The Delivery Boy is a thriller written and directed by Nigerian filmmaker, Adekunle Adejuyigbe. The film follows Amir (Jammal Ibrahim) as he confronts his inner demons and teams up with a prostitute, Nkem (Jemima Osunde) to put an end to years of untold hardship and abuse.
The film stars Jammal Ibrahim, Jemima Osunde, Charles Etubiebi, Kehinde Fasuyi and a host of others
As the film went into its 30th minute, I could see what Amir was trying to show me- a face. Not Jammal Ibrahim’s face but the human face of suicide bombings and terrorism.
Between tackling religious indoctrination, terrorism, sexual abuse, and paedophilia, The Delivery Boy gave us a glimpse into what could be an ‘origin story’ for young and impressionable boys lured into terrorism. With that 10-year-old boy who executed a Christian student on camera, The Delivery Boy helps you ask ‘why?’ and ‘how?’.
When you hear of suicide bombings, you picture a faceless person, wearing a loaded vest, dropping their humanity in the middle of a crowded place and just before their body splatters into thousands of bits and pieces, they whisper, “Allahu Akbar…”.
READ ALSO: When She Knew – A Coronavirus Short Story
In interviews, Adekunle Adejuyigbe said that he didn’t want Amir to say much. I agree that the character didn’t need to say much because, for this story, a character of many words would have ruined the experience.
The usefulness of this is seen in Amir’s moments of silence where a normal, well-adjusted adult should be talking away. Instead of words, Amir’s actions did the talking and gave the audience enough space and time to try to enter his mind and want to know what he was thinking or feeling.
For someone of few words who had seen and done enough violence as a child and adult, a sudden outburst of words would reveal a lot about his character.
This outburst is what happened when Amir was telling Nkem about how he was adopted, abused and indoctrinated into terrorism. At that moment, Amir wasn’t just a ‘hard guy’ that killed people. He was someone whose mind and body was abused and twisted into believing that his abuser cared about him and was justified for killing people. Amir believed that what his abuser did to him was done out of love, and any evidence that he wasn’t so special to his abuser would see Amir making rash decisions.
When all those words are out and there’s silence once more on screen, you’ll want to join Nkem to reach out and tell him, “No, Amir. What happened to you was not at all normal and this admiration you feel for your abuser is not ok… you need to get help.”
Perhaps, this admiration he felt was the reason he – instead of seeking help – was willing to die on the mountain his unapologetic abuser had created. There are people who need help, who have been abused and won’t come out because they feel their abuser cared for or loved them.
If The Delivery Boy isn’t a wake-up call for our society to reach the seemingly unreachable, or to reach those who don’t know they need help, then I don’t know what is. It is quite clear that if they aren’t reached, even beyond the abuse they might have faced, we would have more ‘Amirs’ on our hands, willing to wear a vest on the orders of their abuser.
Altogether, The Delivery Boy lends a human face to the facelessness of suicide bombings and other terrible crime. It helps you realize that these aren’t monsters, but human beings with pasts, families, and favourite colours – human beings who now deem it fit to harm another.
Aside from the brilliant storytelling, I also enjoyed the fight scenes, plot twist, cinematography and directing. I have a thing for believable characters/acting and Jammal Ibrahim wore the role of Amir like a well-fitted suit. In coming weeks, I may find myself searching for other Jammal Ibrahim appearances on my screen.
The Delivery boy wasn’t too short and I love that it wasn’t trying to be needlessly long. At the end, when credits began rolling in, I felt like I was snapped out of a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. I found myself asking, “Is this the end? Isn’t there more?”. Alas! There was a post-credit scene.
For a film made on a tight budget, The Delivery Boy was a joy to watch. I wholeheartedly recommend you watch it and watch on Netflix.