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A Review of ‘Timothee’ by the Critics Company

This is a movie that opens up with a scene that involves a black person sitting in a tree, casually deciding to “rob someone”. 

It feels almost as though the filmmaker has made a deliberate choice to deliver a sucker punch, aimed directly at the face of any potential critic that walks through the door primed in the usual mode through which pieces from African sources are usually assessed: that is, within the context of a discussion that involves race in some regard. 

“Don’t think about this the way you usually do”, it begs. And, for its 12-minute runtime, I obliged Timothee.

I am pleased to report that at the end of the movies’ runtime, regret was not an emotion I found myself feeling as a result of paying attention to this, the latest from a group known as ‘The Critics Company’; a small group of Nigerian teenagers who have previously found success online with a short film called Z: The beginning, which they released in January of 2019. (That film has amassed a respectable 612,000 views on YouTube as at January 2021, and has an impressive 56:1 like to dislike ratio).

Raymond Yusuff as Timothee

Still on the topic of emotion, I must say that this is absolutely the strong suit of the movie’s lead performance – a stirring turn by Raymond Yusuff, who is also credited with the movie’s visual effects. 

Ah, the visual effects. I’d say they merit a mention, and to show them the proper respect, I would argue that they are best considered outside the context of the movies’ budget, or the tools available to its’ creators. I’m glad to say that they do not detract from the ability of the viewer to take something of value from this movie, and in that regard, I would say they are fine.

Constrained as it is by its short runtime, the movie is, by necessity, light on plot. What is here can be thought provoking if given a chance. However, what the movie absolutely does not lack, is perspective. The optics alone of the film are extraordinarily refreshing, and the ability to view this sort of story through a lens that is at once familiar to one who has experienced youth within the context presented, and also profoundly unfamiliar to one who is familiar with the genre within which the movie situates itself, is in my opinion, worth the price of admission.

A price which, given in this case is little more than twelve minutes of your time and a free YouTube link, I have no problem recommending you take a chance with.

Verdict: WATCH

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