In recent months, no romantic Hausa song has captured the public attention as FANAN. However, the song’s movie was premiered on Friday, October 29, 2021, in Platinum Cinema (a newly inaugurated multiplex cinema in Kano).
The film opened to full halls across the new cinema and grossed approximately ₦1.25 million on its opening day, setting the record of being the first Hausa film to get this in one cinema. This remarkable success can undoubtedly be attributed to the popularity of the Fanan song and the distinctive marketing strategy adopted by its executive producer, Mansurah Isah, in promoting the film. But does it, on itself, merit this immense success? I watched it on Sunday, and here is my review.
Fanan is a family drama that tells the story of an obedient wife, Fanan (Sabeera), and her husband, Kamilu (Yakubu Muhammad), a private company employee. The couple lives peacefully together with their only daughter Amira (Iman Sani Danja).
Later, their life is disrupted when Kamilu begins to maltreat Fanan and eventually divorces her after starting an affair with a wealthy woman, Madam Jessica (Rahama M.K). Jessica promises to marry him and facilitate his promotion to the rank of manager in another big company. However, she ditches him afterwards without fulfilling any of her promises.
Kamilu then tries to restore his marriage with Fanan, but his attempt proves in vain. Fanan is beyond his reach as she is now married to a business mogul, Alhaji Sammani (Sani Danja), whom she meets through his son, Fahad (Khalifa Sani Danja), a schoolmate of her daughter. Therefore, the jealous Kamilu filed a lawsuit against Fanan, seeking the return of his daughter (Amira) to him. However, he eventually drops the case after the girl narrates the insult he inflicted upon her and her mother while they were together during the court hearing.
The film doesn’t entirely disappoint, but it’s not unique in any way. Both its artistic and technical aspects are only average. The story is predictable, and there are many gaps in the screenplay. For example, when Kamilu leaves his job, Madam Jessica doesn’t facilitate his new job application. Yet, he’s shown to have a connection with the company where she works. Again, Alhaji Sammani’s family background and how he ends up being single remains a mystery.
The interspersing of the title song also throws a spanner in the film. Fanan and Alhaji Sammani performed it before their marriage. Considering its lyrics, however, it would’ve had a better impact if performed after the wedding.
Regarding the cast, Yakubu Muhammad is the life of the movie because his performance stands out. Next to him are Rahama Mk and Sabeera. The latter is, particularly, for her good look. But while Sani Danja’s role deserves notice, his children, Iman and Khalifa, need to hone their skills as actors.
Finally, the fact that Fanan is a huge success doesn’t mean it succeeded on its own merits. It rides only on the popularity of its song and the hype around it. I rate it 2/5.
Habibu Maaruf Abdu wrote from Kano, Nigeria. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.