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Movie Review: The Counselor treads into New Waters



Merry Christmas..

We went to see this movie not knowing what to expect but very sure we were going to see something that would be worth writing a review on.

The Counselor tells the story of a religious psychopath who believes the best way to save people from sin and steer them to heaven is to inflict pain and torture on them.

You might be wondering already if this is a Ghanaian movie. Yes, The Counselor is a Ghanaian Movie.

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It’s always exciting for us at GhMoviefreak to come across a story line that tends to step out of the comfort zone of the average Ghanaian movie script writer. This is certainly something different, a perfect example of thinking outside the box when it comes to making movies primarily targeted at the Ghanaian audience.

The strongest point of this Psychological thriller feature film written and directed by Nii Tettey Nartey would have to be the underlining plot. Close scrutiny of the story line shows that the writer did do adequate research on subjects needed to bring meaning to the entire concept of this movie.  It is quite commendable how the writer was able to fuse such complex and controversial yet, unpopular concepts of mortification of the flesh and flagellation with a very relatable Ghanaian setting. We loved the fact that the movie did have a simple Ghanaian lifestyle feel about it which was very obvious in the choice of costuming, dialogue, locations and scenery.

The movie starts off immediately emanating elements of mystery and suspense. And the script doesn’t disappoint on delivering those elements. At some points the screenplay seems to stray away from the main plot making it almost difficult to keep up with the progress if you are not paying close attention.

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The actual interpretation of the script was far from flawless, obviously because most of the cast were not familiar faces. Nonetheless, there were some very exceptional performances that cannot be overlooked.  Kwaku Boteng Ankomah, who plays the role of Percy Awuku, the radio counselor, did an excellent job at selling the idea of a psychopathic zealot. His character was complex in many ways but we believe he did an excellent job at bringing life to it.  We were also impressed with the performances from Brenda Bonsu and Sika Osei, whose characters required the showing of various levels of emotions. And both actors did their best to fully embody those emotions.

Disappointingly, the quality of this script was marred by very bad production. It is easy to notice that this movie was produced on a very lean budget coupled with a lot technical challenges.  There were several unpardonable continuity errors and the choice of props was very bad. The makeup and costuming was also not perfectly executed. We cannot take away the intellectual strengths of the dialogue from this movie but that too was compromised at some points by poor sound production. There were several key scenes that were ruined by unnecessary background noise.  Nonetheless, the cinematography was okay and did complement the underlining elements of mystery and suspense.

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We also did not like that the film had too many flashbacks. So much that it became difficult at some points to actually follow events as they occurred.

Overall we feel this was a good movie with a very strong message. It would be fair to say that you would need to keep an open mind and pay close attention to get a full appreciation of this title.

It is not every day that you get to see a Ghanaian movie surrounding topics like psychopathy and religion. That is where this movie deserves the most compliments. We can only applaud BarCo Studio Productions for risking to release a movie as complex as this. We describe this as a risk because they were bold enough to tread in to genre that is yet to be tested and exploited fully by the Ghanaian Movie industry.

Considering this is their second feature film release and their first in this complex genre, GhMoviefreak would gladly rate this title 6/10 as its underlying theme does make up for all its production flaws.

We do recommend that you go see this movie for yourself to get a better insight and be on the lookout for BarCo studios and Nii Tettey Nartey as we a quite sure that are poised to make a difference on the Ghanaian movie scenery.

Happy Holidays!!

the counselor poster

Watch Trailer Below

Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.


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