Movie Reviewed by Ajibare Abioye
You’re welcome to a new set of gospel movie reviews and we’re kicking it off with “Welcome Yesterday” written by Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO). There are a couple of things I appreciate this movie for.
First of all, “Welcome Yesterday” belongs to the Crime/Mystery genre, and it’s hard for me to recollect any gospel movie from that genre in recent times. If you do, please let me know in the comments section below. So, it was nice having a story in this field. It tells the story of the rape and resultant death of Bolatito, a 17-year old from the family of Laja Badoore, played by KSO himself. The movie goes straight to the point and from the first scene, we suspect that Laja knows something about the crime. We’re kept guessing down the line when the film shows us that there’s something fishy about Bolatito’s sisters, Ibukun and Bukola, and we don’t quite know how any one of them is responsible for the mishap.
Technically, this movie does well. I think the title is catchy; the cinematography was good and the establishing shots were particularly nice. The use of the dialogue of a subsequent scene while the current scene still had visuals was a creative scene transition. Also, though “Welcome Yesterday” is grim in tone, it manages to find some kind of comic relief in the predicament of Ajasa, who is wrongly accused of being an accomplice in the crime. The film also optimizes its runtime by skillfully avoiding the trap of repeating narrations which could easily make a story drag. The use of pictures in the Badoore house for the set design is commendable.
The concept of karma is explored when we watch a harrowing post-rape scene involving Laja as a teenager, and it seems the victim’s curses have come to manifest in his life. But then, Christ enters the picture and we see that of all the culprits that day, he’s the only one who seems affected by the imprecations. It shows us that everyone makes the choices that would determine the direction of their lives. Folorunsho repents of his misdeeds not long afterwards and becomes a child of God. The other members of the gang have also had their lives reshaped by Jesus and are serving God. However, I’d have loved to have heard Folorunsho say that he went to apologise to Hannah and sought her forgiveness after he’d repented because that’s an important step in genuine repentance; you make restitution, especially where possible. The movie makes it clear nonetheless, that new life in Christ won’t erase the scars but prevents your evil yesterday from affecting your bright tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Laja has sunk deeper and deeper into sin and the depths he’s attained as revealed in the movie would make your ears tingle. It illustrates the evil in the heart of men; better still, the evil a heart without Christ would entertain and eventually execute. When we find out what Ibukun and Bukola have to do with Bolatito’s rape, we see the recurring fact as quoted by late Ravi Zacharias that sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. That’s exactly what we see in Laja’s and his daughters’ actions.
The bottom-line for Laja at the end of the day is that his family has created no room for God in their lives. We’d seen the spiritual and physical cause of the crime and previously, we’d only seen Bolatito’s pictures, but when we eventually get to see the crime that birthed the whole story, it’s much more heart-breaking.
It’s a sad story and families do get torn apart in this way and other ways. As that hymn goes, may God grant us all Christian, godly homes
Next, we’ll be reviewing another 2020 movie from Christoline Film Productions, “Couple of the Year”. Till then, stay blessed!
Click below to watch the movie:
Watch “Welcome Yesterday” here.