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  • Updated: October 02, 2022

'Anikulapo' Review: Kunle Afolayan Falters In Tale Of Forbidden Love, Power

Karma is a woman scorned; that is what I saw play out by the time I was done with the final act of Anikulapo, a tale of lust, love, power, death and resurrection.

Unlike some of his best work, Kunle Afolayan's drama doesn't captivate despite lead stars Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye igniting the screen with their chemistry and performances.

Much like Tunde Kelani's Ayinla, this film sees a flawed hero experience a remarkable change of fortune only for the instrument of his redemption to be that of his doom.

The themes here will resonate well with those who are familiar with Greek tragedy; a man brought down by his inner cravings despite his astronomical rise.

Kunle Remi steps into the role of Saro, a young man who arrives in a village to earn a living with his trade.

It isn't long before his weakness is laid bare and when he does the unthinkable, destiny comes calling and he gets something he never bargained for.

But as we all know, power corrupts and when Saro gets a taste, he makes the mistake of spitting in face of the one person he owes his ascension to, leading to a descent into inevitable damnation.

It took me a while to realise that the actor playing the hero appeared in Afolayan's previous film A Naija Christmas. The two roles are polar opposites.

Kunle Remi is commanding, charismatic and enigmatic as the imperfect hero. In some ways, he represents the average man who indulges in whims and caprices, knowing fully well how badly it could all end.

His acting is near-perfect and I can think of no other thespian who could have played the role so well.

Bimbo Ademoye as the protagonist's love interest is simply amazing (when is she ever not?). She performs with such effortless grace that I now believe she can portray any character convincingly.

Together, the onscreen couple light up the screen, giving fans a sizzling romance thanks to their undeniable chemistry.

I honestly wish I had just praise for this film but alas, this is where the encomium ends.

The pacing started out slow as the director didn't hurry in the process of establishing the different characters. While I can't attribute a particular tone to the story, it was devoid of suspense for the most part.

The costumes are not bad and the set pieces are equally commendable. But the locale and scenery failed to depict the ancient kingdom being portrayed.

I heard Kunle Afolayan purchased several acres of land for the location to film this project. Good move, bro. But it was pretty obvious that it had just been cleared for this film. Visually speaking, it lacked the expected verisimilitude.

The camera work is a bit disappointing as I didn't get to see any remarkable cinematography (something the filmmaker is known for).

As for the visual effects, it was quite terrible and embarrassing (something that has continued to plague Nollywood). I assume the budget for this was sufficient for Afolayan to have done far better.

The plot progression is not bad for a fabled tale such as this but a little injection of humour would have helped spice things a little bit.

The supporting characters who I enjoyed seeing suddenly became unimportant and were done away with once the second act got underway.

The end came the way I expected it to and I was satisfied with the swift change of emotion shown by the main actor when he realised the game was up.

'Anikulapo' doesn't hold a candle to some of the revolutionary films being churned out presently in Nollywood but is saved from being a drab affair by some fine acting from Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye.

Rating: 6/10.


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Sydney Elike
Sydney Elike

I am a Graduate of Theatre Arts, Writer, Movie Buff, Filmmaker, Avid Reader, Video Game Enthusiast ...

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