When you hear that the author of “On Becoming”, Toke Makinwa is making her debut acting role in a movie that bothers on ladies and their search for the right spouse, your expectations would natural go on overdrive. Then, you see the teaser (on NollyTrailer, of course) with Bisola, Toyin Abraham, Blossom, ever-ludicrous Chigul (Chioma Omeruah), and a host of famous Instagram comic acts, you will definitely hit the cinemas in your tightest girdle so you won’t laugh off your ribs.

This was the case when at the Leisure Mall, Surulere on Saturday 4th of May, 2019, which happen to be the second day the movie went live on Silver Screen. You know NollyTrailers owes you the gist before you go watching, and it starts from the experience before the movie itself. So, I was ‘jejely’ looking out for gist everywhere until the attendant at Filmhouse Cinema told me the movie was screening for N3,000! I stepped back to check if I wasn’t at IMAX, Lekki, and then came back to ask “guy, how now?” and he went, “..it comes with pop corn, drinks, shawama/hot dog..” bla this, bla that. Then my argument, “I asked for movie ticket, not a 3-course meal cinema experience”. Last last, guy issued me the ticket at the regular N1,500. I was quite unhappy, because it was a rip-off attempt. Customers’ other expense beyond their base ticket charge is totally their choice. You can’t package a bundle and force it on your customers as a strategy to sell your other products. I will assume it isn’t backed by the management, but some overzealous staff devising schemes to meet sales target.

Back to how “Makate Must Sell” in 2019. This is simply a comedy film with a message on a major African problem, whereby marriage is termed the most epochal achievement for women. The woman is often troubled, taunted, engineered and even sometimes, coerced into settling down with a man, regardless of compatibility, character-content and even against their own desires, wish and aspirations. A lot of the arm-chair analysts wouldn’t put into consideration the unique realities of every individual and rush off to pass unfair judgments, placing one thing or the other as the reason ‘she can’t find a man’. It assumes another level if the woman in question is on the big-side. Great talking point for family, friends and acquaintances when they are dissecting her suitability for marriage: she needs to come down, eat less, hit the gym, dress better, change her make-up line, show other qualities that will make up for her size, etc. Most feign empathy, but really are just gossips thrusting themselves on the life of another. It is a case of gender and physical discrimination.

Makate Must Sell tells this story. Starting from how ‘fat’ Chioma (Chigul) let the pressure weigh her down, how she and her close friends explored all strategies to ‘get a man’, the various crude experiences from the adventures, to how she gets a hold of herself and faced the society with a finished manifesto for her life’s business. At the end of the day, it is her own life. Chioma had the support of two friends, Toke and Toyin, who both were helping with her ‘makate must sell’ enterprise, since her three aunties had given her a deadline and must come to her cousin’s wedding with a man . She would go through various try-outs, with a typical, stingy Igbo man (with strong accent), a rich, self-indulging playboy, a talkative, fanatical Christian brother, and a clandestine, Mr Perfect serial cheat, before she got all fed up. As an OAP, Chioma turned her comedy-themed radio show (ironically, a call-in show on relationship) into an emotional train. She just had to let off steam, after her closest friend spilled out her terrible views of her in an argument about man-snatching, where Chioma was totally innocent. Bisola Aiyeola of the BBNaija fame was her co-host and gave her all the ‘colleagoparting’ she needed. Aftermath would be a firmed-up Chioma hitting that dreaded wedding of her cousin’s in grand style and in company of her ‘were’(mad) friend, Toyin Abraham (same name in movie). She went up against her aunties in a big-time ‘wash’ scene. Herself and Toyin took the aunties to the cleaners. Trust me folks, this scene will really crack you up. At the end of the day, Chioma saw a green flag on her man quest, and with some funny twist in the final moments of the play.

Filmone Distribution, Screenart, See Fam and Ahh Entertainment collaborated to make this movie. It was directed by Don Mope (Taxi Driver director). To be honest, this film has no business being in the cinemas. Storyline is hackneyed, script is not any different from the usual Nollywood trying-too-hard-to-be-funny effort. It is a basic production propped with headline cast to kindle fans’ interests. For one, I expected to see unique comedy delivery, since Josh 2 Funny, Charlse Okocha, Wofia Fada and Chigul were all unleashed on this project. But, jokes-intended scenes like when Blossom and Chigul went out on a date, were as insipid as usual. Like what is uniquely funny about ‘I don’t want chicken breast, give me chicken bumbum, in fact, give me chicken bum, because if you say they should give you chicken bumbum they will say it is expensive, just give me chicken bum’? The comedy lines were mostly dry and not quite imaginative.

Toke delivered, Toyin didn’t disappoint, Chigul’s character play was a bit confusing. The other big names on the cast only had a scene or two with no major impact on the movie. It is generally Nollywood on the usual average path. Picture quality was okay, light and sound isn’t outstanding likeness. For me and based on my expectations for this movie and Nollywood in general, this movie will get a 2 (on a scale of 1 to 5).

For what the viewers think…NollyTrailers had few chats, many of the very few people who saw this movie, didn’t even want to talk about it. The few who did, just share the thought that the movie is funny, and that’s all to it. The average rating is 3. See review clip below.

Conclusively, let me say ‘Makate Must Sell’ is not really a bad movie, at least it will make you laugh. But with Nollytrailer’s view to the world, it hasn’t done any major good to Nollywood that this movie is screening in Cinemas, only our best should. Thousands of movies are released in Hollywood every year, only the best make it to the big screen. We sure need some standardization.

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