Mixed with violence and humour; "Ojukokoro" is uniquely entertaining
Written with panache and interpreted by a perfectly matched cast, "Ojukokoro" is perfect. It is so perfect that you would leave the cinema with an urge to rave about it.
In a nutshell, "Ojukokoro" is a comedy/crime-heist movie filled with interesting characters thrust into hilariously engaging and thrilling situations thanks to their quest for money.
From the opening scene of the Dare Olaitan's directorial debut effort, it is obvious that you're in for a distinct enjoyable and hilarious ride.
Olaitan makes a statement with his debut by delivering an ensemble-driven story revolving around a money-strapped manager of a shady Petrol Station, who decides to rob his employers but along the line finds out in a sudden twist that he is not alone in his ambition, and that a good reason isn’t always a right one.
It is a reflection of Nigeria, a country where most decisions are influenced by greed and of course, poverty. The petrol station Lubcon will remind you of the unattractive home of a former Group Managing Director of NNPC, where $9.7 million was recently found.
Just like Yakubu's house, Lubcon is a shabby petrol station located by the road, at a spot where you have no reason to suspect its activities.
Andrew, the manger of Lubcon is a reflection of most Nigerians who do the wrong things for the right reasons. On a hilarious note, the security guys guarding Lubcon will remind you of most Nigerian companies guarded by security guards who can't save a fly.
In Sunday and the security guys, you would be reminded of a friend, colleague, neighbour or acquaintance whose love for food and money is usually their undoing.
The average greedy politician is seen in Jubril and his colleague. Every kind of criminal is effortlessly represented in "Ojukokoro."
A star-studded piece, "Ojukokoro" is a movie that takes place in a day. All the characters inadvertently merge, resulting in an overall impressive disorder.
The plot is intelligently layered until all of the characters collide in a bold display of jolting violence. And even in those violent moments, the movie still entertains.
With way too many characters, you would expect "Ojukokoro" to get confusing and become difficult to follow. The reverse is the case. The cast is written to sizzle, with the numerous cameo appearances playing important roles in the development of the story.
It could have been tried to deep and complex, but "Ojukokoro" is simple. With clever banter and easy-going dialogue, the action-comedy becomes a movie for everyone.
The grimy settings make the story and characters believable.
The fusion of languages in "Ojukokoro" contributes to the entertainment. From fluent English to Pidgin, Igbo, Hausa to Yoruba, the cast make their use of languages pleasing to the senses.
The ensemble work is so good that it’s almost impossible to single out individual outstanding performances. However, Shawn Faqua as a roguish criminal is most memorable.
Emmanuel Ikubese shows off a different class as the Junkie Accountant. He is seen as never before as he delivers an amusing yet perfect performance that won't be forgotten in a hurry.
Tope Tedela and Seun Ajayi are starkly funny and impressive as Monday and Sunday respectively. From their dialogue to mannerism, they deliver memorable performances that will have your face often lit up with delight.
Charles Etubiebi as the petrol manager is perfect. He delivers the best version of Andrew to the audience.
The movie also stars Linda Ejiofor, Zainab Balogun, Ali Nuhu, Kayode Olaya, Kunle Remi, Gbolahan Olatunde Somkele Idhalama, Hafiz Ayetoro and Wale Ojo, all who make up an ensemble cast interwoven to deliver perfection and deliver sheer entertainment.
If you wouldn't walk into a deserted petrol station to ask for directions, you would find Ejiofor and Remi's introductory scene a tad unrealistic.
But, at the end of the day, "Ojukokoro" is a movie that possesses fresh direction, cinematography, soundtrack, and extraordinary performances.
It is so perfect that you would leave the cinema with a huge grin and an urge to rave about the brilliant plot twist, dialogue, story and memorable characters.
Written with panache and interpreted by a perfectly matched cast, "Ojukokoro" is beautiful. It is one of the best Nollywood movies yet.
Produced by Olufemi D Ogunsanwo, the movie premieres in cinemas nationwide on March 17, 2017.
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