A REVIEW OF LARRISA LARRY’S “18”
“…and if you sow your penis in the body of a nine-year-old, you will harvest vengeance!”
One can’t help but feel the anger, bitterness and trauma cladding each syllable in those words as they jumped out of Nene’s lips while at the completion of her vengeance mission against her therapist, Mr. T. Lawson. How ironical?
In what one could refer to as a high level of negligence and disregard which has enveloped our society, cases of child sex abuse are tucked away into the armpits of the society, as only very few cases see the light of day and the unbiased nod of the gavel, take for instance the case of Ogbanje Ojebeta, somewhere in Nigeria, who was continually raped by father and son till she gave up the ghost.
“18”, is a short movie by Nollywood producer and actress, Larrisa Larry whose plot trajectory is relatively peculiar. This motion picture is a detour from the regular cliché plots that has characterized about 70% of Nollywood movies, it portrays one of society’s most sensitive issues – Pedophilia. We have to come to terms with the psychological and emotional damage that accompany this inhumane act. Pedophiles have ended lives, ruined careers, destroyed bright futures, all as a result of their unbridled high libido. The protagonist, Nene, a role played by Chinenye Ulaegbu, represents millions of muffled voices that have been traumatized, scandalized and destroyed by this singular evil act. We can see the pain in her eyes as she exerts her vengeance on the one-person, who should have been her protector; her therapist and Uncle, Mr. Lawson, a role played by Sir Chris Akwarandu. The movie begins with the theatrics of a drunk young lady who just turned 18 and one wouldn’t waste a second in tagging her a promiscuous rascal given her disposition, but a digestion of her plight will justify her queer behaviour which is underscored by what she referred to as “being turned into a woman before time.” Clocking 18, usually, is a thing of joy for teenagers but for Nene it was sorrowful event, Nene, is in my view, a metaphor for the myriad of pedophile victims (both genders) littered globally, whose stories cannot be told or wasn’t heard, either because they weren’t believed or are shy to speak up for avoidance of stigmatization or becoming an object of public ridicule, given a rise in the number of brainless and mediocre internet trolls that comprise of almost 80% of netizens today. Amongst others at the vanguard of the fight against this evil act is Ifesinachi Nwadike who already dedicated a poem to the memory of Ogbanje Ojebeta in “How Morning Remembers the Night” his debut poetry collection and runner up for the 2020 ANA poetry prize, Larissa Larry is another individual in the entertainment industry who has shown deep concern for real issues such as this, underscored by her production of “18” which got me emotional and “The D Day” released in 2022 which I reviewed on my YouTube channel. Both movies share similarities, apart from being brief and straight to the point, they portray the undiluted vengeful nature of mankind as their lead actresses exert their vengeance on those whose untamed libido had stabbed them where it hurt the most. Such vengeful acts are inextricably linked to a society like ours where the judiciary dances to the tune of the highest bidder and has long seized to become the last hope of the common man, however, most victims are forced to take laws into their hands.
My short story “Five shades of Victory”, a recipient of an honourable mention recognition from the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New-York in the creators of justice awards, 2020 edition, shares in this subject matter. The figurative and ironical nature of the title and name of the protagonist “Victoria” is underscored by her tender age of five and tragic death resulting from rape which severed her dreams of becoming a pilot. Hence, she couldn’t emerge victorious against one of society’s most evil vice.
Individually, we all have either or all of the following: sisters, nieces, female cousins, wives and daughters, it could be anyone, however, it is pertinent as indicated in the movie for one to seek help when being faced with such vampiric acts as this. Moreover, it mirrors the traumatic and psychological damage victims face. Perhaps, for the umpteenth time it also serves as an eye opener for parents to conduct a thorough scrutiny of the person(s) who the welfare of their wards is entrusted into. The incipience of this twenty-minute-plus movie is laced with a suspenseful hook which endures up till the end.
Overall, a must watch.
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