Written by Daniel Nkado
This is not a cancel post – I am not going to say the movie is horrible and not worth anyone’s time. Despite my reservations, the new Ahanna movie has its highs. It checked the right boxes in cinematography. Only it failed woefully in one aspect (and really the most crucial aspect there is) – the story.
When I heard a new Ahanna movie is going to be made, I worried about this same thing – the story. For a story Amaka Igwe had already nicely concluded, it felt like there was no need for this new movie.
However, with the initial razzmatazz and hype, I started to feel maybe the team had something up their sleeves. I was disappointed. Did we need the story of Ahanna to be retold – I don’t think so. But will it be exciting to see something beautiful created? Definitely!
At the barest minimum, they should have just done a remake. Like a true remake. Recreate the story with a different cast and better technology. Like the other popular remakes we know. Borrow a leaf (or two) from the Disney kinds…Aladdin, Lion King, etc.
Here are the different parts they got wrong in the new Ahanna story:
1. It is not an Ahanna Story
If you are going to make a movie and call it The Ahanna Story, then I’ll be expecting to see the story of Ahanna. Interestingly, the original three-part story of 1995 already told us the complete story of Ahanna. This new movie tried to ruin it.
In the original films, we knew exactly who Ahanna was – there was a well-developed story arc with good progression. Amaka Igwe utilized themes of Igbo culture, family drama, sibling bond and so on to draw us into the story. Things were so nicely done that some of us felt we were living the story.
In this new film, the team wants to achieve everything at once but ends up achieving nothing.
The political message it struggled to pass fell off the rail at some point after the plot failed to arrive. There was just a lot going on – Omotola is coming out from this end, Ramsey Nouah’s character in Living In Bondage is poking out from another angle and Nengi from Big Brother flashes somewhere else. At one point, I was already expecting to see Nneka, the Pretty Serpent. It was just too much.
2. Ahanna was no rattlesnake in this new movie
It felt like the screenwriter completely forgot there was a reason the movie was named “Rattlesnake” in the first place. Or perhaps they did not watch the original films. This new Ahanna guy is closer to being the non-corrupt manager of a posh hotel in Victoria Island than being the smooth-operating street criminal Amaka Igwe introduced to us in 1995. And it is not even the actor’s fault, but the screenwriter’s.
3. There was no need for all the glamour and glitz
In the original films, Ahanna was the criminal genius we all loved and pitied due to the circumstances surrounding his choosing the life of crime. In this new movie, Ahanna was not even poor. Like there was absolutely no place to feel empathy for him for choosing to assemble a criminal gang.
The unnecessary excitement to become armed robbers and the glamorous display of wealth was just unpalatable to watch. In the old movie, Ahanna cried bitterly the first time he stole. And to think they clearly threw away every opportunity to exploit people’s nostalgia to their advantage.
Conclusion. I’d score the movie 6/10 and that’s mostly because of the good picture and cinematography.
And also for Bucci Franklin’s performance as Nzenaozo – at one point it felt like he was carrying the weight of the entire production on his thin shoulders.