Kunle Afolayan's latest film, 'Citation', is easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 probably for its leading lady, Temi Otedola.
Inspired by BBC's 'sex for grades' documentary of 2019, 'Citation' takes its audience on a 151-minute journey piloted by Moremi Oluwa (Temi Otedola). The character is a 21-year-old postgraduate student who seeks justice after a sexual harassment experience.
It is evident from the opening scene that Afolayan set out to make a slowburn. 'Citation' is no 'October 1' even though they share the same writer-Tunde Babalola.
Using frequent flashbacks, Afolayan promptly establishes the film's conflict. Seeing as ambiguity can be a pitfall for films that employ this technique, Afolayan painstakingly serves each scene like milk to newborns.
Understandably, Temi Otedola is no actor. But, her first outing is intriguing amid its inconsistencies.
Matched against Joke Silva, Jimmy Jean Louis, her camera-perfect features are sometimes not enough to elicit the pathos that the story tries to evoke. Regardless, it is a promising start.
Ibukun Awosika, on the other hand, could fool anyone to believing she has some acting experience. Casting Awosika was one of the best decisions Afolayan made in 'Citation'.
On good choices, the film score is enthralling with impressive rhythmic sounds that propel the story. Another one is, of course, the cinematography. The close-up shots have a way of luring the audience when the focus is Otedola's character. The downside is it also does not hide her mistakes.
There is a pan-Africanist feel to some of Kunle Afolayan's films and in 'Citation', he set out to display the aesthetics of the countries it is set in. The tourism shots of Senegal and Carpe Verde and the gorgeous shots of the Obafemi Awolowo University are endearing for some and nostalgic for most.
Undoubtedly, 'Citation' is a slowburn. Perhaps, this is intentional in a bid to dramatize the film's subject matter. But this lack of speed might be a deterring factor for most. Ultimately, it is a good film. It is perhaps Afolayan's best told story yet.