BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
The Arbitration, Niyi Akinmolayan‘s latest feature film effort opens in cinemas today, Friday, August 12, 2016 and if you currently cannot decide if you should see it or not, let me help you do just that by telling you 5 quick reasons why I think you should head to the cinema.
The Arbitration stars Sola Fosudo, OC Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Ireti Doyle, Somkele Iyamah, Beverly Naya, Gregory Ojefua, and Lota Chukwu.
- There is a refreshing balance between the artistic and the technical. It is not every time you witness this. Too often, in recent time, filmmakers tend to offer one on the altar of the other. You either watch a film that paid a lot of attention to technical details but with poorly delivered artistic performances. Or you see a film with amazing artistic aesthetics but the technical delivery will send you into a tearful fit. The Arbitration finds a good balance between both.
- Acting masterclasses. This film is full of brilliant actors. Leading the pack is Ireti Doyle who brings her A game to the arbitration panel. Throw in OC Ukeje’s mature output and Adesua Etomi’s strong showing and you have a trio of acting goodies. Sola Fosudo comes in armed with the experience he has gathered over the years and Gregory Ojefua, who Nollywood had better stop to notice, did not disappoint. Somkele and Lota didn’t come empty-handed. They showed up with bags of potential.
- A theme that makes you want to stop and think. The film tries to address sexual harassment on several levels. A subject so sensitive yet so powerful in our society today. Adesua said to me during our chat after the press screening, “Every woman has a story to tell.” Whether we like it or not, it is true. We live in a society where women face harassment because of their gender. Some of these come in subtle ways, and what many-a-man might give off as flirting, lands on some women as harassment. The Arbitration asks the questions, “What is sexual harassment and what constitutes rape?” I will leave the judgement on whether it somehow finds answers to these questions to you, but it is good to see the film put in an effort into interrogating these issues.
- Music so on point. Something you cannot but notice about this film is the success it achieves in the aspect of music and original score. Apart from wobbly sound, another bogey area for most Nollywood films is achieving music production success. Here is where Akinmolayan excels.
His Anthill Production Studios deserve commendation.
- Finally, 2016 comes to life. After a very frustrating and underwhelming first half of the year, Nollywood is about to excite. It started with Femi Odugbemi’s Gidi Blues, now Akinmolayan’s The Arbitration has picked it up. Unlike many of the films we have seen this year, it is not just about commercial success. The filmmakers have put some noticeable effort in making films that will be remembered for the good reasons after 2016. Phew!