Hollup, Spoiler Alert! If you do not like spoilers, please read no further.
There are many reasons I did not particularly enjoy Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law. For a movie embroiled in so much controversy before its eventual release, I expected something more ‘ghen ghen’. Something that would explain why people were fighting to be recognized for penning this particular script.
As a whole, Okafor’s Law was not entertaining. It disappointedly brings to mind the wave of half-baked off-tangent ridiculous Nigerian movies that come with pretty cinematography and good looking stars from new Nollywood . Granted, it is a step above Rukky Sanda’s Productions but, it fell way below my expectations.
The metric of a good movie (for me) is how much I root for the character(s) in said movie. This, I believe, is why the Wedding Party was liked. People could relate to the characters, and found it easy to forgive the plot holes and whatever the beach scene was supposed to be about.
In parts, Okafor’s Law was still not entertaining. There were funny moments that drew laughs from the audience but these moments were few and far between. The characters were simply not interesting enough, or compelling enough for you to be invested in their story.
The movie follows Chuks (the main one) and his cronies (the other Chukses) through a hare-brained bet to prove the validity of Okafor’s Law. Three ladies are selected by ‘their level of difficulty to bed’ and Chuks (the main) has three weeks to get them to horizontally tango with him. The stakes, oh so high, are shares the three of them hold in an agricultural business.
The movie falls flat in characterization. Where the director attempts a bit of layering, it is disjointed and unnatural. Somewhere in the movie, we see that Chuks (the main), other than occasionally talking about fertilizers (for his agricultural firm), and being a serial womanizer, is heavily involved in an orphanage. The scene comes off as unnatural; something fitted to make Chuks appear as a playboy with a heart, the classic romcom move – ah look, the playboy actually loves babies and puppies, how cute! Unfortunately, even the playboy bit is suspect as all he does is deliver supposedly seductive lines in a laughable bedroom voice and adopt a “ooh I am trying to seduce you right now” expression. Even if Nigerian women are that gullible, it seems interesting to see this somewhat celebrated by a female filmmaker.
The shorter Chuks (Gabriel Afolahan) and Tina Mba (the main’s mother) contribute to the movie’s humor quota – these two actors continue to prove that serious acting talent exists in Nollywood. I also quite liked the interaction between the shorter Chuks and his wife (who is taller than him). The chemistry between them worked for me. That said, I think it was a bit too contrived that Chuks’ wife agrees not to mention to her cousin that his new wife cheated (with Chuks the main) some days to their white wedding merely for some gifts and to be able to blackmail her husband to do dishes, but again maybe I’m asking for too much. As for the last Chuks and his girlfriend, the less said, the better for everyone.
If anyone is seeking strong female characters with depth in this movie, please seek further. It fails the Bechdel test spectacularly and at every moment you are wondering why these women cannot see beyond Chuks’ (the main) crap.
Ify (Ufuoma Mcdermott) is the billionaire’s wife who has an epiphany of how much she loves her husband after shagging Chuks – at least this scene does some damage to his over-bloated playboy esteem. She is depicted as the repressed wife who is constantly under her husband’s eye and eager to follow Chuks to the cinemas/restaurants/bar to amp her fun quotient all the way up. The scene where Chuks gets rid of her assistant, to have access to her, was poorly executed and unnecessary. Ify and her husband (RMD) get back together, after he nearly kills Chuks (the main); a family that slays together, stay together.
Ejiro’s (Omoni) character is frustrating. She is depicted as a church girl trying to get her life together but who is to some extent desperate to hold on to a man (complete with delicious pepper soup and post-coital morning breakfast). After realizing that she was played, she turns into a caricature of a ditched-turned-psycho woman. It goes further off when she tells Chuks she is over him and then some scenes later, they are back together and planning their wedding. I think the director wanted to wrap things up in a neat package as Chuks displayed no redeeming factor whatsoever. He was a selfish man who manipulated women and somehow ended up with a happy ever after – shallow much?
Sadly, even though I was looking forward to (Tomi) Toyin Abrahams’ role in this movie, she came across stilted as the high power PR executive. There was something off about her dialogue delivery. While I am not a fan of actors being typecast, it was hard not to notice that her acting became more natural when she was spewing threatening Yoruba at Chuks.
At a point, Chuks (for no reaon) started falling for Tomi, so, it was a bit of a whiplash seeing him with Ejiro some scenes later. I was not understanding at all. You know what, I give up, all of them should just go and rest.
At the end of the day, some people will love Okafor’s Law, because some people will sha love it – its life. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me, and the ADR in it is such a NIGHTMARE! It made the entire film feel like it was produced in a lab. I mean C’mon!! Who kills a movie with this much poorly executed ADR? They won’t say they didn’t notice this, so if I was going to forgive how lazily executed the story was told, I sure will not be forgiving this.
Written by @tmpencil & @Dewunmi