Movie review: Prodigal son returns home in ‘Uno: The F in the Family’

Movie review 'Uno: The F in the Family'

Uno: The F in the Family tells the story of Junior, who focuses on making comics instead of pursuing a law degree, as his father Uzu demanded. Angered by the young man’s obstinance, Uzu sent Junior packing from home. Uzu never saw Junor again until after ten years when he returned home with a Muslim fiancee, Ruky. The return left the parents with the option of welcoming him or turning their backs on him.

The film, directed by Ebuka Njoku, stars Keezyto (Junior), Temi Ojo (Ruky), Abayomi Alvin, Chimamanda Ukwueze, Nkem Owoh, Jennifer Eliogwu, DJ Capello, Lorenzo Menakayo, Maryann Illebaye, and Sophia Chisom, amongst others.

From the above synopsis, one will easily know that the movie is the type that dwells on emotions. However, Uno: The F in the Family often needed to nail the parts aimed at drawing an emotional response from its audience. I won’t blame the actors alone for this failure because the Director of Photography deserves some blame. One notable part that would have been perfect to draw emotions was the dining scene. Sadly, the camera’s position couldn’t convey the emotion because it was too distant from the scene due to the angle it was viewing from. It gave me the feeling of viewing a fight from a long distance. The vibe from such a view can never be compared to what is obtainable when one is almost in the centre of the battle. Sometimes the camera captures the actors from below, giving the impression that the picture on screen was from a hidden camera placed somewhere close to the floor.

The plot that had Junior’s siblings blaming him for the lack of love from their parents was somehow awkward to me. At least, the directors should have given a reason to establish their resentment towards him. There was no need for that plot because the movie had lots to dwell on, especially the inter-tribal marriage and the coming together of two people with different religious beliefs. Junior was Christian while his fiancee was Muslim. His father held traditional beliefs but was married to a deaconess.

The failed attempt at stoking emotions also affected the acting in this movie which is not impressive. Take away the veteran Nkem Owoh from the film and you will get a feel that will be no different from Nigerian sitcoms of the 90s.

I can’t help but once again fault Nollywood for failing to invest in its movies’ looks. Uno: The F in the Family lacks a unique look. Whoever did the color grade might say he stylised the movie, but such is not obvious. What is obvious is that the movie looks like it is still in the REC709 color space. Cinematic lighting is absent, which ought not to be so because most of the scenes were indoors. The indoor shoots would have been perfect for cinematic lighting as seen in Netflix hit series, Stranger Things.

Uno: The F in the Family is not a movie I will recommend for anyone to head to the cinema to see. That is why I rate it 5/10. However, such a movie can do well on streaming platforms

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