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Unraveling 'The House of Secrets': A Political Romance Thriller or a Psychological Enigma?

Dive into 'The House of Secrets,' where political intrigue entwines with romance, questioning its psychological thriller label.

Best Unraveling 'The House of Secrets': A Political Romance Thriller or a Psychological Enigma?

Niyi Akinmolayan's highly anticipated movie, 'The House of Secrets,' has finally graced the screens on Prime. Initially touted as a psychological thriller by the director himself, the film unravels itself to be a complex blend of political intrigue, crime, and a touch of romance. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the intricacies of the plot, scrutinize the characters, and assess the film's success in delivering on its promised genre.

Plot Unveiled: Navigating Past and Present

'The House of Secrets' unfolds against the backdrop of Nigeria's tumultuous 1999 military-to-democracy transition, seamlessly weaving between the past and the present. The narrative kicks off with Auntie Sara, a middle-aged woman confined to a wheelchair, typing away on a typewriter. Her seemingly idyllic life takes a sharp turn when Mrs. Lawal and her team orchestrate an environment aimed at triggering Sara's memories.

The black and white flashbacks reveal Sara's past love affair with a soldier named Panam, culminating in tragedy when Panam is murdered for threatening to expose a powerful politician's crimes. Sara, the sole keeper of incriminating documents, becomes the focal point of a mission to unearth the truth.

Cinematography Brilliance vs. Predictable Plot

While the cinematography stands out with its excellence, the plot falls victim to predictability. Auntie Sara's character, portrayed by the talented cast, proves to be a letdown due to her passivity. Throughout the film, she remains a bystander, waiting for the plot to unfold around her. This passivity renders her less compelling, relying on supporting characters to drive the narrative.

Mrs. Lawal, the leader of the justice organization, becomes the voice for Sara, expressing her thoughts and desires. Dr. Sani delves into Sara's mind, assuming the role of the cognitive powerhouse. Even Daniel, the young social worker, takes charge of the research aspect, leaving Sara as a passive observer in her own story. This reliance on secondary characters hampers the movie's pacing, leading to a disconnect between the audience and Sara's plight.

A Passive Protagonist: An Achilles' Heel

Sara's lack of agency is a glaring flaw. Her emotional turmoil remains unexplored, as she fails to take proactive steps in uncovering her past. The audience is left yearning for a more dynamic protagonist who engages with the plot rather than merely reacting to it. Even when memories resurface, such as her pregnancy, Sara's forgetfulness about having a child diminishes the emotional impact. Mrs. Lawal serves as a constant reminder, exposing Sara's lack of initiative.

As viewers, we are left disengaged, merely waiting for traumatic scenes to pass, devoid of a genuine connection with Sara's journey. A protagonist's struggle should evoke empathy, but Sara's passive demeanor detracts from the emotional investment the audience should feel.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Rediscovering Romance and Political Intrigue

Towards the film's conclusion, Sara reminisces about her romance with Panam and the pivotal role the elusive document plays in preventing the election of an unfit political candidate. Despite the plot's predictability, these moments of reflection provide a glimpse into the intricacies of Sara's past, salvaging some emotional resonance.

Genre Identity Crisis: Political Crime/Romance Thriller?

While 'The House of Secrets' showcases Akinmolayan's commendable attempt at crafting a thriller, the movie falls short of its psychological thriller label. For avid enthusiasts of psychological thrillers, the film may disappoint, as it lacks the depth, mystery, and cerebral engagement characteristic of the genre.

It is essential for filmmakers to grasp the fundamentals of genre classification, and in this regard, 'The House of Secrets' misses the mark. The movie aligns more with the political crime/romance thriller genre, where political intrigue takes precedence over psychological complexity.


Niyi Akinmolayan's 'The House of Secrets' stands as a valiant effort in the realm of thriller filmmaking. However, it's crucial for filmmakers to accurately define their work's genre, ensuring it aligns with audience expectations. If you seek a political romance thriller with subtle psychological elements, 'The House of Secrets' is worth exploring. However, for those anticipating a profound psychological thriller, this may not be the cinematic journey you are seeking.

FAQs: Addressing Viewer Inquiries

1. Is 'The House of Secrets' a genuine psychological thriller?

No, despite initial claims, 'The House of Secrets' leans more towards the political crime/romance thriller genre, utilizing psychological elements as a backdrop to the main character's experiences.

2. What is the film's standout feature?

The cinematography is undeniably exceptional, capturing the essence of Nigeria's political landscape during the 1999 transition.

3. Does Auntie Sara's passive character impact the overall viewing experience?

Yes, Sara's passivity diminishes the emotional connection viewers could have with the protagonist, affecting the overall engagement with the plot.

4. How does the movie handle the balance between past and present narratives?

The film adeptly navigates between past and present, offering a nuanced understanding of Sara's history and its repercussions in the present day.

5. Should I watch 'The House of Secrets' if I enjoy political romance thrillers?

Absolutely. If you appreciate political intrigue intertwined with a touch of romance, 'The House of Secrets' provides a unique cinematic experience.


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Poetic Messages – We Made Words Sound So Poetic!: Unraveling 'The House of Secrets': A Political Romance Thriller or a Psychological Enigma?
Unraveling 'The House of Secrets': A Political Romance Thriller or a Psychological Enigma?
Dive into 'The House of Secrets,' where political intrigue entwines with romance, questioning its psychological thriller label.
Poetic Messages – We Made Words Sound So Poetic!
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