NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 139

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In his two films under study , Afolayan goes as far as building desired sets where none can be found . In The Figurine ( 2009 ), the topnotch lagoon duplex of Sola and Mona was developed exclusively for the movie to create a reality not common in the Nollywood industry . Likewise , the hut of Araromire where the figurine is found . Also , the remarkable flight cabins in Phone Swap ( 2012 ) were built by the production crew , led by Pat Nebo , the scene designer , as commissioned by the director Kunle Afolayan . One unique quality of these sets is that they are so real that viewers appraise them for their posh dexterity , even before getting to the realization that they were created only in part . This further points to the ideological nature of the Nollywood films , which Kunle Afolayan is auteuring . A unique technicality not found anywhere else in Nollywood . Speaking on his style , he submits :
What I want to achieve , I have achieved part of it . It is to create my style and tell my story the way I want it to be told . Also , to tell stories that the world isn ’ t quite familiar with . I want to be known as a filmmaker in Nigeria , even Africa , but I know I will tell Nigerian stories better than anybody ( Kunle Afolayan as cited in Jasanya , 2014 , p . 1 ).
His characters and stories carry an undertone of sadness , i . e . sad character and personalities who live in a world controlled more by faith or fate , depending on what you believe . The characters in his films are always sad , irrespective of their social status or closeness to ultimate life goals . According to Afolayan :
Someone asked me recently why I always do sad stories ; even the project I ’ m working on presently is a sad story . The person asked if I am a sad person , and I said no , but maybe it ’ s because I think a lot . For me , life is never about happy endings . We watch movies and always expect the hero not to die and all that . Of course , sometimes we do that just to encourage some people and give them hope ; which I still do in some of my projects . But most times , I try to tend towards reality , and I try to deal more with facts of life ( as cited in Tadeniawo , 2015 , p . 1 ).
Furthermore , there is a definitive search in Kunle Afolayan ’ s films .
In Phone Swap ( 2012 ), there is a search for the erroneously exchanged phones , in The Figurine ( 2009 ), there is the search for the idol of Araromire , which bestows seven years of wealth and health , and unbelievably inflicts worse conditions after these seven years .
Also , in October 1 ( 2014 ), there is the search for the cause of the frequent female murder cases in the community .
Another trademark of Afolayan ’ s film is the travel leit-motif . He crafts his narratives to depend on a voyage by major characters to a distant place , which will eventually determine the climax and resolution of the plots of the films . In The Figurine ( 2009 ), the trio characters , Femi , Sola , and Mona , all journey from Lagos to the village of Araromire where their triangular love affair climaxes , and the figurine is whisked away by Sola . The result of these seems pleasurable in the seven years that follow , but the end proves catastrophic , leaving the audience to ponder on the true role of fate in faith or vice versa . Also , in Phone Swap ( 2012 ), the journey of the two main characters leads to a reversal of destination , which in turn produces all the thrills and humor of the commercial blockbuster . In the shots below , Kunle Afolayan makes use of the travel scenes to bring momentary joy and a feeling of uncertainty to his characters . These characters travel with the faith of achieving their hearts ’ desires but end up to fate and irony of situations .
Also , the soundtracks of his films have a characteristic of their own . His soundtracks evoke specific mood and atmosphere peculiar to the narrative thrust of his stories . The soundtrack in his films is not just an element of the narrative , but a character of its own . One cannot ignore the presence of Afolayan ’ s movie soundtracks , because they speak the language of the auteur .