Hotel Labamba is proof that not all movies should be in cinemas

By: Cassy

This movie, produced by Laide Daramola and directed by Biodun Stephens, had A-listers like Adedimeji Lateef, Bimbo Ademoye, and Lilian Afegbai in acting roles. The director, Biodun Stephens had directed movies like ‘A Breaded Life’, ‘Sista’, and ‘Introducing the Kujus’, all critically acclaimed movies, so one might enter the cinema to see Hotel Labamba with high hopes.

It was a movie about a girl who was murdered in a hotel room. After her death was discovered, they reported it to the police. The police told everybody who was staying in that hotel room to stay back for questioning and interrogation.

The movie follows the investigation and interrogation of the guests at the hotel. All of a sudden, they had a breakthrough. We don’t have a clue how, it just happened. An Instagram picture came from nowhere, and the guy in the picture is the suspect. We don’t know how they got the suspect’s picture or phone number.

The jump was too massive; there were so many gaps in between, like not just small gaps but huge gaps. Why were they unable to make the story more rounded and believable for the viewers? Were they under pressure to come up with a movie in record time?

How did the Instagram picture come about? What was the motive of the person who committed the murder? Why was he impersonating someone else?

I found it curious that the hotel didn’t have CCTV in the hallway like normal hotels do, but perhaps it shows that it was a poor hotel, though it didn’t look that poor. On the other hand, one might not expect competence from a Nigerian hotel.

I also have a bone to pick with the police uniforms. All the policemen and women wore dark blue uniforms, and that’s for only high-ranking policemen, so why was every police person wearing blue uniforms? I mean, if you’re acting in a movie and you’re trying to portray the Nigerian police uniform, it has to be what we see every day.

All of the actors did well; they were like a 6/10. But Bimbo Ademoye’s acting was solid. Blessing Jessica Obasi-Nze was Bimbo’s police partner; her acting was exceptional. She is the comedy in the movie.

The movie in its entirety was a little bit below average, or, mildly speaking, it was aggressively and thoroughly average for me. 4./10

One woman sat down in the cinema after the movie, asking if it was what she paid ₦5,000 for. And I agree with her. There was no reason for that movie to be shown in the cinema, and people should not be asked to pay such an amount for it. Perhaps, one would not feel so upset if they watched the movie on streaming platforms, but to leave one’s house and then pay to watch a movie without a believable storyline is heart-wrenching.

Are Nigerian movie makers under immense pressure not to work on story development, relying solely on actors acting to bring life to a very weak story? A good movie must be whole, a great cast, a great director, and most especially a good story, which this movie lacks.



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