The nuances of language, crucial in the source, are maintained largely in Olanna, but are later drowned out by her wildly fluctuating character and staccato pacing. Half of a Yellow Sun races through its early scenes, never allowing little time to know its characters or understand their motivations. As such, decisions made feel unrealistic, creating a pervasive implausibility. When the narrative does find its feet - namely at the outbreak of the conflict - it's too late to rally the audience to the characters' cause regardless of the undoubted quality of the actors on display. Individual elements do work, particularly its evocation of the period and setting, but on the whole the narrative struggles to master any of its disparate themes and aims. The original novel is advertised as being about "the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things". In this instance, Bandele's adaptation seems to have muddied the waters even further.
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