With his role as an area boy, Bolanle Ninalowo challenges our perception of him as an actor. And he deserves every award for it.
Today, July 7, 2017, "Picture Perfect" which is directed by Tope Alake and produced by Biodun Stephen, kicked off the cinema run for the second half of the year, and it did so with impressive performances, with Ninolowo taking the lead as Jobe.
The movie follows the story of a fashion designer who meets a notorious area boy when her car breaks down in his hood.
As a movie, "Picture Perfect" employs the depth of emotions needed to engage the audience while it explores classism, friendship, fate, love, redemption and beauty in imperfection.
When the trailer made its debut in January, we were skeptical about Ninolowo's ability to bring the character to life.
For years, we have watched Ninalowo in productions like "Husbands of Lagos," "The Guardian," "Walking Away," "Baby Shower" among others and thought we had seen what he was capable of.
But, for the first time, a different Ninalowo is seen. The 'fine boy' with an accent is gone.
If there was ever a role tailor-made for Bolanle Ninalowo, it's definitely Jobe.
In an interview with Pulse Nigeria, Ninalowo revealed that he was scared of taking up the role. He was encouraged by Biodun Stephen, who said to him, "Bolanle, this could change everything for you, if you're able to pull this off.'
As the area boy, Jobe, he finds a way to challenge our perception of him as an actor. He delivers an engaging and exciting performance.
He didn't just show up on set, ready to 'kill his role. He prepared.
"I had to do my homework. I was a bus conductor for about four or five days before the film, and to learn the mannerism of the character. So, I was in Ojuelegba," he had told Pulse Nigeria.
The cast of "Picture Perfect" are outstanding, but, it's Ninalowo as Jobe that lingers in the memory even after you exit the cinema hall. It's almost like a revelation
He completely disappears into the mannerism of a typical area boy as he takes viewers on an emotional journey, forcing everyone to admire, love and care for his character.
The growth of his character elicits as much sympathy as it does laughter, mostly because he owns every pivotal moment.
While the events of the fifth Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award may still be fresh in our minds, it's never too early to discuss who deserves a nomination. And Bolanle Ninalowo deserves one for this outstanding performance.