February 25, 2023
''sometimes the madness is never rehearsed, but it happens''
...with an entry into the world of four undergraduates of the University of Port-Harcourt, a.k.a Unique Uniport, Dark October introduces viewers, be it streamers or cinema-goers into the world of the average Nigerian student; their real-life situations and realities. Nothing was painted in a glossy manner as the movie reveals the educational spaces, sessions, examination processes and the numerous blemishes & glories of being a student in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Viewers are introduced to normal living situations of students; living on and off campus; we are led into the character of the leads, and their various aspirations, with their friends who show them all the support and love needed to cross certain bridges.
While Dark October didn't truly start until some 50-something minutes into the almost 2-hours movie, being introduced to the lives of the lead characters is an intoduction that took too long but was worth the watch.
Our characters did nothing exceptional when it came to embodying the personalities of the four in real life (as revealed by students of Uniport), some even go as far as imply that acting these characters was a disgrace to their personalities — to which I argue. They simply acted, and maybe it was not the best they could, they did what they did. And those of us who enjoyed it, did.
Till date, the occurrence of the movie (in real-life) is a sad tale of injustice, ill-luck and impatient decisions and the families of the four would forever be scarred by the fact that their brother & loved one was taken from them unjustly by an angry mob that was triggered by recent occurrences of banditry and theft in the neighborhood.
What dark october lacks for in cinematic aesthetics, better photographic dispensations and we cannot berate the crew for this as this is simply a debut, it makes up for in storytelling.
The ride through 2 hours was a truly breaking one. It's the kind of movie to watch with a towel in-hand as the occurences therein are genuinely heartrending.
It would have definitely been good to watch some real portions that were recorded by certain individuals during the real occurence but unfortunately, we were provided with nothing.
I would rate this movie a 6/10 not because it is a good movie to come out of the year, and for a start, a great one; even more, an important one.
Now, students or anyone really who wish to learn of this historic encounter that triggered nationwide outcry and mass protest by Nigerian students around the country needs not go through random mouths but can sit for 2 hours and watch what's been created and for that, the crew behind the movie definitely deserve some applause.