Hello again! My heart felt thanks to everyone that sent in a comment. From Neca, who says Statham is TRANSPORTER, to powerific who wants us to give out consolation prizes. Trust me when I say we would love nothing more than to give out loads of freebie to our readers but we’ve got budget considerations. Perhaps if I could sneak my budget into the National Budget like some elements were able to, I could get more dough for more freebies. Please if anyone knows the procedure for doing so, contact moi pronto. It’s only a few millions after all. And I haven’t forgotten Christiana and Matthew either, yes Halle Berry isn’t the only woman to have won an Oscar but the only black woman to have won an Oscar for Best Actress (see post #SoWhite Oscars). Sorry for the typo error (smile).
This weekend due to my readers demand, you’ll be pleased to know we’re reviewing a Niaja movie. Yay! And it’s none other than ‘Fifty’, a 2015 romantic drama executively produced by EbonyLife TV CEO, Mo Abudu and directed by Biyi Bandele. The movie is centered on the few pivotal days of four women at the pinnacle of their careers; Tola, Elizabeth, Maria and Kate. Four friends who are forced at midlife to take inventory at their personal lives, while juggling career and family against the backdrops of the neighbourhoods of Lagos. It stars Dakare Akande, Ireti Doyle, Ese Ikpe Etim and Omoni Oboli. And with special guest appearances by King Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti, Nneka, Tiwa Savage and Waje.
‘Fifty’ had its premiere in London in October which sold out in four days, and a private screening in Lagos which also held in October 2015. Grand Premiere on 13 December 2015 at the Eko Hotel and Suites and was released to cinemas that same December. There isn’t any box office record to judge viewers’ reception and financial gains as is the case with most Nigerian movies, so we’ll just go straight to the critical reviews.
Seyifunmi Ajanaku, a critic and blogger had this to say “Fifty is intriguing as it keeps you glued to your screen from start to finish. It was a great source of entertainment with its brilliant cast and plot twists with well-known actors that brought their A game to their respective roles.” Another critic was of the opinion that it bore a strong resemblance to the 1981 soap opera ‘Dynasty’. A critic from the UK had this to say, “Fifty records like a ropey TV drama. It is advertised as a love story, but this is not one – it wants to be a love story. The film could be far more interesting if it channeled a particular theme or emotion, or if it offered some critique on the class and regime widespread in Lagos.” Whoa! Strong words.
I agree with that the star studded cast was brilliant and cinematography was equally beautiful but the plot (four women on a journey of self-discovery and love) does feel reminiscent of an old movie. It felt like another ‘Waiting to Exhale’ to me. You know the 1995 American romantic drama film featuring Whitney Huston and Angela Basset. The plot of women trying to find themselves is one that I feel has being over flogged in soaps and movies especially by Ebony Studios. I know how we ladies love the search for love and happiness movies, but it gets old after some time. Besides how many guys want to go the cinema to watch another self-discovery girl flick except it’s got side attractions like explicit sexual scenes. Which brings me to the obscene and tasteless vulgarity of the sex scenes in the movie. There are many ways to interpret one’s role without stripping to the bare necessities in a film and it has nothing to do with professionalism. Just as there are many ways to pass a message across without being sexually offensive (don’t want to be cringing with shame in my seat in a cinema). I can’t begin to understand why we feel the need to introduce Hollywood’s moral decadence into our film industry. This is why I respect Bollyhood, they’ve been able to keep their sanity and resist the lure of Hollywood. Why can’t Nigerian filmmakers do the same? The one beautiful thing about Naija films before now, was its PG nature. Now you can’t even dare watch with your kids except you’re ready to give a crash course on the birds and the bees. Pleasesss, I’m begging nollywood, show some dignity and morals and tone it down.
So watch the movie peeps and as usual remember to send us your take. Don’t forget Jollyhood’s 88th Academy Awards Competition is still on. Go the link http://plus.allforms.mailjol.net/u/d242493c.php and make your predictions before midnight February 27th. And you can also catch Season 1, episode 2 of ‘The Babatunde Diaries’ on our YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/JoyOhiaeri. Be safe guys. Cheerio!