BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The much anticipated Mildred Okwo movie premiered February 12, 2016. It’s all that’s been on the lips of Naija film-lovers since then. From time to time, it comes up in my thoughts too, and just as I laughed out loud at the one before it –The Meeting– I laugh again, with my eyes closed and my head thrown backwards.
Suru L’ere is a 2016 movie produced by Mord Pictures and directed by Midred Okwo. It tells a story of Arinze, a young graduate trainee struggling to maintain a living in the bustling city of Lagos, while dealing with tons of debt. He stumbles upon a deal based on a misrepresentation, and falls for it as it has the potential to change his condition.
The originality of this story is highly commendable. Whoever writes for this company deserves a full pan of fried dodo. Great job! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we haven’t seen stories about a struggling man with an impossible boss, or a fine girl with an ‘ajebo’ accent. It’s the little things that make the big things for Suru L’ere. The angry PA, then the overzealous PA, then the overconfident Bossi, then the overprotective housemate and so on. These characters give a definition to the story that no one has pulled off in the past, and therefore earns a tuale and a half.
Now, shall we give it up for Seun Ajayi? Dude was such a perfect fit, he didn’t even have to say a word to be funny. The portrayal was fantastic, and I could almost doff my imaginary hat in the cinema, fling off my ankle shoes, and walk home bare-footed. And then there’s Kemi Lala Akindoju, who, dynamic as she is, played two different roles in the same movie. When Kunle Afolayan said she was one to look out for, who said it was a lie again? Raise a hand so we can chop it off.
Rita Dominic continues to impress from film to film. Portraying one of her most random roles ever, Rita gave a stellar performance and had us in stitches. Eyinna Nwigwe dazzled. I kept wondering how he pulled off his stunts without even laughing at himself. Brilliant.
Gregory Ojefua made villainous roles cool, and Tope Tedela shined. Oh, about Tope, I’m particularly impressed with the research that went into his character. Like I’d always say, it is not enough to be an actor. Do research, get better, get dynamic, go wayyy out of your comfort zone. Tope did just that. Somebody give the man a medal!
As for Beverly Naya, hmm…well…, I’m not yet a big fan of her acting, especially how she kept trying to Nigerianize her UnNigerian accent. Didn’t work. But hey, we gotta give her props for those killer gowns, no? And how some other big names made cameo appearances? Suru L’ere is a boss.
It’s hard to fault anything in this movie. As soon as you keep a straight face, seriously looking for something to fault, you see or hear something new that gets you cackling and slapping your thighs. I like that Suru L’ere is unpredictable too; just when you think Arinze would be robbed, or Arinze would sweep in and save the day, or Arinze would be implicated, you get disappointed time and again; the kind of disappointment that leaves you happier than it met you.
Suru L’ere is a good way to start the year. I hope Nollywood movie producers and directors are taking notes. It should get better from here, not worse. We beseech ye all. Ese pupo.