Based on a true story from 16th-century Zazzau (currently Zaria) Nigeria, Amina must utilize her military skills and tactics to defend her family’s kingdom.
One thing with making movies about myths, legends, and celebrated heroes, is that it always has to be done right. Messing up such stories can actually tarnish the image people have of these heroes and myths in their minds.
The impact movies and pop culture has in either making people curious to know more and marvel at a hero or totally destroying the image are unmatched and this movie should be a case study of it.
Amina started out great. Good costumes and set designs, and effortlessly introducing all the major players, including a young, brave Amina. It didn’t need to explain the impact she was supposed to have in the movie.
But once young Amina’s arc ended, the movie followed suit and stopped being good.
From blatant continuity issues like a fat stick on fire getting thin and then fat again in the same scene, or characters walking and talking and the next minute, they’re on a horse, to fight scenes that felt like they were fresh out the playground of primary school students playing with paper swords. Amina wasn’t the good experience I thought it would be.
The story also was haphazard. You had Amina going on a journey to supposedly get something important but she got derailed to the extent that the reason she went on the journey in the first place, turned out to have happened in the background even though she never went back after the journey.
I found myself rewinding the movie, wondering maybe I had missed something (or many things,) but all I was met with were the same scenes that made me really wonder what I was doing watching the movie in the first place. I kept watching, hoping it’ll redeem itself but it never did.
It was almost like the cast didn’t know anything about what they were acting. I’ve never heard so many different pronunciations of Zazzau in my life before. I’m now wondering what the actual pronunciation is.
There was nothing to show or prove that Amina was the military tactician, strong fighter, and other things history says she was, and that’s why I started this review with the opening paragraph used.
It’s really surprising that the same director of ‘76, Izu Ojukwu, helmed this movie. It feels like a low budget rendition of a story (that makes you question how accurate the depiction is,) with too many faults and not enough to make one say “at least, they tried.”
Is Amina worth watching? I think the review says enough.