ANIKULAPO: A Tale of Greed, Pride and Scorn [Movie Review]

By Precious Ndumanya 

Anikulapo Release poster

A travelling cloth weaver is welcomed into a new village, where he has a fling with an older woman. After a minor quarrel, she introduces him to the royal family as a cloth weaver and there he meets and falls in love with the favourite of the King’s wife. They are caught in their illicit affair and his life is cut short, save for the mythical bird.  

Two good old books gave us two wise sayings: Pride goes before a fall and Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned. And these sayings best summarise this movie. 

Except running away from her husband’s house where she was stifled, abused and almost killed, Arolake did no wrong in my eyes.

Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye were superb all through. And Bimbo certainly deserves her flowers.

Saro looked like a person who had been through enough trials and tribulations, and when the little opportunity he had to turn things around came he misused it and let it get to his head. How did Arolake suddenly know that the gourd dropped by the bird had powers? That part got me confused. With three wives at home, why would Saro go looking for another if it is not greed that is his problem?

Considering that both had very unstable childhood experiences. Saro being sold off and Arolake getting married as a child. I won’t blame them much for how they turned out, but then Saro as a full-grown man not being content is his fault and no one else’s. I also believe his character was not fully developed, his alter ego was not fully fleshed out. I think that’s why there is a series in the offing though. 

The scene where they both got together for the first time. I saw somewhere that if the situation was reversed, we would not have heard the last of it, but then Saro had every opportunity to lift her up and run away if he wasn’t interested. Why didn’t he? 

That scene where the old woman rose from the dead, got me laughing hard. She was like “who send you message?”. 

Awarun is the real Sugar mummy. Sola Sobowale killed the role, some might not see it that way since she was shouting and being hyper like we know her to be but then she still killed it. 

Hakeem Kae Kazim reminds me about Ramsey Nouah in Blood Sisters, only this time we did not even hear a word. I guess his accent would have been a problem. His facial expressions did all the job though. 

Mr Macaroni? At one point I thought he maybe had some powers that let him see how Saro’s actions were going to land him in trouble, but then I guess he was just the village gossip. 

With themes of matriarchy (as seen in Awarun’s character), rape (in Omowun’s encounter with Saro), Greed and Discontentment (exhibited by Saro), Child abuse and marriage (in Arolake’s early life) and polygamy and slavery (also seen in the Oyo kingdom) Anikulapo is one of the best movies from Nollywood this year. 

Kunle Afolayan makes a beauty out of everything he produces and despite the verdict of the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee, we are proud and happy.  The dialogues, costume, location, setting and cultural display all played a part to give this movie the deserving accolades. All the actors played their different roles well. Afolayan’s productions are always superb and Anikulapo wasn’t any different.

8.5/10

Earnestly expecting the Series. 

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