ANÍKÚLÁPÓ: THE PROS AND CONS
The movie was particularly centered on the story of Saro, the aso-ofi textile weaver, who, as a stranger, found himself in Oyo, for reasons not exactly explained in the movie. To find his feet, he got help from Sola Sobowale, rather known in the movie as Awarun; a successful businesswoman who locally ran a ceramic factory. We could agree that she also kept Saro close, probably to satisfy her sexual gratification.
Saro did find his bearing but seemed to be biting more than he could chew. He was clearly warned by Awarun on the path he took, but all that probably fell on deaf ears as he dared to illicitly get down with Arolake, the king’s youngest and favourite queen. All these did cost Saro his life. Luckily, a second chance found him, with Arolake being instrumental in that. In his second life, Saro would go on to become a very powerful man, one who was addressed as Aníkúlápó, which in Yoruba means one who conquered death. Saro eventually allowed himself to be clouded by selfishness, unruly standards, and gross insubordination, even as against Arolake. This would go on to cost Saro a second life and his end.
The movie’s cast includes:
- Kunle Remi as Saro, the weaver
- Bimbo Ademoye as Queen Arolake
- Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Oba Aderoju of Ojumo
- Sola Sobowale as Awarun, the businesswoman
- Taiwo Hassan as Alaafin Ademuyiwa.
- Ropo Ewenla as Asohun Oba
- Faithia Balogun as Ojumo Queen
- Kareem Adepoju as Ojuma Chief
- Eyiyemi Afolayan as Omowunmi
- Mr. Macaroni as Akanji
- Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello) as Oyo Chief
- Moji Olayiwola
- Aisha Lawal as Olori Sukanmi
- Dele Odule
- Yinka Quadri as Ojumo Hunter
Shots and Cinematography:
This would be one area where Afolayan needs a round of applause, the fact that he seamlessly keeps coming back with unusual movie productions is a commendable fit. The high-resolution cameras and lenses were rightly made use of, considering the movie clarity and graphics.
Afolayan’s persevering inclusion of African nativity and cultural appreciation is something most laudable. The movie’s idea of a rural African setting and its nostalgic imagery explains his drive to constantly push African standards unto global light.
Audio and Lights:
This would be another area to commend the movie and the work of the production team, especially in the area of lighting. The lights were perfectly made use of, with a clear understanding of where to dim, make high, or maintain equilibrium.
Acting and Simplicity:
The simplicity and forthrightness of the movie are also quite laudable. The acting was undoubtedly good. Since most of the actors were some of the best we’ve known, I expected nothing less.
To me, this was probably the most obvious of the few flops in the movie. The costume might not have gotten that bad if the tribal marks were perfectly done. The tribal marks highlighted the flop in this area.
Nudity is probably an area in acting that is gradually gaining ground in the Nigerian movie industry, more than ever, and with due respect to the African culture. It’s either we professionally display nude and adult scenes or we don’t even include the act in the movie storyline. Nudity is a very sensitive and tricky act, it’s either you get it right or you completely have it removed, except you want to opt for romance, which is different from nudity. The part where Saro had his buttocks exposed when getting sexual with Arolake, was a complete flop. Either you rightly make it look real or you shouldn’t mind giving us a glimpse in the first place.
Too much Simplicity:
In as much as the simplicity of the movie was commendable, I think there should’ve been a limit to that. My point is, a few more scenes would’ve helped to satisfy the expectations of those who must have watched the movie, but I guess resources and setting limitations would be to blame here. That’s why I agree with the words of Blessing Chiwendu when she said, “Anikulapo has potential but holds no compelling story. The movie does too little for the wave it comes with. While simplicity is gold, Anikulapo is one of those few movies where being simple isn’t just good enough.”
Arguably Predictable in Story:
At first, you would love the suspense in the movie, but just over halfway in the movie, you could tell that the movie was clearly about betrayal, which highlighted a cliché in the movie and killed its high suspense.
For the most part, I think that Aníkúlápó is a movie worthy of high accolades, going by a couple of standards, but I particularly do not think it is there at the level that a lot of people are presenting it. I think the movie would’ve been better off as a novel. For this, I wouldn’t be giving this movie a rating, but would sure laud the producer’s efforts to always want to give their audience something out of the usual or known standards.
For the most part, I think that Aníkúlápó is a movie worthy of high accolades, going by a couple of standards, but I particularly do not think it is there at the level that a lot of people are presenting it.
Too much Simplicity2