Jolly Roger Review (4/10)

I had high hopes for  “Jolly Roger” when I saw it, which it eventually didn’t deliver. The first few scenes built up suspense, and I thought it was going to be a thrilling revenge story. But sadly, it turned out to be bland.

The story is about Brume and Najite, who have their lives turned upside down after encountering two drunk police officers one fateful night. The film jumps back and forth between the past and present, trying to give context to the story and reveal layers. But none of these layers are coherent enough to make the story gripping. It kind of reminds you of  “Collision Course,” which also touched on the issue of police brutality in Nigeria.

Infertility, superstition, police brutality, and friendship are all addressed in the movie, but none of these themes are fully developed, and the characters lack depth. I honestly think the execution of this topic could have been better, as the stories didn’t connect well, and there were many unnecessary scenes that didn’t add much to the overall plot.

However, the performances in the film are outstanding. Daniel Etim-Effiong steals the show, playing a man who has been betrayed and broken. Toni Tones also does amazingly well conveying a range of emotions through her facial expressions and eyes. Frank Donga, who plays Officer Felix, brings his trademark comic sensibilities to the film while still capturing the darkness of the story.

The editing in some parts of “Jolly Roger” is exceptional, fusing the two timelines seamlessly and building some tension, however, the production design could have been better.

Another area that the film fell short on was the makeup/effects. Some of the scenes looked fake and unconvincing, like those marks on the officers didn’t look fresh like they had just been beaten. Another was the continuity, which took away from the viewing experience.

I had so many questions which didn’t get answered, and so many things I wanted to know about the correlations, but we move. The movie had potential actually, it could have been a great revenge or sad movie, but it didn’t deliver. It just seemed as though they got tired and wanted it to end. 

While  “Jolly Roger” had its moments, it didn’t all come together well enough for me to enjoy it thoroughly. The stories were disjointed, some of the scenes felt unnecessary and it also had a bad ending. However, I still appreciate the film for its attempt to shed light on issues of police brutality, infertility and all that.

With that said, I would rate “Jolly Roger” a 4/10. It’s not totally bad, but not all good either. You can watch the trailer here. It’s also available on Netflix if you would like to see it. 

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Share them with us in the comments.

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