Ghanaian Producers Must Learn From The “Shakespearean” Example

The over-throw of the celluloid strip films by the digital motion cameras have paved way for a number of hokums to protrude from the movie industry. It is doubtless that the Ghana movie industry has come a long way, yet it is soiled with inconsistencies which needs mention.

Instead of our movies being a tool for educating, informing and entertaining, it has only turned to settle on the latter. Meanwhile, these three must work hand in hand to create a complete impart.

Movie-making is not for ‘Jacks of all trades’ where one person takes almost every aspect of the art upon himself as it’s done here in Ghana. With the exception of the production managers and assistants, all other areas need persons with the qualified instincts or training. We could then see that, when the technical and artistic areas are left for qualified persons, we would feel the art as related to life situations.

Today, playwright like William Shakespeare is still remembered across the world for his impeccable contribution to the literature world. Shakespeare was no super-human; he simply worked hard to achieve this great feat. Shakespeare transformed the European theatre by expanding expectation through characterization, plot, language and genre.

Shakespeare’s plays potrayed a wide range of emotions; from war, happiness, love, romance.etc. His plays evolved around the English culture where he touched on histories, true stories of the time and politics. He presented the real English people as outstanding personalities and not as puppets. He also used the groundling method, so that even the poor can afford to watch his plays. Ghanaian producers can learn from this by creating a range of emotions, revealing our substantive past, influencing government policies, solving everyday problems among others.

In present day Ghana; a great deal of our history is lost due to the lazy film-making. Video, as compared to other means of information is the most effective, due to it’s visual and audio signals. It’s able to perceive the mind and work out it’s course fast. It’s high time film-makers here do movies that would not only entertain but to even determine how we are governed. We are simply tired of those useless storylines potraying witchcraft, fetishes, love and crime. Tackle situations we are facing and give solutions to them. When I say dealing with the situations at hand, I don’t mean the ‘kumawoood’ way; where the shooting is rashed just for the fun of it.

Prior to the Shakespearean time, the English language was greatly influenced through the Shakespeare’s literature. At the time, the English language wasn’t standardized in grammar and rules in comparison to Greek and Latin. William Shakespeare was able to absorb words from other languages through wars, exploration, diplomacy and colonization at the time. By the Elizabethan age; the English had become fixed and used widely especially with the expansion of philosophy, theology and physical sciences. Our own languages are shabbily spoken in our movies, not well composed to create any cultural effect instead blended with unnecessary jargons and colloquials to amuse. How then can we develop on our languages? How much more making others appreciate it?

Though his plays were mainly comedy, tragedy and historical; they were complex and unpredictable. He drives his audience in suspense and probing in minds. We can refer from some of his works including ‘Macbeth’, ‘TEMPEST’, ‘KING LEAR’ among others were he played most with complicated instances from one end to the other. For sometime now, shoddy presentation by our film-makers has brought a decline in patronage. The movies have become so monotonous that we easily predict what would happen in subsequent scenes. Even the posters alone can tell us the whole story. For instance, you see a movie poster with characters like Jackie, Dumelo and Majid. Obviously, Dumelo and Majid would struggle against each other for Jackie. When you see Kyeiwaa or Maame Serwaa then it’s about witchcraft. When you see Lil Wayne, Kwaku Manu, Egya Koo or Mr. Beautiful then don’t expect anything extra-ordinary, just for laughs.

Furthermore, it was the touch of form, Shakespeare added to his work that has sustained it till present. Through his hardwork and research he was able to introduce and define the genres in plays. Which include Comedy, Tragedy, Farces and Melo-dramas. Comedy is a type of drama which usually ends on a happy note. Tragedy is that which ends on a sad note whereas Farces are exaggerated forms of comedy and Melo-drama is usually when a hero fights the villain to save the heroine. It’s very hard describing what Ghanaians are doing. I simply don’t know the genre under which that falls. If they have discovered new genres they must let us know to publish it.

When would our producers do movies for such lasting glory?

Merci Beaucoup
Felix Acquaye

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