Omoni Oboli's "Moms at War" is simply great fun to watch
The two leads, Akindele and Oboli, are delightful and authentic, and are surrounded by supporting actors that help keep the story refreshing and entertaining.
The movie tells the story of two mothers - Ebubechukwu (an uptight and snobbish young mother and wife; played by Omoni Oboli) and Olaide (an often crude mother; played by Funke Akindele).
Despite living in the same rich neighbourhood, Ebube thinks Olaide is a village girl, who's just lucky to have stumbled into money and isn't fit to mingle with the elite.
Of course, they are not fond of each other, and to make matters worse, their kids - Bayo and Amara - attend the same school - Keswick - and are competing for a spot in a World scholar program; a very important program, which would stop the bank from shutting the school down.
The existing enmity between Laide and Ebube, and their need for the best for their kids, result in quite a number of hostile verbal and physical exchanges between them.
The mothers, especially Ebube, are quite cunning in their move to ensure that their kid gets the spot. They are not setting a good example for the kids, but they don't exactly care. They are engulfed by their dislike for each other.
Eventually, they bond over Olaide's cheating husband - Chidi; played by Yul Edochie, kicking off a beautiful friendship that is as hilarious and entertaining as their friction, whilst exploring the power of an alliance between two women, and dismantling the narrative that two women can't work together.
In "Moms at War," there's the sacrifice of motherhood, female bonding, drunken date nights and a cheating husband.
There’s also a great energy between the cast as they all come together to bring different personalities to life on screen.
The characters in "Moms at War," despite their individual flaws, are laced with a trait that makes them relatable - a cheating husband, who is also a great father; an uptight wife, who occasionally blames herself for her husband's excesses; a 'razz' neighbour, who is actually the kind of friend you need in your corner.
The two leads, Akindele and Oboli, are delightful and authentic, delivering their roles like pros and igniting the needed sparks, first as enemies, and then as friends. At several moments, they are your typical Nigerian mother; making sacrifices for you, defending you in public even when you're wrong but chastising you in private - it's the 'I'm the only one allowed to mess with my child' trait.
The pleasure of Olaide is in her 'crudeness' and in the way she delivers her snarky lines. Akindele is a force of comic nature, and in "Moms at War," she knows just how to use her facial expressions to elicit laughs.
Oboli and Akindele are surrounded by supporting actors that help keep the story going. As Bola and Amara, Abayomi Alvin and Adebukola Oladipupo, respectively, are a delight to watch. They naturally deliver their roles without the cliché that could have trailed a high school romance subplot.
Simple, buoyant and hilarious, though not flawless, this comedy, written by Naz Onuzo and directed by Oboli, is effortlessly the latter's best work yet.
In the film’s final moments, implausible scenes come in: the mothers hiring a prostitute to blackmail a representative from the World School Program and the representative changing his mind, probably, because of good sex.
It's unbelievable, but nevertheless, whether you regard "Moms at War" as a tribute to motherhood or friendship; or an exaggerated piece of work, the movie still delivers plenty of laughs and finds its heart in exploring the power of friendship between two women.
"Moms at War" is currently showing in cinemas.
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