‘Anikulapo’ soars on compelling cinematography but leaves us wanting more

Film Title: Anikulapo

Solid: Kunle Remi, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Sola Sobowale, Bimbo Ademoye, Taiwo Hassan, Faithia Balogun, Adebayo Salami, Kareem Adepoju, Moji Olayiwola, and Aisha Lawal.

Runtime: 2 hours, 22 minutes

Date of launch: 30 September 2022

Director: Kunle Afolayan

What do you get when Kunle Afolayan decides to spearhead a mission that celebrates the Yoruba custom? Easy: a romantic fantasy movie referred to as ‘Anikulapo’.

In the event you take pleasure in watching movies like ‘Swallow’, ‘Quotation’, or ‘The Figurine’, it’s higher to not get your hopes excessive as ‘Anikulapo’ falls in need of what makes you wish to run to a cinema instantly.

Taking a visit down reminiscence lane: when the trailer received launched, there was numerous buzz round how epic the visuals seemed.

Nevertheless, thirty minutes into watching the precise film, there have been no moments or scenes that deserved a tweet saying, “Anikulapo is the very best Nollywood film of 2022.”

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Now, don’t get it flawed; the film isn’t horrible.

It’s most likely within the high 15 checklist of the very best 2022 Nollywood movies. Whereas it has a fantastic idea, ethical lesson, visuals, and actors, it fails to ship on an important aspect of a film: sturdy storytelling.

The Tea (plot)

We’re launched to the Outdated Oyo empire within the seventeenth century, the place we see a younger man referred to as Saro (Kunle Remi) arrive seeking greener pastures.

Fortuitously, a day after his arrival, he meets Awarun, a rich girl (Sola Sobowale) who takes an curiosity in him and affords her help.

To assist him obtain his dream of proudly owning a clothes store, Awarun employs him as a clay moulder earlier than contributing to his clothing-making store. Arun’s true intentions are proven when she suggests sleeping with Saro—a proposal he instantly accepts.

On the opposite facet of the category system, we have now Arolake (Bimbo Ademoye), an sad queen. On a regular basis life within the palace is torture as the opposite queens are jealous of her relationship with the king.

Saro’s and Arolake’s worlds come collectively when Saro is requested to design material for the royal relations.

His first go to to the palace results in a number of sexual encounters with Arolake. What appears to be an on a regular basis exercise turns right into a love affair, and each lovers plan to flee.

Their escape plans turn into futile as Saro is caught and crushed to dying by the King (Taiwo Hassan). Whereas watching him take his ultimate breath, Arolake sees Akala, a mystical fowl, revive him, dropping its resurrection energy within the course of.

A couple of months later, Arolake and Saro live a cushty life in one other village the place Saro is extensively referred to as a resurrector (therefore the title; Anikulapo). Issues quickly flip sharp when greed and infidelity tear the couple aside, claiming every thing they love.

The Good

Creativity is just not sufficient to explain Afolayan as his “out of the field” mindset is seen in a improbable movie concept. The title alone is intriguing, and the introduction of an entire supernatural viewpoint is value applauding.

When watching the movie, it’s evident that numerous analysis was carried out. From the areas to the costumes, every thing appeared proper and teleported viewers to the seventeenth Century.

Some favorite scenes are the marketplaces, the place we’re given a glimpse of how buying and selling labored again then, how clay pots had been made, and what homes seemed like.

There’s additionally using language. Afolayan sticks to the Yoruba language, making the movie extra genuine. This not solely promotes our tradition globally but additionally supplies a chance to snag a number of worldwide awards.

Lastly, the movie options veterans from the Yoruba movie business, which brings a rush of nostalgia. It was enjoyable to look at a number of the oldest Nollywood faces ship award-winning performances.

The Unhealthy

The plot dragged lots. There are various “filler scenes,” as I name them. Some scenes simply had the actors performing actions or exchanging dialogue that contributed nothing to the plot.

An instance is the scene of the brand new village’s king and son. Though the writers tried to point out how sentimental the son is to the king, it was pointless. The king’s try and hit Saro was adequate.

Moreover, the thrilling elements of the story failed to choose up shortly. The start of the film received my consideration, displaying a bruised Saro coming again to life.

It wasn’t till over an hour into the movie that we had been proven what occurred to Saro. Whereas constructing the characters is essential, it simply felt dragged.

‘Anikulapo’ additionally missed the mark on little particulars. In the course of the movie, some scenes the place the tribal patterns appeared off. Additionally, the CGI impact is a reminder of these low-budget Yoruba motion pictures (which comes as an enormous shock as a result of this movie has the monetary backing of Netflix).

Lastly, there’s a case of dangerous chemistry between our two star-crossed lovers. Whereas each actors’ expertise are top-notch, their on-screen chemistry is an enormous NO.

Their actions and dialogue weren’t compelling sufficient to root for his or her love. Possibly issues would have been completely different if the writers had taken the time to focus extra on the love story than on their sexual encounters.

Last Verdict

6/10. ‘Anikulapo’ may fail to ship on its promise of compelling storytelling, however it’s a type of movies celebrating our conventional heritage proudly and truthfully.

‘Anikulapo’ is streaming on Netflix.

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