BY LOLA SOWOOLU
The best time to write a review is always while the taste is still in the mouth. This doesn’t refer to food alone. It covers the entire spectrum of the arts. It’s pretty much like saying, the best time to write an exam is when you have just finished reading.
I thought I already missed my chance to review ‘The Wedding Party’ movie since I didn’t grab my keypad right after watching it. Plus, loads of glowing reviews have popped up on almost every Nigerian blog or website you can think of – even if more than half of them are sponsored. So why add my own mite to the already loud noise? Because it’s been over two weeks I saw the movie and I still find myself burst out in laughter when the scenes replay in my head. Truthfully guys, I just HAVE TO let this out.
Who rang the bell for foolishness? Mo Abudu and Kemi Adetiba have some explaining to do. Do you remember the opening lines of singer Faze‘s once famous ‘Kolomental’ song?
Omo na mental case
Start to dey crase
Na who dey rock in this place
That song must have been playing somewhere in the background of this movie when it was being shot or during auditions. I have never seen Ali Baba so ‘foolish’ (read, silly) all my life; not even at his annual January 1st comedy show. I always knew Ikechukwu had some foolishness (or goofiness) in him and I was so glad Kemi (the director) decided to hand him this script that provided the perfect opportunity to bare it all. Sola Sobowale was tastefully dramatic and this was such a brilliant outing for debutante actor, Banky W; as well as Features director debutante, Kemi Adetiba.
Between spilling blood in club fights and screaming, ‘my name is Ike-chukwu!’, I have always diagnosed martial art expert and rapper, Killz, to be a pleasant next-door guy with a high propensity and deep yearning to be foolish – if society wasn’t so patriarchal and condescending towards men like that. I’m glad he found that liberty in his role as Sola – the bestman. And oh! that Caucasian bridesmaid stole my heart – such a hopeless romantic overly flattered by the prospect of a Nigerian Prince.
Let me tell you about the Banky W we saw. It was the innocent-looking 2008 newly-relocated Banky that came to act in this movie.
The singer channelled his Western loverboy personality – the one that endeared him to Nigerian ladies when he introduced the songs; ‘No regrets’ and ‘Don’t break my heart’ to us and stole our hearts. When he found and reconciled with his runaway bride at the beachside in this movie, I almost heard him break into singing:
You’re the only one for me
Why can’t you see
Girl, I knew it from the start
Don’t break what’s left of my heart
In fact, I will not be surprised to find out that he suggested singing this song but was overruled by the director (who is also his personal friend), while filming this scene.
This beach scene was the only Non-Nigerian element in ‘The Wedding Party‘. I mean, which runaway Nigerian bride escapes to be by herself at the beach with a bonfire in the background? Who helped her gather the sticks?
I could go on and on about this movie. Ultimately, I would say the casting director made excellent calls. Every role was correctly cast and the scripts, meticulously guided. The movie had every opportunity to derail but the director kept it steady on course. I think Ireti Doyle and Emma Oh My God had the best-written scripts. Ireti was impeccable in delivery and Emma’s prayer points at the wedding reception was so carefully thought out. Who knew Madam planner, Zainab, could speak such brilliantly intoned Yoruba? And Beverly, she was the classiest bitter slut ever!
The Wedding Party is such a happy movie. I saw it twice in Asaba during the festive season and it put the ‘merry’ in my Christmas. I will see it again in Lagos, once the cinema crowd subsides and I can get a ticket. I hear the Lagos experience is the real deal.
Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?
Lolade Sowoolu currently ghostwrites columns, transcribes audio materials, edits and proofreads manuscripts (fiction, academic, non-fiction), all at incredibly affordable rates and can be reached via loladesowoolu@
This review was first published on the author’s blog. It is published here with permission.