Thriller series are not exactly a niche that Nigerian filmmakers have focused on; however, in the past two years, with filmmakers like James Omokwe, countless blockbuster thriller series like Ajoche, Riona, and very recently, Diiche and Itura have been produced.
James Omokwe has not only created a lane for himself to masterfully create thought-provoking thriller series, but he has also found ways to represent his roots while telling untold ethnic Nigerian stories with outstanding cinematography.
And that’s exactly what he did with Diiche. Diiche is a Showmax Original thriller series that centres on the story of an A-list actress, who becomes a prime suspect in a high-profile murder investigation over the death of Nnamdi, her fiancé. As the search for Nnamdi’s killer kicks off, Diiche tries to prove her innocence as she navigates her diabolical problems.
Diiche is a story that highlights ills in the Nigerian society. Ills like women being pressured to go to extreme lengths when experiencing miscarriages or barrenness; how the society paints marriage as ideal for the girl child; the concept of corruption and integrity in the police system; the concept of betrayal, unrequited love, and desperation.
Not only does it explore all these pertinent topics, but it also features a dichotomy of seasoned and rising Nollywood acts to perfectly deliver its message. A commendable feat the Nollywood industry has been exploring.
Diiche tells a story of betrayal, love and vengeance, but does it stand among the greats as regards storytelling and cinematography?
The range of actors in the series did it a whole lot of good. The lead character Diiche (Uzoamaka Onuoha) perfectly played two characters while fully embodying these characters and showing every emotion that added to the movie’s haunted nature. From the inspectors, Ijeoma (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) to Kazeem (Frank Konwea) and Diiche’s mother, they all did great in portraying their characters. Other star casts include Daniel K Daniel, Efa Iwara, Kalu Ikeagwu, Chinyere Wilfred, and Gloria Anozie-Young.
Portrayal of culture and its ills
Every episode was an opportunity for the series to teach us a lesson. As the story unravelled, each issue was addressed while trying to portray Nigerian society in its truest form to the viewers. In the case of the inspectors, it showed us the side of their process that was unprofessional and it also portrayed the positive side with Inspector Ijeoma, who was more professional. The series also introduces us to the culture of extended family members salivating over the property of the dead at the detriment of the partner left behind.
Another thing that stood out in the course of the film was the cinematography. From the colour grading to the flashbacks and cutaways, everything was projected well towards telling the story. The whole of episode five was a flashback that gave us an insight into Diiche’s birth, introduced us to her father and young Kessandu, and it was dutifully done with attention to detail.
Everything is not as it seems in Diiche, and that’s what made the story captivating. The storyline had a proper build-up: right from the beginning, we all knew the answers we were looking for, but as the series went along and the inspectors began unravelling the details, the answers kept changing until the very last episode with a perfect ending that leaves the viewers wanting more. Almost like season two is in the works.
The use of language was beautiful. Although the series was mainly in English and Igbo, other indigenous languages like Yoruba were added to give the series more depth and added more emotions to specific scenes in a way that speaking fully in English would have not achieved.
Some Confusing parts
Although there were lots of hits in the series, there were a few scenes that left us questioning what was going on, especially when ‘Chidi’, the twin who could see other people’s misfortune did not see her own misfortune coming or even tell that she was being bundled to be ‘delivered again’. Did she lose her powers, or was it all a part of her revenge to rot in jail now that she had sealed Diiche’s soul under the water?
Also, the underwater scenes were a little too unreal. They would have seemed a lot more believable if there were more colours. Everything under that water was so foggy.
Diiche is a well-written film that boasts of great storytelling while exposing the world to Nigerian culture and its ills but there are still some issues that need to be resolved, the most important of them all, what happens to Diiche?
We need a season two for that to be explored.
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