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Nyara – The Kidnapping Film Review: Lacks Originality

Article by Oliver Nash
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Posted: March 10, 2021  

The Rundown

Nyara -The Kidnapping is a 2020 Tanzanian action thriller film directed by Ram Ally Kasongo, and written by Aanand Lonkar and Cece Mlay. The film stars Paul Peter, Rose Donatus Ndauka, Edward Chagula, Bertha Abdalla, Tiko Hassan, Cojack Chilo, brothers Barakah, Denis and Jimmy Singano.

The plot follows nine-year-old Rehema (Abdallah) kidnapped by an infamous gang of criminals led by an ex-military officer turned serial killer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Adam ( Chilo), Rehema’s wealthy dad, seeks the help of Detective Faith Komba of the Special Forces undercover unit, who also happens to be the sister-in-law, and three agents Paul, Baraka and Santos to rescue his only child.

The Review

Nyara runs for approximately 75 minutes, of which at least five are opening credits. The debut feature film from Wanene Entertainment recently started showing in Kenyan cinemas, and Nyara is here to remind filmgoers that yes, movies really can be this bad.

Nyara, an African version of Liam Neeson’s Taken took three years to complete. But even more time in production would have been essential to enrich the film. The thriller is fueled by a premise it seemingly never bothers to develop into an actual, believable plot. A few more convincing obstacles for the criminal gang and detective agents to overcome would have greatly boosted the plot.

Yet again, it is high time we, as Africans, stopped praising bad movies with light terms such as “it was a great attempt” or “it could have been worse” to justify their shortcomings and demand better. If streaming giants like Netflix can recognize efforts made by some exceptional African films and deem them good enough to showcase in their catalogue (40 Sticks, Disconnect and Sincerely Daisy to mention but a few), it should be a testament that better is expected in theatres.

The Hits

• Use of Swahili language, with English subtitles.
• The film’s soundtrack and original score were a delight.
• The great cinematography made for better visual storytelling of the film.

The Misses
• Lack of a meaningful script.
• The casting was an eyesore.
• The post credit scene failed to meet its cliffhanger expectation.

OMG Moment
None whatsoever.

If you want to watch it, you can get your tickets on KenyaBuzz.

Also ReadRam Kasongo & Darsh Pandit on Directing & Producing Kiswahili Action Thriller “Nyara” 

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