Monday, 23 September 2019

King of Boys: Is this the best movie to come out of Nollywood?

Yesterday, I rounded up my drama-free weekend by watching Kemi Adetiba's King of Boys. A movie that has garnered much media attention and twitter rave. Since its release in 2018, I had been yearning to watch it, so immediately I saw it on Netflix, I could not wait till after the boys had gone to bed to have my me-time in front of the TV.

As a person who is very close to a film maker, I watched the movie from the lens of a movie maker as well as viewer. The movie opens with an impressive scene of the Nigerian glam we are all familiar with. We are introduced to Eniola Salami played by Sola Sobowale, a socialite who hobnobs with the high and mighty. Before the end of that scene, we get to see the different side of this woman. I found myself asking, Who is this woman? Why does she command such respect? Why is she brutal?

One of the characteristics of a good movie is the ability to catch and retain the viewers attention right from the first scene. The first scene of King of Boys caught my attention, and got me glued to my sit.

As the movie progressed, I saw a woman who is like the Robin Hood of the poor and downtrodden. Oba is shrewd yet nice, a business woman with great salesmanship. She is feisty, ruthless, assertive and charming. Oba is deliberate in her actions, not loosing focus of her ultimate goal. Oba has the characteristics of a successful psychopath.

The movie has two main plots; Eniola as Oba and the young Eniola as a girl child who experienced the harshness of life at an earlier age, and how these experiences formed who she became.  The movie played out how she tried to survive in a very harsh political climate as a powerful woman fighting for what she considered rightfully hers, setting in motion events that ultimately snowballed out of control.

We see her fighting to hold on to her political power, whilst maintaining order in her clandestine activities. She is a woman of many parts, you either hate her or love her. Other cast members put up brilliant performances too; Gobir the NCCC official who is as straight as a ruler. Kemi, Eniola's daughter from her friend who is highly educated and her mum's right hand person and not forgetting Akorede, alias makanaki; the crime lord who was tired of paying allegiance to Oba.

King of Boys is a story different from the all too familiar stories that emanate from Nollywood. It showcased the political scene of Nigerian society, the juxtaposition of Lagos life; the rich and poor, posh areas and slums. It showed us a powerful female kingmaker.

Having watched Sola Sobowale from the days of Super Story, and recently Wedding party, I was absolutely impressed by her acting, and I sincerely cannot think of any woman who could have interpreted that role the way she did. She is an actor's actor.

I cannot but commend the directing, lightening, costuming, photography that made up the movie. Kemi Adetiba is a master story teller. She gave us a movie that would for a very long time linger in my memory as the best movie to come out of Nollywood so far.

King of Boys is that movie I can proudly recommend to my non-Nigerian friends and colleagues. I am proud of that movie, proud of Kemi Adetiba, Sola Sobowale and the entire cast & crew of King of Boys

Have you watched the movie? What are your thoughts on it?

(picture credits: