Friday, 12 January 2018

Movie Review

Wives on Strike: The Revolution Movie Review

WIVES ON STRIKE: The Revolution.

 Wives on Strike: The Revolution, is a dramedy sequel of Wives on Strike part 1. It features an interesting blend of comic characters and a bunch of Nollywood legends like: Julius Agwu, Toyin Abraham, Odunlade Adekola, Kenneth Okonkwo, Sola Sobowale, Omoni Oboli and a host of others. Omoni Oboli expertly wrote, produced and directed this hilarious and strongly-messaged driven film. 
 Wives on Strike is a tale of women standing up to some ills practiced in the society. In the prequel, a group of market women resulted to withholding sex from their spouses in a bid to eradicate underaged marriage; hence the title ‘Wives on Strike’. Now in this part, after losing their friend to domestic violence, these women, probably having no other option, go on yet another sex strike to raise their voices against and put an end to domestic violence. How brave!

This movie reminds me so much of JP Clarke’s Wives Revolt, where the wives in a community abandoned all aspect of their roles as wives and mothers as a revolt against the government of the community for a hash decision taken by them that negatively affected the women.  In this light, I see the angle Omoni Oboli portrays as she denounces the epidemiology of Domestic Violence and Child Marriage. 

I also appreciate that she considered the class of people in this movie because, it is known that man’s major needs are money and sex and it is he who has fed well, that can afford to lavish money on sourcing for sex from diverse places. The men in this movie were mostly mechanics and bus drivers who barely made enough to cater for their families that they could not afford to invest on financing and keeping side chicks happy all in the name of meeting their sexual desires.

In fact, this was most glaring in Kenneth Okonkwo’s character as Omoni Oboli’s husband. Omoni, who was a vibrant member of the union, hence keeping to the ‘no sex strike’ to the last T. Just looking at Kenneth’s frustration in the scene where he was begging Omoni for sex, you could just tell that if he had been better placed and had had some extra thousands of Naira to throw around, he would have been resting in the arms of his side chick quickly and Omoni might not have dared to embark on the strike a second time.

Howbeit, it would have also been nice to see a little bit of creativity with the tool for the strike. Yes, withholding sex paid off for the women in the first part but they could have been made to strike with something else, say their money or any other thing other than sex in this part. In as much as the men might not have been able to fund sex from third parties, they are not goats that would just sit and have their wives punish them with sex, that is a large part of the marriage bargain; at some point, they themselves would revolt too.

The itch too far for me to scratch, thereby causing an uncomfortable experience while I watched this movie, was the illusion of a world where humans are totally loyal, that no woman was seen breaking the strike in the privacy of her home to meet her husband’s sexual needs. Nah, that didn’t work for me, because movies again, are supposed to be make-believe and in the world we live in, there is always, always a Judas, even Jesus attested to this. So if there had been a character who was seen breaking her bond and giving her husband ‘something’, that would have been real, hilarious and acceptable.

One more almost forgivable issue I had with this movie was the costumes and set designs; it was too colorful. A lot of scenes initially looked like they were prepared for a 5-year –old’s birthday party, until the actual actions took place. 

Now that I have extended my back for you to assist me in scratching the itches, let me serve you the sumptuous meal: The good,

The cinematography and lighting of the movie were well executed. We have clearly gotten to a point where we can now bank on the cinematography of our movies, no matter how weak or low budget any aspect of the movie is, this will certainly be a kill for us. Excellent!

The movie had a strong intention to crack us up and permit me to say that this intention was met, with Toyin Abraham and Sola Shobowale characters emitting more laughs than the renowned comic act, Julius Agwu.

One other aspect of this movie that deserves more than a thumbs up was the way brand names were smartly dropped in an original and effortless manner, like: how the women angrily addressed the Government with microphones branded ‘Red TV’, almost making it look like an unintentional move or, the part where the lady casually hinted that she had just gotten a grant from the philanthropist, Tony Elumelu, making him look like a movie character. I loved it. 

The characters:

This was my best part. The casting of this movie was a careful, deliberate and exciting blend of real and original actors, ranging from Shola Shobowale who is clearly winning now, to Kenneth Okonkwo, an actor that is bankable anytime, any day.   

Firstly, Shola Sobowale. She is one actress that will never let you down. She is a legend in Nollywood and with every movie she features in, she takes her time to show us why she is. In this movie, she was too original, one could see the hurt in her eyes and hear the pain in her voice each scene when she addressed the women. It felt like a mother who would go to the ends of the earth to see that her childen get the best part of the bargain. 

If you read our Nollywood Wrap Up 2017 and watched this movie, you will certainly understand why we crowned Toyin Abraham our Best Actress of 2017. The woman is a natural. In a normal circumstance, her acting in this movie could have been termed extra, but she is Toyin Abraham, acting a local Yoruba, English speaking wanna-be character is her specialty and she effortlessly delivered. Watch this movie for her!

Omoni Oboli wasn’t just the writer, director and producer of this movie, she was also another character that excited me. She is always real and a pleasure to watch. She wore her character of Mrs Ngozi so well that even her husband in the movie confirmed that she was a strong force in the union.

Kenneth Okonkwo! Where has he been? Why haven’t we seen him in a while? We have missed him! Kenneth made his marriage to Omoni very believable: The silly love games he played with his wife, the way he laughed at her jokes, the way he asked her for sex in that coy and funny way, the genuine look of pride on his face when his wife won the political position. This is another person you should watch the movie for!

Chigurl is one actress that has shown the ability to evolve and wear different hats, which is a major quality that most top actors in Nollywood do not have. Whether she is the fat, funny Igbo accented Ngozi or an intimidated wife who has been constantly violated by her husband, as in this movie; she will always come through. We love Chigurl for that!

In summary, this movie is a well-executed public service announcement; it strongly passed the message, ‘Domestic Violence is an act that should be frowned at by everyone, man and woman’, well. Which is why on a scale of zero to five, this baby girl gives this movie a THREE AND A HALF. I recommend this movie to everyone! You will laugh hard and leave the cinema feeling empowered.

Go, see the movie, have fun and tell me what you think of it in the comment section below. Hopefully, the next time I go see a movie I can get your verbal reaction and review #Wink 

Full Cast

Omoni Oboli
Kenneth Okonkwo
Elvina Ibru
Odunlade Adekola
Sola Shobowale
Toyin Abraham
Julius Agwu
Chioma Chukwuka
Uche Jombo
Ufuoma McDermott

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