Asurf Oluseyi's debut feature film "Hakkunde," is as emotional as it is entertaining with an inspiring story, appluadable performances, shots and music.
In 2017, he released a short film that starts a necessary conversation on homosexuality in Nigeria, "Hell or High Water."
Now, with his first feature film "Hakkunde," Oluseyi creates an enjoyable movie with substance.
This inspiring drama centers around a young graduate Akande (Kunle Idowu AKA Frank Donga) who is on a journey to self- discovery.
Four years after graduation, an unemployed Akande who lives with his elder sister Yewande (Toyin Aimakhu) has to deal with her taunts as he carries a placard around the city of Lagos in search of a job.
On one of his job hunting days, Akande meets an 'Okada man,' Ibrahim (Ibrahim Daddy), who through series of events, leads him to the Northern part of Nigeria, Kaduna, where his journey to self-discovery actually begins.
"Hakkunde" is one of the very few films that convincingly portray the struggle of a job hunting graduate and what they face daily to survive.
As Akande, Frank Donga and Ibrahim represent millions of Nigerian graduates, who are without jobs or are doing menial jobs that do not commensurate with their qualifications.
Packed with powerful messages, "Hakkunde" focuses on self-actualization, preaching the 'you can be whatever you choose to be' message.
In the course of its screen time, the film reminds viewers that everything they want is on the other side of fear.
It also explores how valuable relationships can be towards the realization of ones potentialities, as seen in Akande's relationship with Ibrahim's family.
The film also explores the role ignorance plays in our society. Maybe not in-depth, but enough to start a necessary conversation.
"Hakkunde" doesn't let its inspiring message of self-actualization get in the way of entertainment. The on-screen chemistry between the characters, especially Yewande and Akande, is one that lifts the film into a comic zone. They dish out punch-lines that elicit laughter from viewers.
Kunle Idowu also speaks volumes through his expressive eyes when he has little or no dialogue. His facial expression is one of the best we have seen in a long while. Anyone who watched him on the Ndani TV series 'Frank Donga' would not be surprised.
Shot in Lagos and Kaduna, the casting for the movie is a major win, especially with the Northern actors delivering noteworthy performances led by Rahama Sadau as Aisha, Ibrahim Daddy and Maryam Booth as Binta, Ibrahim's sister.
With magical shots, "Hakkunde" captures the beauty of the Northern part of Nigeria, and with its use of music, the film is given the Northern feel it deserves.
Oluseyi also does his best to capture the familiar busy streets of Lagos, as seen when a well-dressed lady approaches Akande for her transport fare.
The movie has memorable moments, as when the late Bukky Ajayi makes an appearance as Akande's mother, extracting the right emotions from the viewers.
But, it isn't until the credits roll that you realize what a nostalgic impact Ajayi's appearance has on you.
With an inspiring message and commendable performances from its cast, Asurf tells a beautiful story that perfectly balances comedy and drama.
"Hakkunde" opens in cinemas on August 4, 2017.