Movie Review: ‘Anikulapo’ soars on compelling cinematography but leaves us wanting more


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Movie Title: Anikulapo

Cast: Kunle Remi, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Sola Sobowale, Bimbo Ademoye, Taiwo Hassan, Faithia Balogun, Adebayo Salami, Kareem Adepoju, Moji Olayiwola, and Aisha Lawal.

Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

Date of release: 30 September 2022

Director: Kunle Afolayan

What do you get when Kunle Afolayan decides to spearhead a challenge that celebrates the Yoruba tradition? Simple: a romantic fantasy movie known as ‘Anikulapo’.

If you get pleasure from watching films like ‘Swallow’, ‘Citation’, or ‘The Figurine’, it’s better not to get your hopes excessive as ‘Anikulapo’ falls wanting what makes you need to run to a cinema instantly.

Taking a visit down reminiscence lane: when the trailer obtained released, there was lots of buzz round how epic the visuals seemed.

However, thirty minutes into watching the precise movie, there were no moments or scenes that deserved a tweet saying, “Anikulapo is the best Nollywood movie of 2022.”

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Now, don’t get it mistaken; the movie isn’t terrible.

It’s most likely in the top 15 list of the best 2022 Nollywood movies. While it has a fantastic idea, moral lesson, visuals, and actors, it fails to deliver on an important component of a movie: robust storytelling.

The Tea (plot)

We are launched to the Old Oyo empire within the 17th century, the place we see a younger man known as Saro (Kunle Remi) arrive in search of greener pastures.

Fortunately, a day after his arrival, he meets Awarun, a wealthy girl (Sola Sobowale) who takes an interest in him and presents her help.

To help him achieve his dream of proudly owning a clothing shop, Awarun employs him as a clay moulder earlier than contributing to his clothing-making shop. Arun’s true intentions are shown when she suggests sleeping with Saro—an provide he immediately accepts.

On the other facet of the class system, we have Arolake (Bimbo Ademoye), an sad queen. Everyday life in the palace is torture as the opposite queens are jealous of her relationship with the king.

Saro’s and Arolake’s worlds come together when Saro is asked to design material for the royal relations.

His first go to to the palace results in several sexual encounters with Arolake. What seems to be an everyday exercise turns into a love affair, and each lovers plan to flee.

Their escape plans become futile as Saro is caught and crushed to death by the King (Taiwo Hassan). While watching him take his ultimate breath, Arolake sees Akala, a mystical fowl, revive him, dropping its resurrection power in the process.

A few months later, Arolake and Saro are living a cushty life in another village where Saro is extensively often recognized as a resurrector (hence the title; Anikulapo). Things soon flip sharp when greed and infidelity tear the couple apart, claiming every thing they love.

The Good

Creativity isn’t sufficient to explain Afolayan as his “out of the box” mindset is seen in a incredible movie thought. The title alone is intriguing, and the introduction of an entire supernatural point of view is worth applauding.

When watching the film, it’s evident that plenty of research was carried out. From the places to the costumes, every little thing appeared right and teleported viewers to the 17th Century.

Some favourite scenes are the marketplaces, where we’re given a glimpse of how buying and selling worked back then, how clay pots were made, and what homes looked like.

There is also the use of language. Afolayan sticks to the Yoruba language, making the movie more authentic. This not only promotes our culture globally but in addition offers an opportunity to snag several worldwide awards.

Lastly, the film features veterans from the Yoruba film trade, which brings a rush of nostalgia. It was fun to look at a few of the oldest Nollywood faces deliver award-winning performances.

The Bad

The plot dragged lots. There are many “filler scenes,” as I name them. Some scenes just had the actors performing actions or exchanging dialogue that contributed nothing to the plot.

An example is the scene of the model new village’s king and son. Although the writers tried to point out how sentimental the son is to the king, it was unnecessary. The king’s try and hit Saro was ok.

Additionally, the thrilling components of the story failed to select up rapidly. The starting of the movie obtained my attention, showing a bruised Saro coming again to life.

It wasn’t till over an hour into the movie that we were proven what happened to Saro. While constructing the characters is essential, it just felt dragged.

‘Anikulapo’ additionally missed the mark on little details. During the movie, some scenes the place the tribal patterns seemed off. Also, the CGI impact is a reminder of those low-budget Yoruba motion pictures (which comes as a huge shock as a end result of this film has the financial backing of Netflix).

Finally, there’s a case of unhealthy chemistry between our two star-crossed lovers. While each actors’ abilities are top-notch, their on-screen chemistry is a big NO.

Their actions and dialogue weren’t compelling sufficient to root for their love. Maybe issues would have been totally different if the writers had taken the time to focus more on the love story than on their sexual encounters.

Final Verdict

6/10. ‘Anikulapo’ might fail to deliver on its promise of compelling storytelling, but it is one of those films celebrating our traditional heritage proudly and truthfully.

‘Anikulapo’ is streaming on Netflix.

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