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'Anikulapo' is Kunle Afolayan's peace offering [Pulse Movie Review]

September 30th 2022, 10:21:05 pm

The filmmakers Netflix partnership finally gets a long-desired facelift with his pulsating supernatural fantasy film set in 17th century Oyo kingdom.

Kunle Afolayan's 'Anikulapo' [Instagram/kunleafo]

There is this thing about having too many hands in a pot of soup. If it goes bad, there is no way to single out a culprit. It is how I like to describe the partnership between Netflix and Kunle Afolayan- a meal that has too many hands.

Over the past two years since Citation (acquired by the streamer), their partnership has failed to produce an Afolayan film at its core until Anikulapo.

Folk-themed stories are a surefire choice with Kunle Afolayan. His creative juices are unapologetically unhinged with stories that come to a part-way between reality and folktale.

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Set in 17th century Oyo kingdom, the star-studded fantasy film attempts to spin a richly imagined plot that’s guaranteed to excite its audience. At the centre of the plot is Saro, a young man on a quest for greener pastures.

The principal characters in Anikulapo share similar traits with The Figurine. Much like Sola (Afolayan) and Femi (Ramsey Nouah) in the 2009 supernatural thriller, Anikulapo's Saro (Kunle Remi) and Arolake (Bimbo Ademoye) happen upon good fortune in a meeting with the supernatural.

Their years of bliss, however, gets truncated seemingly by Saro's insatiable nature. The character ultimately self-destructs bringing the plot to its resolution.

Anikulapo’s plot progression is simplistic, leaving much to be questioned but one thing is most certain about it. It is astonishingly true to Afolayan's pre-streaming deal style. However, the force of the film's performers is what will effortlessly steal the hearts of its audience.

As the protagonist, Kunle Remi is a discovery, delivering on the complexities of the anti-hero he portrays. Ademoye as Arolake is no less thrilling.

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Casting the pair as lovers unarguably tops the list of great decisions made by the Afolayan led production. The stars are a house on fire! Theirs is a chemistry visibly borne from an offscreen bond milked to perfection for the film.

The entirety of the casting is sheer goodness on screen, made even better with the choice to cast veterans of Yoruba Nollywood.

Anikulapo is not without its flaws but it will easily be a fan-favourite primarily for its cast and its satisfactory plot.

While a Game of Thrones comparison may be a little over the top, it in no way diminishes the film.

Cheers to more nudity in Nollywood!

Precious 'Mamazeus' Nwogu
Precious 'Mamazeus' Nwogu is a Nigerian film enthusiast, critic and journalist with an avid interest in Nollywood and African cinema.

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