Movie review written by Daniel, Damilola & Odun of 2 girls, a guy and a TV.
2girls1guyTV is a collective of TV show addicts reviewing the best the small screen has to offer – and the occasional movie.
What do you feel when you watch a Nollywood movie? For us it’s usually disappointment.
Most times, you see a really good actor trying to make a bad script work or a potentially great script with mediocre directing. So when you find a new (and great) filmmaker - in this case Dare Olaitan - that gives you a cohesive story and still manages to entertain you, it’s hard not to get excited for the future of Nollywood.
A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Ojukokoro (Greed) and here’s what we think about it:
Plot & Screenplay
Without giving any spoilers away, Ojukokoro follows the cash-strapped manager of a petrol station – that’s a front for drug dealers – who decides to rob his employers on his birthday.
As simple as this plot sounds, the movie is still the most dynamic Nollywood movie we’ve seen. Dare brought a simple and well-talked about issue in Nigeria (armed robbery) and developed it into something that fully showed the true nature of Nigerians - most of us are motivated by greed.
But more than that, the dialogue was realistic. Considering the fact that most of the story happened in one day, the natural banter among certain characters was typical of a conversation that would actually happen among real friends, and in particular, young Nigerians.
But what made the movie even better is that the plot ties up neatly at the end. In other words, you’re going to leave the cinema with A LOT of closure.
Characters & Character Development
Typically, whenever we watch Nollywood movies, the characters are never fleshed out enough to show that humans are exceptionally flawed (i.e most people aren’t just good or just bad), and the actors who play these characters end up being typecast all through their careers as either villains or angels.
With Ojukokoro, every character had the potential to be both good and bad and with great writing meeting great acting, we were completely invested in most of the characters’ stories.
As much as we don’t rate the AMVCAs, if Seun Ajayi doesn’t get nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his hilarious and layered portrayal of Monday, the lovable and unpredictable filling station attendant (yes, we still need these in Nigeria) we will lose our shit!
But Seun Ajayi isn’t the only actor that deserves praise. Wale Ojo as Mad Dog Max was a refreshing change of pace from his usual roles. And the lead actor, Charles Etubiebi, showed that nuanced acting has a place in Nollywood. In addition, the supporting actors around them like Tope Tedela, Saka and Shawn Faqua, really held their own.
Authenticity Of The Nigerian Condition
While Ojukokoro had many hilarious moments that could have easily distracted from its main point, the movie was intelligent enough to still illustrate the authentic Nigerian condition - that Nigerian greed is real and greed is literally killing us.
A Lack of Multi-Dimensional Female Leads
If there is one major criticism we can make about the movie, it’s that the female characters were used as plot devices to advance the male characters storylines. From a damsel in distress to the pregnant wife/reason to come home, if we put together all the female characters in Ojukokoro, they still wouldn’t make a full multi-dimensional woman.
A Nollywood Success Story
While there have been a number of decent Nollywood movies in the past few years (think last year’s TIFF City to City programme), the point is that given the sheer volume of Nollywood movies made each year, these good movies are almost like a drop in the ocean of bad acting, bad directing and even worse screenplays.
But if more talented screenwriters and directors like Dare Olaitan were given a chance to produce quality work, we’d have even more successful movies to rave about. And success here is not just box office numbers, but also Nollywood movies we can actually be PROUD of.
Overall, our ratings:
Average rating: 8.3