In His Shadow review: Predictable family drama lacks depth

In In His Shadow, Adama takes desperate measures to protect his family when his father passes away and his half-brother takes charge without caring about their father’s will. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

In the 1980s, Adama’s father, Ousmane, lives a happy life with his wife, Agna, and his son, Ibrahim, until he brings his second wife, Adama’s mother, home.

Adama’s mother and Agna don’t get along. Adama’s mother is afraid of witches, and she believes Agna is meeting one in the neighborhood. Watching Ousmane fight Agna because of another woman changes Ibrahim, who turns to the streets and the life of a thug.

Meanwhile, Ousmane navigates a happy life with Adama’s mother, and they give birth to Adama. Agna finds peace with the birth of Adama’s half-sister and Ibrahim’s sister, Aissata. One day, Adama loses his eyesight in a car accident, and Adama’s mother blames Agna and the witch.

Ibrahim volunteers to help the family get back on its feet with the money he has earned through illegal activities, but his father rejects both his money and him as his son. To this day, Ibrahim and Ousmane don’t get along.

When Ousmane passes away suddenly, Adama and his mother are forced to keep a low profile. Ibrahim, on the other hand, now starts making decisions for his family and for himself.

Ibrahim ignores his father’s will and uses Adama’s house to keep his stash, which brings danger to Adama’s doorstep.

Performances

The entire cast of In His Shadow delivers a decent performance, as expected from a movie like this, which is quite predictable in nature.

Alassane Diong, who plays Adama, and Kaaris, who plays Ibrahim, both interact in a way that one can feel the animosity between them. They won’t kill each other right away, but they won’t hug it out either. Diong and Kaaris do deliver the kind of relationship the movie’s story demands.

Samuel Jouy as Eddy is a delight to see. Unfortunately, Jouy doesn’t get enough screen time to portray Eddy, who seems to be all about business in the film and more cunning than one can think.

Positives

In His Shadow manages to engross the audience in the first few minutes of the film when it introduces the character of Adama, who is blind but, at the same time, has well-trained ears.

Watching Adama notice the slightest sounds makes the viewers wonder if he has been blind his whole life and what his story is.

Negatives

The film kicks off with a strong introduction of the lead character and quickly shifts to the backstory, which takes a long way around to establish the world of Adama and Ibrahim. The creators could’ve placed this backstory somewhere later in the movie because it kills its flow.

While the movie is clear about what its main conflict is, it doesn’t emphasize or delve deeply into it. The viewers may not find themselves caring about what the characters are going through because the film doesn’t build itself on those emotions.

There is an element of the supernatural that is inserted amidst the whole family drama. For some reason, the movie stays away from explaining what it is about and how it affects Adama in the long term.

Due to the lack of explanation, by the end of the film, it feels like the supernatural element was absolutely unnecessary. There might’ve been other ways for the protagonist to achieve his goals.

Verdict

In His Shadow brings an interesting family dynamic but a predictable storyline that could’ve worked without the supernatural elements, which feels like a complete waste.

In His Shadow
In His Shadow review: Predictable family drama lacks depth 1

Director: Marc Fouchard

Date Created: 2023-03-17 12:30

Editor's Rating:
2

Also Read: In His Shadow ending explained: Does Adama kill Ibrahim?

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