Dr. Sid’s Directorial Debut Is Lukewarm in ‘The Order of Things’
The Order of Things is a Nollywood romantic comedy directed by Sid Esiri, which tells the story of Tunde (Timini Egbuson), a socially awkward, responsible young man in Lagos, who has always had his life planned out. He intends to get married at the age of thirty, but his mother (Binta Ayo Mogaji) believes in the traditional order of things.
In the context of the movie’s narrative, Tunde’s elder brother, Demi, must get married first. Demi (Obi Maduegbuna) decides to take up the challenge of finding a bride to ensure he doesn’t hold his brother back from achieving his dreams. Lofty intent, right? Definitely, admirable.
However, the film is a perfect example of a directorial debut gone wrong, as it fails to capture the essence of a typical Nollywood movie.
Although the film’s premise might seem original, however, it’s worth noting that the plot of The Order of Things is one that has been overbeaten in Hollywood. The script, which provided great backstories for the characters of Tunde and Demi, failed in its use of dialogue, which seems unrealistic. In addition, the film’s subplots are unclear; for instance, the matchmaker’s (Lateef Adedimeji) investment in Demi’s life is not justified, making the conflict appear unnecessary.
The acting performances are underwhelming. Unfortunately, the more experienced actors failed to impress. Obi Maduegbuna, who plays Demi, does not do much acting, and he appears to lack luster in his role. Sandra Okunzuwa, who plays Tope, comes off as whiny, even though she goes for shy and soft-spoken. The lead actors, Timini Egbuson and Temitope Olowoniyan, who play Tunde and Sophia respectively, have more grounded performances, but their chemistry is absent, and they fail to convince viewers of their roles’ depth. Binta Ayo Mogaji has the strongest performance in the film, but there have been more interesting Nollywood mothers to watch in recent times.
Furthermore, the film’s attempt to capture Nigerian nuances seems unconvincing, making the plot irreconcilable with Nigerian Eccentricities. The acting performances do little to help the quality of the film, as the actors look distracted and neglect to convey their characters’ emotions compellingly.
The film’s weaknesses are evident in other aspects, too. For example, its continuity is questionable, with noticeable continuity issues in two scenes where Demi has a drink thrown on his face. There are also too many glaring advertisements designed to promote the film’s sponsors, which distracts from the film’s plot and seems forced.
Despite the film’s flaws, it’s worth noting that the plot would have worked if it was more in touch with Nigerian eccentricities. The idea of a nerd searching for love in the messy dating pool of Lagos is an unusual plot for the Nollywood big screen, and the film would have been more successful if the plot had been more original and less out of touch with Nigerian nuances.
Although The Order of Things falls short of capturing the essence of a typical Nollywood movie, yet it showcases a unique and fresh perspective that can be appreciated by audiences looking for something different.
The film’s directorial debut is a commendable effort, as it takes courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and attempt to create a movie that crosses cultural boundaries.
In spite of its shortcomings, The Order of Things features some visually stunning scenes that amplify Nigeria’s beauty, which adds to the film’s overall appeal.
While the dialogue and acting performances may not be up to par with typical Nollywood standards, the film still manages to convey a powerful message about the complexities of life and the human experience.
Overall, The Order of Things is an intriguing and thought-provoking movie that can be enjoyed by viewers with an open mind and a willingness to appreciate a fresh perspective.
Release date: 5 May 2023
Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes, 2 seconds
Streaming service: Netflix
Director: Sid Esiri
Cast: Hadiza Di’ja Blell-Olo, Lilian Afegbai, Toyin Lawani, Gloria Eberechi, Dorathy Bachor, Seyi Awolowo, Maria Chike Agueze, Iremide Adeoye, Obi Maduegbuna, Sandra Okunzuwa Timini Egbuson, Adeyela ‘Lizzy Jay’ Adebola, Tope Olowoniyan, Charles Inojie, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Ademola Adedoyinand Lateef Adedimeji