BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
So I finally got round to seeing Kunle Afolayan‘s latest movie, The CEO from beginning to end on Thursday after a mix-up ensured that I headed to The Palms, Lekki instead of GDC Maryland for Nolly Thursdays – one that had the celebrated filmmaker as it’s headliner.
I had seen parts of the film two times previously. First at Afolayan’s Golden Effects Studios where he showed a friend and I about 25 minutes of the film while it was still in its post-production stage.
The second time would be at the press screening held at Silverbird Cinema, Ikeja just before it made its full debut on a star-studded Air France flight. We were treated to about one hour of The CEO that morning.
After seeing the whole package of the highly-publicized movie, it was easy to see that I was spot on with my 5-Things article which I wrote after the trailer was released months ago. The CEO‘s strongest point is the technical side of it. If you’re looking for a compelling story or a film that will ensure you see it more than once, this is not the film for you.
I plan to discuss why I think Afolayan’s films, at least since he made The Figurine, have lacked that wow storytelling factor in a future piece. But for now, I am here to give you six reasons you should forget those negative reviews – at least for now – (there’s one here and another here) and go see the film if you haven’t seen it yet.
1. It’s a Kunle Afolayan film.
C’mon, how does it sound when you say Kunle Afolayan released a movie and you did not go to watch it? Especially one that was premiered in the skies. Go on…say it into the palm of your hand and put it to your ear. Does it sound nice? Not at all, right? You see?
2. Just to see how “$2million” was spent.
Don’t tell me you’re not curious to see what was made out of an alleged $2million budget. It’s not every day that a Nollywood film costs that much. Don’t be too amazed because when you factor in sponsorship from Air France and a million and one others, you will figure that that figure may not be too far from the truth. Don’t forget also, that the film was shot on location in several African countries.
3. A Wale Ojo acting masterpiece.
The England-trained actor pulled off another acting masterclass and you could see why Afolayan had to break his rule and bring Wale Ojo back to play the lead after his Phone Swap exploits. Wale looked quite at home in the midst of a Pan-African cast. In fact, he stood out. He shone like a star. If you are disappointed with anything in the film, it cannot be Wale Ojo’s acting.
For me, he is the number one actor in Nigeria. But he won’t win all the awards out there because he doesn’t have an intimidating social media presence. Or, isn’t that the criteria these days?
4. Familiarise yourself with actors from other parts of Africa.
South African actor, Nico Panagio comes close to Wale in terms of acting performance. The pair left the likes of Kemi Lala Akindoju (Nigeria) and Aurielie Eliam (Ivory Coast) trailing far behind them. There is Jimmy Jean-Louis, Angelique Kidjo, Peter King (Kenya) and Fatym Layachi (Morocco) to complete the imported stars list.
5. There’s a N50million debt to be repaid.
According to the producer, he got a N50 million loan for this film. And on the day of the film’s premiere, he appealed to everybody to help him make the money back by going to the cinema to watch the film. You remember what happened to the CommonSenser when he and his brothers couldn’t repay their loan? Good. So, you see, there is a ministry to be helped. Go and watch. #OperationEppAfolayan.
6. Pat Nebo.
This industry is blessed with one of the best production designers and art directors on the continent in Uncle Pat. He is a little bit premium, though. So it is not every day that you have the chance to see a film he art-directed.