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Movie review: Hits and Misses of Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party

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By Isabella Akinseye

‘The Wedding Party’ needs no introduction. It is the movie that made and broke records. Who would have ever thought a Nigerian film could clean out at the box office? 450 million Naira. Think about it. Let it sink in. Anything after this will be seen as jara (extra). And as I write this, ‘The Wedding Party’ is still making money from other sources and in other climes. A shame though that the flick fell into the hands of the pirates. But that itself is a testament of the popularity and demand for the film. One that our cinemas can not yet fulfill.

The premise of the story is given away in its name, ‘The Wedding Party.’ Kemi Adetiba leads a star studded cast filled with Nollywood veterans alongside the new generation of talent which cuts across music, comedy, film and television. It is typical rom-com fare full of frills laughs and fun. It follows the wedding of Dozie Onwuka (Banky W) and Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi).

The Hits

  1. Entertainment. This is one film that will entertain you but what do you expect when you pack comedians, actors and musicians? Na the work dem dey do. Everyone who comes on set whether it is for 1 minute or 10 minutes puts their best foot forward to give a memorable performance.
  2. Costume. As expected with a typical Lagos wedding, nobody came to play. From the bride to the guests, everyone came in their Sunday best; dressed to not just impress but to razzle and dazzle.
  3. Star wattage.     The question is not who is in the movie but who is not? Banky W, Adesua Etomi, Atunyota Akpobome [Alibaba], Sola Sobowale, Ireti Doyle, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Zainab Balogun and AY Makun. Others include Ikechukwu, Beverly Naya, Enyinna Nwigwe, EmmaOhMaGod, Lepacious Bose, Somkele  Iyamah-Idhalama  and Frank Donga.
  4. Sola Sobowale. This woman is easily the stand out actress and ultimate scene stealer. She is funny without really trying and that is what endears her to the viewers. From her mannerisms to the delivery of her lines, Aunty Sola can easily have her own sequel or spin-off TV series and we will all watch!
  5. Collaboration. The Elfike Collective made up of EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Koga Studios and Inkblot Productions, shows that four heads are better than one. The combined effort in terms of capital, talent and experience contributed to the overall success of the movie.

The Misses

  1. Script. Or the absence of it. A lot more could have been done in establishing a stronger plot around the wedding. Plus the sub-plots and back stories did not do much for the story except show us how much more work was needed in the main story. A lot of the issues raised were treated at surface level.
  2. Pacing. This could have been as a result of the editing or directing or a bit of both. Also, the screenplay did not help matters. The movie started on a high but began to drag and lose steam in the middle before wrapping up nicely at the end to the delight everyone.
  3. Casting. Again, did we need to have every single person in the movie? The problem with these star studded movies is that they play like variety or talent shows where people perform and go. By the end, you are worn out and end up only remembering a few acts. Some of the actors were great but playing irrelevant and slightly better than waka pass roles did not help their matter or the film.

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