Movie Review: “For Maria Ebun Pataki”

“For Maria Ebun Pataki” is now streaming on Netflix.

For Maria Ebun Pataki

Independent filmmaker Damilola Orimogunje’s “For Maria Ebun Pataki” tells a unique and enthralling story, with a well executed plot and cast deserved of acclaim.

The subject of mental health has pretty much become everyone’s concern now, with depression and anxiety disorders dominating the conversation.

However, filmmaker Orimogunje chooses to tackle a very rare kind of mental disorder- postpartum depression in “For Maria.”

During postpartum life in typical African societies, all attention immediately shift to the child and the mother becomes a mere vessel of responsibility, who must do all it takes to keep her baby healthy- even if it is to her own detriment.

Made worse by influence from extended families, most times the postpartum depression diagnosis are missed and the consequences could be lifelong, affecting both parent and child.

“For Maria” dissects this delicate subject with all subtlety and rawness, a quality you don’t usually find in most Nigerian movies.

Combining to bring the story to live were Gabriel Afolayan and Meg Otanwa, whose performances were stellar, with Tina Mba there on support duties.

It delivers a critical lesson to both aspiring and established Nigerian filmmakers- a film doesn’t have to be star-studded to be critically acclaimed or to produce desired positive reactions from viewers.

Of course, a certain “Chief Daddy 2: Going for Broke” is fresh out there to back up this claim.

From the recruitment, down to diction, lighting and camera perspectives, everything about “For Maria” stands out, and when you compare it to most mainstream and indie films straight out of Naija, you wonder why we cannot have more of it than not.

We can sit here all day and gush over “For Maria,” yes, that’s how highly it comes in recommended.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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