Akah Nnani stars as Samuel, a conflicted young man who forsakes his harsh Christian upbringing to live the life he wishes. As he gets older, he realises that his soul remains caught between the world he is used to and the life he left behind.
Director Bolanle Austen-Peters takes on a societal issue revolving around the Christian religion in Nigeria. To a large extent, she succeeds and the actors deliver, with only the ending almost ruining the good work.
As the layered protagonist, lead star Akah Nnani does a fine job, making you see the world through the eyes of someone whose distaste for the faith seems to haunt his life.
First off, Samuel (Nnani's character) is not Mr. Goody Goody; a fact that he knows after deliberately choosing to be the direct opposite of what his father (a popular cleric) wants him to be.
It is the hero's imperfection, inner struggles, and journey that make him a compelling character, one that is mostly lacking in Nollywood movies nowadays.
Osas Ighodaro and Atlanta Briget Johnson are remarkable as two of the supporting characters who have the most influence on the protagonist. I couldn't fault their performances, especially the latter who displayed a variety of emotions convincingly despite her relatively short screen time.
The theme of religion vs faith is depicted in a way that comes across as naturalistic. Many will no doubt take offense to this rather touchy subject but I feel the director did a commendable job.
The plot progression is good, and we see characters grow (as they should) throughout the length of the film.
The tone shifts frequently from light-hearted to serious, to comical, and then continues in that cycle. While that is not a bad thing, it would have been better to strike a balance as that didn't happen.
The comic relief is done quite well, and this is where another significant supporting character, Rekya, comes in.
Played by the talented Dorcas Shola Fapson, Rekya represents the very thing that the hero wants to be. His association with this rather amoral person shapes and defines him.
As Rekya, Fapson is simply amazing, stealing the show every time she appears. Constantly walking the dangerous path, her character is one of the best things about the film.
I have said a lot of positive things about The Man of God and may not have much to say about its downsides. But one is the speedy romance between Samuel and Joy. While there was chemistry between the actors, the love thing felt forced.
Another negative thing about the film is what I would call a lazy and convenient ending (I won't get into details so as not to spoil it for movie fans).
Besides the two points above, The Man of God makes for a worthy piece of entertainment while being educative and instructive.