Review: Shanty Town

The plot holes keep widening till the end!


So, I watched Shanty Town yesterday and I was like what? I didn’t expect it to be that bad following the social media cacophony of its premiere on Netflix.

Don’t get me wrong. Shanty Town started so well. But all of its promising start ended with episode 1. I had to overcome an incredible amount of inertia to continue watching from episode 3 onwards.

The six-part series ended with numerous plot holes with little character development. A 40-minute per episode of 6 parts series should be able to tell all of its story in toto. The Big Bang Theory, See, Blood and Water et al were able to use their last episodes to patch up plot holes and finalise their stories. Shanty Town ended like a miscarriage of a woman who has waited forever to conceive. A painfully missed opportunity.

The only character that has been properly developed is Scar (Chidi Mokeme). Unarguably, he aced his role like a pro. But a missed opportunity is Shalewa (Nancy Isime). Shalewa is beautiful and instantly likeable character. Practically, everyone who watched Shanty Town may find it difficult to recall any character but Shalewa. She played the bad bitch role so well. The best cast hands down!

The instant likeability of Shalewa should’ve been exploited to develop her character at the least opportunity. For instance, more light should’ve been thrown on the circumstances that made Shalewa’s father to use her in service of his debt to Scar. Her one-night stand culminating into love relationship with Femi should’ve been romeoly expanded.

The rivalry between Chief Fernandez and his political rival for Lagos State gubernatorial race should’ve been eviscerated. At least a flashback. Nothing is shown about Scar’s mother and how he is biologically Fernandez’s.

The plot holes keep widening till the end!

Ini Edo didn’t help the story. Her hard girl from Zanga role was forced. Mercy F*cking Johnson would’ve been my go-to. Mercy is so good. So good. She would’ve brought practical and natural emotionality, pretence and toughness the role badly needed.

Again, why did Ini Edo “refuse” to wear a bikini at the slut bidding? The rest were in bikini. This can’t happen in Holywood. If she was too reserved for the role, someone else should’ve been cast for it. This is show business! A movie is good as its costume. The scene, if you’re a true screen maniac, really f’d up the harmony of the costuming. I couldn’t just fathom it. Put on the bikini or good riddance!

Shanty Town downfall is not the cast anyways. As a matter of fact, it is a star-studded series with the like of Nse Ikpe-Etim of “Mr and Mrs” fame, the handsome Peter of P-Square, the ubiqutuous Ali Nuhu of Nollywood etc. But all of its stars could not save it. By the way, Peter, Mr P of P-Square is my favourite (not Paul Rudebouy) but I want to admonish him to stick to music. His acting debut was terrible.

Shanty Town has all it needed to succeed but a story or creativity or both. The story fairly lack originality. The theme is cliché-ish and most of the scenes appeared familiarly forgettable. The ending is a complete miscarriage. I wish it has least ended poorly like Ramsey’s Blood Sisters, or Idris Elba’s Beast (not Beast of No Nation, even though it also a terrible movie).

Verdict: There are so many things that the average movie person will find enjoyable about Shanty Town. If you have enough time to waste, see it. But missing out on it is same as seeing it. Do not try this as a date movie unless your date is outdated (or is from Kumbungu village).

The only saving grace of Shanty Town is the unblurred breast of Shalewa. And its inspection! That scene is gold. It’s electrifying.

I don’t want to be overly harsh. But I will rate Shanty Town 3.5/10.

By Hanan-Confidence Abdul 

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