The story of Efunsetan Aniwura is perhaps one of the most motivating thrillers in Yoruba political history and being a typical Yoruba man, you can imagine my excitement when another remake of the movie of the great Egba woman was slated to drop.
Aside from being of the same tribe with the epic Iyalode Ibadan, I’m deeply rooted in her origin as an Egba man too.
I don’t watch movies for the fun of it. Ever since I decided to pick up a pen to be an oversight in the Nigerian movie industry, I always try to be as objective as possible.
The story of Efunseitan Aniwura, the daughter of Ogunrin from Egba Oke Ona, an ancient town in Abeokuta, is a story that is believed to defined the place of women in the Yoruba political history.
Many storytellers had in the past tried to bring to life what transpired in the 1800s but none yet to beat the late Olusola Ogunsola’s version and as directed by the veteran lens wizard, Tunde Kelani, when a good storyline, casting and scripting are considered, even with less technology.
The latest attempt by Funmi Holder and directed by Joshua Ojo, is nothing to write home about.
Few seconds into the movie, I kept wondering whether it was meant to be a comedy or the director is just unserious!
Efunsetan was a story of a lone Yoruba woman in the 1800s when slave trade was still in fashion to fight for the right of the womenfolk in a male dominated world. And this she started right from a tender age. But as life would have it, everything and everyone she could call hers died earlier than they should.
From Funmi Holder’s version, her parents died the same day, and after she also lost her husband. As if that wasn’t enough, she lost something else which was believed to be instrumental in turning her into a beast. You may need to see the movie so I don’t add too much spoilers.
As for me, the aftertaste of the movie is sour as I kept asking myself how on earth would anyone feature Clarion Chukwura as lead for such role, and what was going on in the director’s mind to cast Alex Osifo as the Ibadan de facto ruler, Aare Latoosa!
The movie which was a mix of English and Yoruba didnt compensate for my time and money spent at the cinema because at a point, I was wondering if this was an Igbo traditional movie or a comedy as the casts, especially the leads, struggled to speak fluent and appropriate Yoruba!
I lost hope when I started seeing Ajani’s boxers top on display; I wondered if John Varvatos, rumoured to be the founder of boxers when he worked with Calvin Klein between 1990 and 1995 would have been born when Iyalode Ibadan reigned supreme.
Are you wondering who Ajani was? Well, you may need to hit the cinema to check out all these details.
Back to the movie. Unless both the producer and director started out to produce an hilarious version of what was meant to be an epic movie, then I would rate it a success because a popular Yoruba film actor, Adewale Adeoye, popularly called Elesho, who was one of Latoosa’s chiefs, in conjunction with Ebun Oloyede, popularly known as Olaiya, kept the hall roaring through out the length of the movie.
Then the use of drone shots were too much; it was like the director was just testing his newly acquired knowledge in aeronautics!
For me, the Funmi Holder’s Efusetan should have been a first trial of an amateur producer …or is she?
And to learn it was directed by the much-admired Nigerian filmmaker, Joshua Ojo, is a heart breaker.
Aside from the producer who also featured in the movie, others are Jaiye Kuti, Adunni Ade, Sola Fosudo, Sukanmi Omobolanle, Binta Ayo Mogaji and Yemi Solade.
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