BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Fermented Sin is a horrible title. It is the first thing that puts you off. How does sin ferment, you ask? You get curious and get ideas. An affair? A pregnancy? A rape? Incest? What exactly ferments ‘sin’? But you get over yourself and dig in, and then you realize the title has nothing at all to do with the movie. The film doesn’t help your curiosity. Instead, it tells a hackneyed story of a playboy who gets his girlfriend pregnant. His father is a serial womanizer and his mother keeps threatening to leave but never does, which is probably why the playboy does what he does. He also has a typical ‘Yoruba Demon’ name, Tunde and his father, Kunle (this is tongue-in-cheek. People with these names, please pretend I never said this.)
Isoken, his girlfriend, informs him about the pregnancy, and they decide to get married even though they’re both just twenty-one. Their parents meet with them and that’s when Linda, Isoken’s mother realizes Kunle is Tunde’s father and that she would never allow her daughter marry his son.
Okay, so this is an unimaginative story, one that has been repeated like ten thousand times on Nigerian screens. Meet The In-Laws has an exact story, except for the playboys. The writer of Fermented Sin is undecided about what to make of his characters, so Tunde is sweet today, aggressive tomorrow and Isoken is altogether dumb. They throw in some badly-spoken Yoruba from time to time to give the movie a feel of naturalness but go on to repeat it in English for us as though the subtitles are only there to fill space.
Directed by Eneaji Chris Eneng, Fermented Sin hardly works at all. From its repetitive scenes to its uncreative plot, it is a sheer waste of valuable time. The acting isn’t any better, except for Jennifer Eliogu who shows up to work with some emotion as Bisi, Kunle’s wife. Saidi Balogun as Kunle is disappointing and makes us wonder what happened to all the years of experience he’s had in acting and filmmaking. The common Yoruba film melodrama follows him here, and he doesn’t take it easy with it as he puts it all on display. The melodrama is bearable in Banana Island Ghost because of its comic effect, but here it is mostly sad, especially when compounded with him forgetting his lines. Ayo Adesanya plays Linda, Isoken’s mother who is hurt and nursing resentment. Her performance is forced; it reminds you of her role in Omugwo where she added extra to everything. Ben Lugo Touitou plays Tunde with bland expressions, undecided on what he should be. The movie also introduces Debby Felix who plays Isoken. It is hard to remember anything about her other than her flat tummy, which is strangely so throughout a film that has her pregnant from start to finish.
The dialogue is cliché-ridden. It is full of ‘I can explain’s and ‘I just love her’s, nothing that challenges the mind. It is supposed to be a touching story, so it is also packed full with unnecessary pathos which achieves anything but its intended emotion. The director decides on a lot of drone shots that have no clear purpose. Each scene spots like three drone shots of Lagos (or is it Akure), before the scene begins. Speaking of Akure, we are made to believe Kunle and Bisi reside in Akure, but with the frequency of their visits to Linda’s house in Lagos, one can only wonder why they travel so much just to have minor conversations. If they have a Lagos home they come from, there is no indication of it in the film. At twenty-one, we do not see any signs that Tunde or Isoken are or were in the university. They basically just sit around in a big house, and Tunde’s alleged workplace is only mentioned once or twice.
There isn’t much to Fermented Sin, down to its message. While it attempts an anti-abortion message, it passes a stay-with-your-abuser one. It tries to pass a forgiveness message, but it sends an infidelity one alongside. Produced by Okey Ezugwu, Fermented Sin is a 2017 film.