NollyFromTheVault Tainted Canvas Review

#NollyFromTheVault: Tainted Canvas Review

n 2021, Segilola Ogidan captured our hearts with her stellar performance in Kunle Afolayan’s A Naija Christmas, a film that celebrates Christmas with the infusion of Nigerian themes. Before this, Segilola wrote, directed, and starred in Tainted Canvas, a powerful film with even more powerful themes.

Tainted Canvas follows the story of Rayo (Segilola Ogidan), a Nigerian artist living in London trying to make a success of millennial immigrant life. When she gets a call from her aunt (Tina Mba) in Nigeria that her Mom (Kehinde Bankole) is in hospital, Rayo is torn between meeting her gallery deadlines and returning home to face the traumas she ran away from in the first place.

Segilola is undoubtedly a brilliant actress who can perfectly interpret the characters she portrays with fierce yet vulnerable performances. It is her ability as a writer and director that shines the most in this psychological thriller. Segilola’s ability to deliver such a complicated story with ease is phenomenal; the level of perfection might make one suggest this is a story more personal to her than we realize, although that is yet to be confirmed.

The choice of cast is brilliant. Segilola’s performance is perfectly balanced with performances from remarkable actors like Kehinde Bankole, who portrays Rose, Rayo’s mother. She is a depressed model battling substance addiction, a character a powerhouse like Kehinde had no problem bringing to life. Tina Mba and Efa Iwara were stellar in their respective roles and had remarkable chemistry with the rest of the cast.

With a cast of established actors in the industry, the one that came as a shock was Jemima Aderemi who played young Rayo. Jemima is a star that shines bright. Her ability to portray daring and difficult scenes with ease, especially in her breakout role is phenomenal. Her performance perfectly showcases the trauma Rayo went through, which is balanced with Segilola, who portrays the character in the aftermath.

The plot of the film is beautifully crafted to unveil scenes at necessary moments, the use of a flashback is a brilliant idea, as the audience gets to take the journey alongside Rayo, while her emotions and decisions become clear. The storyline also gives the side characters the necessary development without taking the focus away from the two main characters, a brilliant move from Segilola.


The film treats these often ignored themes like rape, depression, postpartum, and grief in a brilliant manner. The film simplifies these without rushing or undermining the process. We also get to see how these themes got little to no care in the past, citing the example that, at the time, most didn’t even believe in the existence of these issues.

The characters of Rose and Roya are properly executed, showing us both their journey battling these issues and the terrible decisions they made along the way, without shunting their growth and journey toward forgiveness, recovery, and acceptance. The film also tries not to place blame on either of them, a decision it leaves to the audience.

The cinematography of this film is beautiful, the costumes are reminiscent of the time in which the story is set, the aesthetics are used perfectly, and the visuals and shot angles work excellently. The original soundtrack by Etuk’s Philosophy was brilliant. It excels in the story and gives depth to the characters. The sound is perfect, and it captures every moment down to the little ones, like the chirping of insects and the rustling of leaves.

Tainted Canvas tells the story of childhood trauma and abuse and how that manifests in a child’s life further down the line but also shows the power of confronting that abuse for better or worse.

Tainted Canvas Rating: 9/10

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