The movie guru Kunle Afolayan is at it again, as he brings to us another bundle of life imitated in its right form. His latest movie which he directed and was written by Tunde Babalola ‘Citation’ is a must watch and an embodiment of age long actions that has turned to a culture that needs to be stopped.
The movie ‘Citation’ which is a Netflix Original, is a story that picks its theme from the well of oppression present in our universities nowadays. The protagonist Moremi (Temi Otedola) takes on the celebrated professor Lucien N’Dyare (a charismatic Jimmy Jean-Louis) accusing him of sexual assault before the university’s panel hoping to get justice.
Moremi’s relationship with the professor which was an innocent one on her side but unknown to her, her professor was getting other signals.
‘Citation’ shows what happened years before when a female student was asked to give sex in order to get good grades. The student taking matters into her hands ganged up with her friends to beat up the lecturer which resulted in his death. The female student alongside her friends ended up being rusticated and serving jail term for murder. Now two years later, the protagonist Moremi finds herself in a similar position but takes the route of putting it before the university’s panel in hope of getting justice.
A kudos to the scriptwriter Tunde Babalola for how he is able to depict to us two sides of the situation and the consequences that follows such. The fact that the director Kunle Afolayan jumped straight to the heat of the matter instead of doing a merry go round is a very smart kick off in the movie.
The character Moremi (Temi Otedola) was a good persona for that particular situation. Although Temi Otedola did not carry the character so well, she did a good job. Places where she was lacking are where she failed to enter into the emotion in some parts. Watching this unique piece, though too long (2 hours 31 minutes) one can see that Temi Otedola has not gone through that experience before, but was trying to understand the person of Moremi through out the movie and this was a minus for the movie.
READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Come And Collect Your Dead Bodies- Lagos State Coroner Begs Families To Collect Corpses At Morgue Following Lekki Shooting
Gloria a friend to Moremi played by Ini Edo embodied the reality of life that not everyone will see the truth and stand by it. Moremi’s love interest Koyejo played by Gabriel Afolayan was a seamless persona. He was able to show that graph of balance in real life that makes the movie more realistic. We can say he killed his character. On the panel, Ibukun Awosika played by Ibukun Awosika embodied the persona of a real life dean. Considering the is her debut movie she has has the carriage and grace. Also the nollywood veteran Joke Silva who played Angela the lawyer of Moremi, as always she owned the role.
Aside the major focus of the movie leaning towards sexual assault and standing up for your right irrespective of what people will say, Kunle Afolayan’s signature of Africanness was evident in the movie. This helped to add spice, a unique serenity in each scene that made us want to see the next scene and the vibe it brings.The soundtrack implored in the movie was beautiful, just right. Also the inclusion of other africans not only Nigerians amongst the cast was a big applaud for the movie. Also the use of French language made it not just a cultural movie but a movie that cuts across.
A major turn off in the movie was the rape scene which lacked realism and verisimilitude. It didn’t even look choreographed but just downright plain and dead. At this point, Temi Otedola’s struggle to enter into the character was prevalent the most. This just made it go downhill. Coming to the costuming of the characters, there was that reoccurring picture of Africa, Nigeria, culture which was well done. But an obvious hitch here was the hairstyle of the characters, one can’t help but notice that the protagonist Moremi carried one hairstyle through out the movie. Let’s not talk about the hair on professor Lucien N’Dyare head. My god who even suggested it!.
Moremi’s role in the movie as against a loved and powerful individual speaks of the Nigerian society in a microscopic way. It serves as a call for people to speak up and speak out from any and every form of oppression and abuse, don’t stop because even if your voice is not heard today, it will definitely be heard one day. The consciousness to stand up for your right no matter where you are is one thing that this generation needs more and more. The fact that ‘Citation’ projects this again, just makes us know there is a chance for Nigerian and Africans in diaspora.
This unique piece of work coming from a master in the art indeed met our expectations and reinforced the trust that Kunle Afolayan will always deliver.
The lead role not being portrayed to perfection can be penned down to the fact that this is Temi Otedola’s debut role. Lets watch and hope she gets better because we know she can and she will. Over all ‘Citation’ is a must watch, but ensure to have a big bowl of popcorn because the movie long die…
Photo Credit: Getty