Directed By: Kunle Afolayan
“It’s a Yoruba Movie oh” The warning I got from the lady handing me my movie ticket
“I know! It has subtitles right?” Like I was going to let anything stop me from seeing the highly anticipated Kunle Afolayan (Best director/producer; RE: The Best Thing @ NazRev) movie. The show times for the movie (11:10am and 7:30pm) told me all I needed to know, another thought out Nigerian movie sidelined for the likes of Godzilla and Dark Phoenix. The dream of having sold out auditoriums for “our good movies” not just the comedies remains laughable. I really don’t know where the problem lies, movies are failing at promotion & publicity or Hollywood infiltrates wouldn’t give us a chance. Perhaps movie release dates should be targeted very far away from Global blockbusters so that movie goers have no choice (Captive audience). The AGN should look into this; maybe an imposed Cinema Quota system would help.
The emptiness of screen 2 when I stepped in showed me why Genesis Cinema PHC only saved two slots for the movie (Would have been one if they had other things to show), law of demand and supply eh. Once again I was the only one in a movie theatre. The diehard “Igbo” patriot come to freeze his balls off watching movies only he cares about. Even Yoruba people living in Port Harcourt would surely pass on the movie, especially if you are dating a non-Yoruba person (70% of Movie watchers take movie watching as a dating experience) or partner decides Godzilla would be more thrilling.
I was eager to see Simi’s acting debut (caught glimpses of her prowess @ music videos) and after the usual annoyance of watching commercials, the movie opened with the Dignity in Labour theme song.
- Tooni Afolayan’s acting: As Ponle, the young lad didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t put a foot wrong. He conveyed the emotions (most commendable, his attraction for Simi) but his performance lacked anything extra. It was too basic and if truth be told it was STALE. On account of this performance, acting future seems very bleak. Wow us next time boy!
- 50 minutes into my movie viewing, Genesis Cinema PHC’s light went off. An extremely rare occurrence and one management handled quite impressively. I was given a voucher to serve as entry to any movie of my choice valid for an entire week for my troubles. On coming back the next day to complete the movie, I met a couple (Yorubas) at the screen. A welcome improvement to the previous day.
- Airline Adverts was over flogged. Just how much did they pay to warrant such dedicated showing, flying airplanes took up at least 3 minutes of run time.
- Igwe Tupac, Charles Okocha’s cameo: Would it have hurt to teach him a few lines of Yoruba? His antics failed this time. Baba is usually hilarious but failed to deliver this time as he looked out of place, unable to properly execute the Fonerization of Pidgin English.
- We got so much of the mechanic shop that we craved for the outside world. We choked on mechanic. I understand the concept and the art in making a movie around one set, genius really; still it would have helped to see something else apart from the workshop or the sky.
- We waited to no avail for Kunle’s usual cameo appearance
- Theme: This movie showed the parallel importance of formal & informal education. The young lad’s father brought him to the workshop to TERRIFY him into taking school work seriously but Ponle wasn’t terrified, instead he arrived at the awesome resolve to combine both formal and informal training as he loved soiling his hands. Whatever path we choose in life, it remains that there must be hard work. There is no “soft” path to success. Let our youths watch and learn patience and persevere at their “clean” hustle and hopefully we shall have less “yahoo” and less “runs.”
- The Shattering of the Rich people mold: Ponle’s parents were not opposed to sending their ward to mingle with “low lives” despite their status. How sweet life would have been if Odetola sent Cuppy for apprenticeship, we wouldn’t have the appalling attempts at music we have now.
- Cultural Showcase: Very thoroughly done. Down to Ponle’s school bag stamp.
- The food slide show (bread and beans, amala),
- The talk of Africa winning the World Cup,
- The call to promote the Nigerian League (NFF Please help us, if our top clubs can sign any of these washed up stars g. Mikel Obi, Emmanuel Adebayor, it would greatly improve coverage and fellowship)
- The graduation ritual
- Abdulateef Adedimeji- Airtel guy. This guy is really solid gold at pulling audiences. Love him.
- We got a mechanic master class, I think I am ready to be a car owner.
This movie wasn’t really made with the intention to sell out; this was clearly a work to beef up Mr. Kunle’s resume, film festival bait (relate to Oscar bait). This was really done for the awards and it is hard to say why it shouldn’t win a few. This movie shouldn’t just be shown at cinemas, it should be played and taught in schools.
True artistry shall rise above mediocre!!!!!!