achieved a feat again with this masterpiece. The award winning director of other master pieces like Sitanda – the first movie from the AMBO platform and Kunle Afolayan’s Figurine has again brought his expertise and wealth of experience to bear on this movie. The use of music in The Figurine which espoused extreme vocals with bearings towards the classical genre was re-enacted in Alero’s Symphony. This movie immersed its natural scenes in the music type of Youssou N’Dour, the world renowned Cameroonian singer who performed alongside other artists in the France 98’ FIFA World Cup theme song.
The use of sophisticated caste also depicts an appreciation for talented and veteran artists as well as promising upcoming artists. Also the use of humour though slightly employed in The Figurine is well employed in this movie and depicts the director’s strategy to hold the viewer’s attention span. Though suspense was not vastly employed in Alero’s symphony the astute and tactical use of humour is employed as an attention gripping device. Because the plot is woven around a theme of romance, there is a downplay of realism as opposed to the practicality and pragmatism of The Figurine and this works well for this movie in depicting realism because few persons believe in the practicality of romance.
The movie begins in a lecture theatre where students of the Law school are assembled for tutelage. Alero, donning an ear piece is carried away by the Rap music and begins to mime the lyrics to the utter surprise of the whole class. The lecture is stopped midsession and the lecturer thrusts the microphone to her indicating she can rap for the pleasure of all. She, now aware of her environment apologises to her lecturer and the class continues. In this way, the passion and disruption which rap music has indelibly brought into her life is evident and tangible. Her ardent need to express herself via this medium is tangible and immediate. The director could not have chosen a better and more depictive way of illustrating this. Also there was a good use of inference in the movie, this is used in such a way that it tasks the intelligence of the viewer and raises the bar above some other movies with little or no employ of intelligence or suspense.
The use of afro classical renditions also created an ambience of opulence for the movie. This is more so visible when this music is set against the background of the spiralling waves of the ocean, the scene where she plays with the monkies and that of the crabs frolicking at the shores of the beach. The music is also used to depict Alero’s mood especially when Lovechild runs away from the island and when she goes to his shack to spend time with his sister- the closest she can get to him at that time.
The movie also defied modern technology as it is a simple masterpiece which uses the unequivocal distinctness of nature as its special effects. This is opposed to the popular use of special effects that is obtainable in the industry. The costume is simple as it is commonsensical and fits well the different scenes for which it was employed.
The movie though simplistic in its narration and depiction employs an above average intelligence in its understanding and its astute use of natural sceneries has made it into a simple yet clever masterpiece which is set to blaze the trail in the Nigerian movie industry for a long time to come.