Anikulapo Is Nostalgia
I grew up watching a lot of Mount Zion movies and soap operas from Super Story by Wale Adenuga. Super Stories were integral parts of my childhood, and I tried not to miss an episode. The interesting thing about Mount Zion movies and Super Story soap operas was the fact that both were usually in core Yoruba languages. I can’t forget The gods are Dead by Mount Zion Film Productions. It was set in the historical Yoruba empire. It had the Yoruba culture spilling from all angles in the movie.
On the other hand, some Super Story epics like One Bad Apple, Symbol of Authority and some others revolved around Yoruba narrative. These movies and soap operas opened my mind to the beauty of Yoruba language, and how rich the culture was. Nowadays, we’ve seen many works from Yoruba-born directors and stories bearing the Yoruba narrative and it is only fitting that small Yoruba terms are unconsciously imbibed into some of us, the spectators from different ethnic groups.
This feeling of love for rich culture and language is brought back to life in Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo. It brought back memories of Super Story and Mount Zion Movies. The movie oozes from all seams with core Yoruba traditional activities and full Yoruba language.
Anikulapo is a movie that revolves around love, pride, and betrayal. Saro comes to the village of Oyoile with nothing – an ordinary man. Arolake helps him devise a means to be an indispensable individual and their love story begins. His newfound wealth and power builds pride in him and causes him to disregard central figures in his life. Does pride go before a fall in his case?
It is imperative to note or remember that the village where Kunle Afolayan films Anikulapo was bought by him specifically for his epic movie projects. This initiative brings to the fore the idea that there’s great hope for filmmaking in Nigeria when directors take bold steps and risks to take filmmaking to another level. This initiative makes filming less risky. From what is seen in the movie, the film village is a beautiful sight with interesting landscapes.
Anikulapo confirms that Bimbo Ademoye fits into any role perfectly. She’s a versatile actress. She is not someone you can restrict to just a particular role. Ademoye can be meek, soft-spoken, crazy, and extremely funny. We’ve seen her depicting a sweet kind of crazy in most movies and sometimes with a thick Yoruba English accent. Movies like Selina, Dear Affy, Tanwa Savage, Sugar Rush showcase her depth. Playing Arolake in Anikulapo shows a different side to Ademoye and I absolutely love it!
In the same vein, casting directors seem to be giving Kunle Remi playboy roles lately. It’s easy to liken Remi to a playboy and he brings that character to life again in Anikulapo. This time around, as Saro, a village playboy. Some blogs and some Nigerians have made tweets and blog posts about how the nudity in Anikulapo spoils the movie. If we’re being honest with ourselves, Nigerian movies are still learning when it comes to the portrayal of nudity compared to what we see in Hollywood. One may say it is not our culture. There are many things that are not our culture, but we grow into it over time. This talk about nudity in Anikulapo appears in only two scenes and it was shallow. As an adult, if you cannot handle the so-called nudity in Anikulapo, I wonder why you’re an adult in the first place.
The storyline in Anikulapo is something we’re familiar with. It’s so popular but comes with mystical events. Some social media users have found their moral lesson from the movie to be “men are scum. Stay wicked, ladies” or anything in that niche. There are some scenes begging for explanations, like how does one chase a mystical bird with a stick? The ending of the movie makes me think there would be a sequel to explain that or maybe not. Only Kunle Afolayan will harbor the answer to that question.
Anikulapo fits perfectly into The Oscars foreign language movie category. It’s a pity that Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee think it’s not worth submitting for the Oscars and it was rejected. Anikulapo brings you to love the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria. We hope to see more like it from the Igbo and Hausa ethic groups.
Run-time: 2 hours, 16 minutes
Director: Kunle Afolayan
Cast: Sola Sobowale, Kunle Remi, Bimbo Ademoye, Akeem K Kazeem