Half Of A Yellow Sun film adaptation falls short of novel’s power and majesty

Metro

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in Half Of A Yellow Sun (Picture: supplied) Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in Half Of A Yellow Sun (Picture: supplied)

Review: Half Of A Yellow Sun (15)

Oh dear. Something has gone awfully awry with this adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Orange Prize-winning best-seller, which recounted the horrors of the 1960s Biafran War through a handful of characters.

Debut director Biyi Bandele, who also wrote the screenplay, assumes a lot of knowledge from his audience about post-colonial Nigeria – the book’s nuances are hammered out and the tangled divisions that propel this tragedy are cursorily dealt with as he frantically compresses events.

Instead, the (soft) focus of the first half is fixed on the ‘sweeping melodrama’ angle of beautiful, privileged twins Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) and their romance with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s academic/activist Odenigbo and Joseph Mawle’s white, married Englishman Richard.

Sadly, even the ‘serious stuff’ is dealt with in clunky dialogue. And when…

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