Sunday, September 5, 2021 10:00 am
By Folorunso, Fatai Adisa
The above-named movie, a Nigerian political thriller by Kemi Adetiba, the same director of Wedding party, is a brilliant work. The movie debuted on Netflix on Friday, August 27, 2021. Now in season: Episode 1-7. This unusual structure makes it an uncommon Nollywood movie.
The storyline, from the onset, has all the trappings of a Shakespearean tragedy: There is Alhaja Salami, the tragic hero who elicits fear and pity; there is the villain in Aare Akinwande and his cohorts. Alhaja Eniola’s hamartia, is her love for prominence or we say POWER. But in these new episodes, she triumphed. Starting from the casting of the characters to the filming of the movie; one cannot but praise the hands that cooked it.
Aside from the fact that almost all the actors and actresses in the movie displayed originality in the various roles they had played, hilarity wasn’t sacrificed where and when necessary. How about Mr Fashina’s request for biscuits at the reverend’s office when they have a pressing issue at hand? How about the reverend father’s appearance alongside the “Iya Oloja” and others to rejoice with the Governor-elect amongst others? Funny!
It is noteworthy to appreciate Remilekun Abdul Khalid Safaru (Reminisce) otherwise known as “Makanaki/Korede” in the movie. Given that that is his second outing in the theatrical realm, he did brilliantly and laudably well. From his cadential flow cum line renditions, facial expressions to general actions, “Korede/Makanaki” dramatically gripped his audience and displayed the attributes of a lout and slum gang leader.
Ade Tiger is the textbook definition of wisdom and loyalty. He needs to be studied by people who use bodyguards and, even, bodyguards themselves. I think he has greatly matured in that role.
Gbemi Anthonia Adefuye (Toni Tones) who played the role of the younger Alhaja Salami expressed creativity. Her “madness” and energy remain on the same wavelength with the old Alhaja salami, even a blind viewer will feel her anger: a revenge mode.
Nse Ikpe-Etim, Jumoke Randle, the overzealous governor’s wife aptly depicts the desperation of a politician’s wife who desires to remain in power.
Madam Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, indeed, proved her being an old warhorse. Her diction, top notch. Her kinesics, excellent! Role interpretation, superb.
Akin Lewis is, truly, legendary. I have yet to see anyone play a fatherly and political role better than he does: possibly Anta Laniyan, to me, is his best challenger.
Akin has the words and the imperative voice. The needed dramatic kinesics too. I once noted that he goes inaudible when he renders his lines. Most times, you would have to strain your ears to hear him. But in King Of Boys, Akin’s (Aare Akinwande) audibility is incontestable. He is an old wine. He tastes better. I enjoyed his act, as usual.
Eniola Salami, OBA, (Sola Sobowale) is the metaphor for hard work and commitment. And brilliance. And charisma: this is because performing on stage, or on camera, requires a certain amount of expressive energy, so an individual with high-octane energy and the ability to translate that energy on-screen like Sola Sobowale cannot but be praised. The passion for performing and entertaining is a key quality, and a good actor should have the confidence to portray their role in a production convincingly and connect with audiences. They need physicality to convey the emotions, motivations, and intentions of a character through physical movement as well as speech. All of the aforesaid are the things Sola Sobowale aptly represents in the movie: A CLASS ACT, she is!
Some of the lows: That Eniola Salami and Gov randle have no running mates do not add up. In a gubernatorial election race, both the governorship candidate and his deputy are always seen during the electioneering process. Additionally, it is completely fictional that no one runs Gov. Randle’s campaign but his wife.
Also, the assassination of Aare Akinwade is not well-thought- out. Consequently, it looks unrealistic. From the inept representation of the security men guarding Aare in the hospital to the clownishly dressed nurse who looks like a ballet dancer, the consciousness and suspicion of the security guard could have been activated. The scene is a miss.
Is there a database for market women in Nigeria? How did Alhaja Salami’s strategist(Mr Fashola) — unprepared— know Mama Nkechi and her daughter’s name? Was it that they knew she would be found in such a somber mood? He could have done well by quickly dashing away to get the needed information and return to supply Alhaja Salami. Another miss.
Makanaki, otherwise known as Korede, is out for two things: revenge and power. He sees Alhaja Salami as his archenemy. If he could have killed Odogwu and his boys who had attempted to murder him on the instructions of Alhaja Salami, incontrovertibly, he wouldn’t spare Alhaja Salami. Let’s accept that Alhaja appeased him with the utmost position at the table, it would have been apt if a scene was dedicated to the settlement and scheming for the sake of clarity.
It is significant that Power tussle, which formed one of the bedrocks of the work, was well-acted out in the movie. Rapacity, corruption and conspiracy conspicuously played out too.
The rots in the highest seats in the land, both at the Federal and the State levels, are aptly displayed in the movie as well. The good and the bad pen pushers/opinion moulders—Journalists— are not left out too.
From the storyline, the cute costumes, the captivating cinematography, to the admixture of languages that’s steeped in the rich use of proverbs, you cannot but commend the movie.
Overall, technically, that movie is a beautiful one. It says there is corruption. It says criminals exist. It says politics, here in Nigeria, is a can of worms— an organised “legal” crime. It says karma and/or revenge is real (Sola lost her children. After all, she killed a lot of people too. However, she has taken a pound of her flesh from Aare by assassinating him). It says loyalty also exists( as displayed by Ade Tiger towards Sola Shobowale). It says corruption courts the church as displayed by the reverend (RMD) with a girlfriend and a child: it says everyone has a price.
I will rate the movie 8/10.
Indeed, LABURU has LANDED.
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in from Abeokuta.