on ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ the movie

I read all Harry Potter books(well most of them) before I saw the movies. In the prisoner of Azkaban the movie, I forgave the movie makers when they excluded, among other things, all of Hermione’s activism for elf rights. I made peace eventually with the fact that the movie adaptation of books will, by their very nature, exclude chunks of the plot.

A few days ago I got a message from a friend who’d just seen Half of a Yellow Sun the movie. He thought it was interesting.

Now I read the book years ago so while Nigeria was shy about releasing the movie, I only was looking forward to certain aspects of the movie: Thandie Newton speaking Igbo; I couldn’t stomach 12 Years a Slave so I looked forward to seeing Chinwetel in this one. Above all I wanted to see how the plot’ll be managed so the story wouldn’t be lost altogether

That evening, just before I finally did, an acquaintance (who hadn’t read the book but had seen the movie) spent a lot of time explaining to me how he thought Half of a Yellow Sun was a pointless story. He had to explain because when I read the book I loved it. He didn’t understand why we made so much noise about the movie’s delay plus given the title, he had assumed it was an important plot.

With this rather unhappy Convo fresh in my mind, I went on that evening and I saw the movie. When it was over I understood exactly what had happened. I thought the movie had stripped the book of its ‘life’ kinda like Hermione’s activism. The word ’empty’ would ring in my head each I compared the two: the movie and the book.
if you’ve seen the movie, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. would really like to hear them.
Olivia
@ndubuisithe5th

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18 comments

  1. That’s entirely sad.

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    1. Have you seen the movie yet Deinmo?

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  2. oma eziagbala · · Reply

    i was totally devasted wen i finally saw it. its so pointless,it was heavily scripted. were was d struggle,d starvation,d mindless killings? NADA! dey jst portrayed ojukwu as a coward and not the hero he was! they shld v gone straight n named d movie “the romance of odenigbo and olanna” for all i care.

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    1. Alright. For a moment I thought twas just me who thought there was some heavy stripping of the book’s plot. Thanks Oma for your time.
      Hope you enjoy the other posts

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  3. I also thought the movie left much to be desired. However let’s not forget that the book wasnt necessary a book on the war, end of story. Rather it was a human story in the time of war. Chimamanda, if I remember had belaboured this point in interviews. And since movie adaptions should mirror the spirit of the book from which they are birthed, I believe the movie succeeded. However, a little graphic scenes here and there would have made it seem less Nollywoodish. And I sat on the fence regarding the historical flicks interspersed throughout the movie’s runtime. In general it was a good film, from Mariam Makebas hilarious theme song at the beginning, to Kainene’s cutting British accent, to Chiwetel’s Igboness and the fashion and aesthetics. I found myself wishing I had in reality witnessed the glamour of the sixties. Only a good movie can evoke such desires. Nonetheless the book was better; heck, the books are always better!

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    1. Lol #thatsall. The books are always better .

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    2. Then again Israel someone had me compare Long Walk to Freedom’s movie to this one stressing that HOAYS movie would have done better if accorded the same or nearly the same time frame. Do you think?

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      1. I do not THINK Long Walk was a better movie, even though I watched it only half way. HOAYS did just as well. Nonetheless I’d like to think Long Walk captured the atmosphere of apartheid and protests better than HOAYS captured the atmosphere of war. C’mon in HOAYS at some point the characters looked as if merely in dire straits than in war, even the extras did too. I’ll place both movies on the same pedestal. But rate HOAYS hire of props and aesthetics in relation to the time it portrayed

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      2. okay i agree with you now Israel

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    3. Thing is I’m not saying twas a bad movie but then i was thoroughly dissatisfied.

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  4. well, if thats the case i wont bother with the movie. i actually enjoyed the book and we are still having a love affair

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    1. That exactly is why I was disappointed. Cos I really liked the book. Still do . Maybe you should see it anyway though Anwuli

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  5. Chitom Rita · · Reply

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it’s like you guys said, the books are always better, but the movies could also be much better if well adapted….i would see the movie anyways if i get the opporturnity..

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    1. please do Chisom, and let me know what you think afterwards. thanks for your time. hope you enjoy the other posts

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  6. Ebube Okechukwu · · Reply

    Well since i am yet to see the movie, i will have to hold off on that, lots of reviews on the movie i have seen do not do justice to the book. I hope Lupita does a better job with Americanah.

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    1. you have no idea how much i’m waiting for this one Ebube. big thanks for your time

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  7. I thought i was the only one planning to stick to books rather than their movie adaptation… Believe me, I still can’t bring myself to finish watching the film sef… my apologies o

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    1. my dear it was a serious something. thanks for your time

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