A Comparative Analysis Of 'busy But Guilty' And 'heart Pain'

Comparing Two gospel movies across Convergence and divergence, and spacial-time.


and “HEART PAIN” (Mike Bamiloye 2021)


Comparison has been in the human world long before the emergence of comparative analysis or comparative literature, it started with human beings feeling superior or inferior to another, similar or different from another based-on sex, race, identity, financial status, educational qualification, religious beliefs, etcetera. Today, techniques of comparison have formed a common part of the literary critics' analytic and evaluative process in the literary field, however birthing the field of comparative literature, which enhances awareness of the qualities of one work by using as a critical lens the products of another linguistic culture.

More precisely, through its modus operandi, it is the study of intertextuality (similarities), differences, and parallelism between two or more literary texts to establish certain societal or literary elements. With this, we can further establish, as illustrated in S.K Nayak (2017) that Comparative literature (Hence, CL or Comp. Lit.) is the objective study of the inter-relationship between any two or more significant literary works of literature for the backgrounds of the said works. It may be clarified that the background, here, refers to the socio-cultural, political, economic, anthropological, psychological, and other things. During comparative study and analysis, for a better result and qualitative output, one must take the sources, themes, myths, forms, artistic strategies, social and religious movements, and trends into account. Giving a clear illustration and explanation of what CL is is very key to this paperwork as it will drive the activities therein.

However, our basic focus in this paperwork is to make a comparative analysis of the movies Busy but guilty' and 'Heart pain.' The prominent and common peculiar terms in comparative literature are similarities (convergence) and differences (divergence).

Similarities and Differences

These are key terms in comparative literature, considering the modus operandi of the field, it explores the semblances and dissimilarities between two or more texts with the hope of deducing some relevant facts about the social sensibilities at which the two texts are the foundation. Before two works can be placed on the slab of comp. lit., they must have been perceived to share some societal semblances, relativeness, and differences based on the socio-cultural, political, economic, anthropological, psychological, and ideological beliefs deployed in the texts.


Movies such as Busy but guilty and Heart pain are classical examples of Contemporary Christian films in the 21st Century. The protagonists in both films are determined to find fulfillment in their ministry and achieve greater feats. In their attempts to find fulfillment, both protagonists experience challenges that poise as setbacks and in turn, affect their ministerial duties. The misplaced priorities of the protagonists in both movies resulted in misdirection and almost lead to a catastrophic disaster for them and their families. The playwrights in both movies satirical portray the lifestyles of ministers of God across the borders of time, space, and contexts. Although written by the different playwrights of different spatial realities and contextual dispositions, the message is clearly outlined in both movies. Simply put, Ministers of God are enjoined to set their priorities right while pursuing their ministerial careers. God should be the central focus, while the family should come next after God. Then the ministry comes after the family (Spouse and Children) has been settled and properly catered for. A failed family results in a failed ministry. 

Although the movies Busy but guilty and Heart pain possess distinct similarities and points of convergence in their characterizations, the social issues they address, spatial contexts, cinematic effects, and sociocultural issues in each film are quite different. Busy but guilty is one of the numerous Christian-themed thrillers produced in 2004 by Veteran Movie producer; Mike Bamiloye of the Mount Zion movies. As the story unfolds, it brings to the limelight a Christian missionary couple who travel far and wide while they try to communicate the gospel of Christ to people in different locations (home and abroad). The main character in the movie is Gloria Bamiloye (Reverend Mrs. Felicia), an evangelist, famous guest speaker, and husband to a Pastor who is largely invited globally for conferences, seminars, and programs. At the peak of her career, she explores the Zenith and travels far and wide carrying out missionary works zealously. Meanwhile, she abandons her core duty as a mother, which is to take care of the family and her husband. Her numerous frequent trips left her husband and daughter in the care of a domestic maid. 

The movie Heart pain, written by Mike Bamiloye was produced in 2021. Nelson is a pastor just like Reverend Felicia in Busy but guilty. He barely spends time with his family and consumes more of his time on ministry just like Reverend Felicia. They both regret the course of their actions while they try to salvage the impending disaster. Pastor Nelson's lifestyle is Chronicled in Heart Pain. He neglects his family and embraces ministry to the detriment of his family. The devil finds his loopholes in the area of failed parenthood, Social and financial irresponsibility. He then uses his weakness against him. Nelson's absence from home allows his son to exercise his youthful exuberance while his wife is unable to effectively curb his wayward lifestyle. As Samson's lifestyle worsens, the devil strikes and he loses his life to a domestic accident during one of his faceoffs with his mother. Meanwhile, Pastor Nelson is away preaching and delivering to the oppressed while his family remained oppressed. He fails to realize his responsibility as the father and breadwinner of the family. He continues to enjoy the glamour and affluence of ministry. He devotes his full concentration to ministry, leaving his house on fire while he helps others to put theirs out. Sooner or later, reality dawns on him and he realizes that he has derailed. 

The characterizations of the protagonists in Busy but Guilty and Heart pain have analogous qualities as both Pastor Nelson and Reverend Felicia attempt to overzealously run their ministry to the latter while abandoning their core responsibilities of fending for their family and providing the basic needs of the home. The protagonists in both films are persistent, resilient, and determined to pursue their ministerial duties which then lead to traumatic experiences in their families. Nelson and Reverend Mrs. Felicia. Share similar mixed emotions including hope, anxiety, guilt, pain, panic, and regret. The protagonists in both movies are forehand warned of the impending danger over their carefree attitude towards their families but turn deaf ears till they meet their waterloo. Also, in the movies, there exist the role of a higher authority who cautions them against their carefree attitude towards their families. In Busy but guilty, Reverend Felicia is chided by an angel in a human form who appears to her in a hotel. In Heart pain, Pastor Nelson is visited by the Chief Shepherd who counsels him to go back to his family and make them happy. The Busy but guilty and Heart pain films also display differences in the characterizations, social issues, and cinematic effects The cultural and social issues in each film were contrasting even though there are many similarities in both films. 

In Heart pain”, The main focus is on Patriarchy. Pastor Nelson goes about to witness the gospel while he leaves his wife and children at home without fending for their needs. He enjoys luxury while on the mission field and does not provide for the needs of his family. This occurrence is not strange to the realities experienced in our present world. A lot of preachers and Pastors today are so engaged in preaching the gospel that they devote little or no time to their children. These children become vulnerable, wayward, and hooligans in society. The cause of this is not far-fetched, it is linked to the absence of adequate parental(fatherly) care and tutelage. However, the focus on busy but guilty is more on women's submission to their husbands and devotion to the family while answering the call of God in their life. Reverend Felicia grows beyond her husband's control, neglects house duties, and fails in her responsibility as a mother and wife. She continues her egoistic display until she is met with severe challenges which hamper her ministry and makes her return home. 

Area of Divergences:

Heart pain is portrayed by a male protagonist who barely caters to his family and leaves his wife to cater to the family. He travels by and large while his family suffers financially, socially, and mentally. This is similar to present-day economic and social conditions. Most men are today busy with ministry and the fames that it brings while they annul their duty of performing the role of the father. most of the children of these ministers of God grow wayward and become a nuisance in society. Busy but guilty portrays a Christian couple who are both missionary workers. However, the central focus lies on the wife whose greater time is devoted to ministry. Her husband and family suffer from her large absence while her ministry progresses. She refuses to submit to her husband and brags about her achievement which gets into her head. 

In Heart pain, Pastor Nelson almost loses his ministry and more importantly his son in the process due to his negligence and misplaced priority. On the other hand, Busy but guilty focuses on the importance of women's submission in the home. But for timely intervention, she almost loses her husband and daughter.

Area of Convergence:

A fulfilled ministry

They both experience a blooming and fulfilling ministry while their matrimonial home suffers the brunt of their actions and inactions. Pastor Nelson is invited for various ministrations all over the Country. His ministry is blessed with miracles, signs, and wonders. Reverend Mrs. is also blessed with a fulfilling ministry. Her ministry blossoms more than that of the ministry of her husband. She is invited to reach from outside the country and blessed lives through her ministrations and teachings. 

Lack of Judicious time Use:

Pastor Nelson fails to utilize his time judiciously. Invariably, whatsoever is not planned effectively eventually crumbles. Perhaps lack of adequate timing and pre-planned scheduling makes him a failed dad and a successful pastor. Nelson could have excelled in ministry and equally in his home spent created time for both (Family and ministry). He preferred the works of the ministry over every other thing in his life including his family which eventually almost leads to the collapse of his ministry. Revered Mrs. Felicia. also dedicates a greater percentage of her time and life to studying, preaching, and ministering to souls all over the globe. She abandons both her family and husband who is also a missionary pastor while she travels around. She preaches unity, love, and submission in the house but barely spends time at home to exhibit all of the virtues embedded in her ministry. Even when she is at home and not in the mission field, she spends time behind closed doors praying and studying. 

The Theme of Forgiveness and Mercy :

The Reverend Mrs. Felicia. upon realizing her faults retraces her steps and cries out for mercy. She calls to God to spare her husband's life and promises to turn a new leaf. She submits her resolution and schedule to her husband and promises to be more submissive. In return, God forgives her and restores her husband to life. Nelson's wife also pleads for mercy, asks God to restore her child, and forgives her by restoring her child to life. He also forgives her husband and restores his ministry. This tells us that God is merciful and willing to forgive us when we call to him. 

The Theme of Regrets and Pain:

Both movies are marred by pain and regrets for both partners in the marriage. While Pastor Nelson's absence from his family and his responsibilities is a source of constant pain to his wife, Mrs. Nelson. Reverend Mrs. Felicia's constant travels and absence from home affect her home terribly, and her husband suffers great discomfort and pain. Due to the pain, God decides to call him home before he derails from the path of God. The cinematography was successfully utilized in each film with camera shots, lighting, and sound design to display the pure emotions of the characters in the films.


The comparative analysis aims to bring across two artistic works along spatial, cultural, and socio-cultural boundaries to bring out their similarities and differences. We can, of course, say that the earlier works of Mike Bamiloye in "Busy but Guilty" influenced his artistry innovation in " Heart Pain" which was written almost two decades after. Sufficient to say, that despite the disparity in the time boundaries of the two works, they still address the same theme although with different approaches. Even as the world keeps advancing both culturally and technologically, the message is apt and timely and carries equally the same influence. Ministers of God are encouraged to bridge the wide gap between ministry and family. It is pertinent to realize that a failed ministry is a product of a failed home. It doesn't matter the height of accomplishments a preacher, prophet, evangelist or missionary may have amerced, such persons will soon come down if the family is not at peace. Hence, "Busy but Guilty" and "Heart Pain" speaks volume and the adaptations culled from the former makes its beautiful artistry. 

©Barnabas Akindele

27th June 2022.

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