The Lost Okoroshi is a 2019 Osiris Film and Entertainment production directed by Abba Makama. He wrote the screenplay with Africa Ukoh and produced it with Rimini Makama.
The movie follows Raymond (Seun Ajayi), a disillusioned security guard with dreams of leaving Lagos for peaceful farm life. He appears to be an average guy, but he is haunted by dreams of dancing masquerade spirits.
A particular masquerade spirit called the Okoroshi regularly chases him in these dreams. One day, he wakes up as this spirit, decked out in purple raffia and a mask he can’t remove. Now he must navigate life as an ancestral spirit, in an urban area that does not easily accommodate his nature.
The Lost Okoroshi is special in its uniqueness. We have a masquerader walking the streets of Lagos. He does everything from dancing to fighting crime, to getting kidnapped by a secret society. It is a fascinating movie that definitely isn’t for everyone. It is made for a small audience of non-believers who appreciate magical realism in a story.
The story is far from perfect. The pacing is not the best, and there are a few inconsistencies. But the movie holds your attention from its captivating beginning to its slightly abrupt end. It also happens to be a satirical comedy. Raymond in masquerade gab sends a few people running in surprise. His antics, from letting itself be kidnapped to turning up in a club, are hilarious. And of course, we have Willy Willy and the precious “secret” society.
The actors did their ‘part’. Get it?
The actors really brought the characters to life. Ejetareme Ajotubu Michael plays Willy Willy, who eagerly tags along with the Okoroshi. Judith Audu is Raymond’s wife, who has to deal with her husband alarming transformation. Ifu Ennada plays Sarafina, a cheerful sex worker who Raymond saves from a murderous client. And Chiwetalu Agu is Okonkwo, a custodian of Igbo culture. He helps Raymond embrace his ancestor, albeit in a sad way. Ajayi himself doesn’t talk for most of the movie but gives a great performance.
The Lost Okoroshi was shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. The movie is entertaining enough to make ignore the weird-looking box on your widescreen TV. Although the editing is choppy here and there, it doesn’t take too much away from the story. Everything else is great – the beautiful masquerade costumes, the interesting mix of different music styles, everything.
After laughing throughout the movie, the end hits you, and you’re like, oh. You’re left wondering if you actually caused the Okoroshi’s fate, even though it’s just a movie. But is it truly just a movie, or a reminder that we are our ancestors?