Before I knew what lawyers did, I knew the term “Objection, my lord!” Now that I know what they do and – to an extent – how they do it, I cringe almost every time the “Lawyer” character in a Nollywood production yells “OBJECTION MY LORD”, because it is often never clear what they are objecting to. Even more hilarious is the fact that the “Judge” then goes on to sustain or overrule said objection, almost as if the objecting lawyer communicated the reason for his objection psychically.
As it is in court scenes, so it is in police station scenes…and school scenes…and bank scenes. Ask any finance or banking professional you know to watch Lionheart or any other Nigerian movie that depict businesses and you will see them writhe in physical pain because of the portrayal of banking procedures. A lot of Nollywood movies are apparently filmed in universes where CEOs have total power and never have to report to a Board of Directors or anything of the sort. Ask a doctor to watch literally any Nigerian movie that involved a hospital scene and they will probably laugh themselves into a coma.
If Nollywood is going to appeal to more audiences and shed the lazy reputation it has acquired over the years, stakeholders will need to start taking their portrayal of characters, especially characters working in a professional capacity more seriously. This problem is not only limited to the usual run-off-the-mill “Nollywood” movies we see everywhere. Even big budget movies with ensemble casts often fail to do their homework as regards how everything from government institution to law courts to banks work.
Nollywood directors need to start hiring professional consultants with relevant industry experience to advise the cast and crew on how the professions they are depicting are supposed to act. From secretaries to teachers to security personnel to judges and lawyers – accurately depicting any and all of these could be the difference between your movie gaining critical and financial acclaim or being just another Bling Lagosians.