17th September, 2012
The modern cinematic adaptation of classic Greek tragedy, Oedipus, entitled The Gods Are Still Not To Blame, is set to berth in Nigerian cinemas and beyond in a matter of weeks.
From the stables of Lagos-based Catalyst Communications, The Gods Are Still Not To Blame was shot on pastoral and plush locations in Lagos, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon. It also stars tested thespians like Carol King, Baba Wande, Iretiola Doyle, Akin Lewis, Dele Odule, Gabriel Afolayan and Seun Akindele among others while introducing University of Lagos Theatre Arts graduate, Omowunmi Dada.
The Gods Are Still Not To Blame retells, with every gizmo and gadget of modern filmmaking, the tragedy of Oedipus, a child who lives to fulfill the tragic prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Here, Oedipus is reprised as the jet-set military personnel, Nicholas Payne (played by consummate director cum actor, Bayo Alawiye).
As the story goes, a child was born to King Adedoyin, and while the naming ceremony is in progress, the diviner proclaims that the new baby will kill his father and marry his mother. In the ensuing melee, the grief-stricken mother connives with one of her maids to adopt the baby and relocate to her native Cameroon in order to avert the prophecy. Twenty-eight years later, duty calls, and the young man returns to his motherland where he would fulfill the prophecy, warts and all.
According to the youthful director, Funke Fayoyin, “The film revolves round parent-child relationship; the concept of destiny or fate as well as love, betrayal, sacrilege and other contemporary issues. The movie takes an existentialist stance at the role of a man in the fulfilment of his destiny and upholds the view that man, rather than the Supreme Force should be blamed for the consequences of his actions. It is the opinion of the playwright that if the baby had been allowed to live and grow up with his parents instead of living with foster parents in a foreign land, probably the prophecy would not have been fulfilled.”
She continues: “The idea wasn’t only to introduce a new and significant dimension to the classic but to make it fascinating and appealing to viewers. Film production isn’t something that should be hurriedly done; it should be about breaking new grounds, setting standards and more importantly, giving viewers value for their money.”
Indeed, an exceptional departure from the run-of-the mill Nollywood storylines, the director of photography, Byron Ene, avers that in terms of cinematography, nothing else would compare to this movie. “The Gods Are Still Not To Blame cuts across the Nigerian border, we have the best of the best; the costume is bespoke, the cinematography is top-of-the-range, the actors top-notch, the production as a whole is excellent.”