Aside boasting of a cultural diversity unlike any other, Africa…
By Oyebamiji Okiki
If you are looking for a movie that has deep and strong moral values that will leave you in that serious, sober reflective mode, then the Wedding Party is not for your kind. But if you want to see a movie that x-rays the planning of societal weddings by Nigerians, with all its intrigues and drama, laced with comic and humourous vibes, then you have to see The Wedding Party; if you’ve not. This is not to say the award winning movie is void of morals to pick up here and there, I’m just trying to paint a picture that the movie is themed to unwind and relax (and to make you laugh). Such is actually needed at a time like this in our country, where the economy is in a topsy-turvy situation. A distraction from the financial and emotional fiasco we usually find ourselves is welcomed with open arms.
The patent of Mo Abudu’s Ebony Life Films (and other production conglomerates), The Wedding Party is a movie that oozes professionalism at its peak. From the directing to the casting, including the photography directory, no expense was spared. One cannot but agree with the proverb that says “it is money that makes a delicious soup”. This is a cue for all movie producers (both aspiring and current) to follow in making good movies based on their budget. Shout out to all those producers who make below par movies; cut your coat according to your size! Based on logistics that is available on Wikipedia, the Wedding Party records the highest profit ever made from a movie in a Nigeria totaling 450 million naira, with a budget of 60 million naira. What makes this film so special, talked about and a toast for many Nigerians? For me, I will like to duff my hat for the plethora of acts that were paraded in the movie.
Starting from the main acts around which the story evolves, Dozie (Banky W) and Dunni (Adesua Etomi), the chemistry was a strong one. Barring from your mind the recent real life engagement of the duo, they did a good job. Adesua Etomi has moved on to new level in the acting business since she debuted in Knocking on Heavens Door, and kudos must go to Mr. Bankole Wellington, for showing he can do more than singing. Not bad for a debut performance.
“A ram that retreats, is coming back with more power”, such an adage will be apt to describe actress, Sola Sobowale. Like many have said, her performance was the highlight of the movie, as she truly epitomized the actions and character worthy of a Yoruba mother-in-law. From the panla stew (a stocked fish stew) saga to her theatrics when the couple’s vehicle came late to the reception, nobody could have done it better. Sobowale, who has been under the radar for a while in acting, came back with a bang! The queen of comebacks, permit me to say; probably Barcelona learnt one or two things from her against P.S.G, who knows.
I feel Ali Baba cemented his place has the father of comedy in Nigeria, with his acting in the movie. His rib cracking one-liner and comic punch lines is worthy of notice, and they got me personally reeling with laughter. One of such was his statement during the argument between the bride’s and groom’s mother (Sola Sobowale and Ireti Doyle) on which family first enters the hall; in his words (in pidgin), “no be person wey call police first, dey win case o”.
Just like old wine, its gets better with age; such can be said about Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), who has over the years graced our television screens with top notch performances, left no stone unturned in this one. He brought his finesse and commanding personality into the movie. It seems like this daddy wants to be a baby boy for life. With impeccable and flawless English, Ireti Doyle added glamour to the movie. With a highly impressive acting C.V. one should not be surprised at the level of professionalism she brought into the picture.
Daniella Down who acted as Deadre Winston is another cast really got me cranked up and added a lot of humour to the movie. From the first scene, where she greeted Ali Baba in a warped-up Yoruba, I knew I was in for it. Her taste and love for Yoruba cuisine(s) is an enigma, most especially when she ordered for all kinds of assorted, at the wedding. She sure added colour to the movie, being a European. A Google search further reveals that the Wedding Party is not her first in Nollywood, as she has been involved in other seemingly interest flicks.
One of the actresses who was so dramatic was the entertaining Zainab Balogun who acted as the hyper-active wedding planner, Wonu. With so much drama and exaggerated demeanor, Balogun portrays the pseudo English most ambitious females like to speak these days, so as to intimidate. But has luck would have it against her, she had to come down to the local parlance, thanks to the dexterity of Iya Michael (Tinuade Coker’s caterer) in the kitchen.
The duo of fire branded man of God Pastor Leke Adegoke (Emma Oh My God) and the highly spirited driver, Harrison (Frank Donga) who were given roles in their niche, did their comic bests. They added humour to the story.
This eulogy will not be complete if I do not talk about the director of this record breaking movie. Before the Wedding Party, Kemi Adetiba is a household name in the Nigerian music video industry. For those who did not know, she has directed and produced a couple of high profile music videos. Her directing in this movie shows her versatility, and further lays claim, to the fact that she can do more than 4 minutes video clips.
I will not be chanced to talk about all the actors and actresses of this blockbuster, but genuinely speaking, everyone was at their best.
On the flip side, nothing made by man can be 100 percent accurate, even Dettol kills only 99.9% of germs. Some things ought to have been done better.
I personally feel someone else should have been given the role that R.M.D played reason being that R.M.D looks too responsible both on and off stage, to be involved in adultery, which is wife (Ireti Doyle) accused. Someone like Jide Kosoko might have been the square peg in a square hole (not saying that Jide Kosoko is not faithful)
Also, the live band that was employed in the movie was very redundant and passive. It was obvious that most of the songs played at the reception were imputed at the post production stage. In such instance, a Disc Jockey (DJ) would have been more appropriate.
In general, a standing ovation would not be too much for this movie. We hope to see more of record breaking movies from Nollywood. And by the way, lets us fold our arms as we await the part two of one of the epoch making movies to ever come out of Nigeria.
Oyebamiji Okiki can be reached through the following social platforms; Twitter and Instagram @okikioye