Half of a Yellow SunCultureCinemaMovie reviews
When Hollywood actors take a step back into roles that focus more on intense relationships and controversial issues, the results can be unpredictable. Without a blockbuster budget and a cornucopia of special effects, talent cannot be faked.
Half of a Yellow Sun, directed by Biyi Bandele, is a film based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a hard-hitting story about four people whose lives are intertwined during the establishment of an independent republic in Nigeria.
Non-identical twin sisters, Olanna (Thandie Newton: 2012, The Pursuit of Happyness) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose: Dreamgirls) stand out in their homeland. Both girls enunciate with a British accent after their wealthy parents had them educated abroad, and their tastes for the finer things in life keep them apart from their peers.
Although twins, both girls seek very different places within society and the divide between them is as obvious as their collective divide from society itself.
Olanna’s turbulent relationship with her “revolutionary lover” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor: 2012, Salt) creates a sense of a story-within-a-story – a reflection that despite a comfortable cushion of wealth, no one is safe from the dysfunctional infliction that infidelity costs bonds between people.
Director Bandele has successfully portrayed the hardship and suffering of all during times of civil unrest in an already politically unstable country. Told through black and white original footage, and the storyline itself, Half of a Yellow Sun is an emotional rollercoaster of dramatic events that appear accurate to its last 1960s detailing.
Without sensationalising any aspect, the film is both graphic and explicit. The quality of the acting from the Hollywood cast is second-to-none; both Newton and Ejiofor play their roles with expressive dedication. A real tribute to the innocent citizens affected by the political coup, Half of a Yellow Sun is a thought-provoking watch.
Half of a Yellow Sun is released on 11th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for Half of a Yellow Sun here: