This brief review of the new movie by Kunle Afolayan takes a look at certain scenes and how they should have been portrayed by the directors of the movie.
This review is in no way an attempt to rubbish the hard work of the makers but a honest criticism.
1. The first scene that startled me was the one involving the lead character Saro and Queen Arolake in bed together. The nude display by both characters was an unnecessary attempt to imitate foreign movies. It also felt awkward due to the fact that Saro had earlier been in bed with an older woman, Awarun, with no such display.
2. I doubt there was any need for the character played by comedian Mr Macaroni other than to throw viewers off and call them back from the direction they were sent to by the movie’s directors. To briefly explain, Macaroni walked up to Saro and warned him about Awarun, saying the older woman destroys the destiny of young guys after sleeping with them. If the directors had made Macaroni appear jealous of Saro’s affair with Awarun, the warning by Macaroni would have been seen as issued out of jealousy. However, nothing close to what Macaroni warned about was perceived with Awarun. As a matter of fact, Awarun cared for the life of Saro by warning against the in and out between him and the Queen. So, what was the essence of Macaroni’s warning other than leaving viewers anticipating a doom from Awarun which never came? It was a weak plot at creating intrigue.
3. The first resurrection done by Saro had some good acting and bad acting. It was quite awkward that Queen Arolake immediately believed Saro could use the gourd dropped by a black bird to bring back a dead person to life. The directors ought to have allowed her to reveal her suspicion of the gourd when Saro suspected that she was hiding something(the gourd). If it had happened that way, then it would have made sense when she gave Saro the confidence to try to exercise what she suspected by raising the dead with it. Her coming up with the resurrection idea when they saw people wailing about a dead child seemed too sudden. Also, the wailing crowd overacted. Was the dead child the breadwinner of the entire crowd that the directors had to make them wail uncontrollably? Why couldn’t the directors just allow a few people do the crying while the majority look worried or curious?
4. Saro getting married to more wives is a thing that was common with people of old. It is understood that Queen Arolake had issues conceiving. However, making Saro’s other fruitful wives mock Queen Arolake while their husband looked away is something that we’ve seen too many times in Nigerian movies. It’s just played out. If the directors’ didn’t care about using played out styles, then the movie should have ended the way I explained below.
5. How did the movie end? It ended when no one expected, thereby leaving viewers hanging. To briefly explain, the king of the town Saro found sojourn lost his son, the heir to the throne. For him to have called for Saro’s intervention showed desperation which means he would be willing to do anything to have his son back to life. Sadly, the directors of the movie made him put up a resistance to Saro’s request for his daughter’s hand in marriage as payment for the work he was about to do(resurrect the dead prince). Since my childhood days, African stories have been about kings promising half of their kingdom and their daughter’s hand in marriage to any brave man that could solve their kingdom’s problems. It was quite awkward seeing a king rejecting Saro’s proposal.
6. How should the movie have ended? Instead of the movie ending at the scene where Queen Arolake switched the content of the powerful gourd and left Saro in failure while trying to resurrect the dead prince, the movie should have ended differently. My suggestion is this – The king should have accepted Saro’s proposal and given him his daughter’s hand in marriage. That would have set up the next plot which will see Saro grow extremely rich and influential with a large following due to his powers. With Saro married to a princess, access to the palace would be easy for him, leaving him eyeing the throne and eventual killing the king to install himself on the throne. His next move would see him head to the Oyo empire to take revenge for what they did to him. Definitely, many people would love to be his soldiers because of his possession of the power to raise the dead. However, after several days of trying to breach Oyo kingdom’s defence, Saro would meet his doom as he discovered that his powerful gourd had been switched by his wife, the princess and daughter of the king he killed and usurped. She did that to avenge her father. Her action would leave Saro’s soldiers fleeing after it became obvious that they won’t be able to resurrect if killed in battle. The ones who stayed eventually handed him over to the Oyo empire in order to receive pardon.