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Fragmented Storylines Dull the Spark of ”Postcards”

The series captivates with cultural richness but falters in cohesive narrative delivery.
June 2, 2024
6:54 pm

“Postcards,” the latest Netflix series directed by Hamisha Ahuja, strives to bridge the cinematic worlds of Nollywood and Bollywood.


Following the acclaim of her 2021 film “Namaste Wahala,” Ahuja attempts to shine light deeper into themes of love, family, and societal expectations within the context of Nigerian and Indian cultures. Despite its noble intentions and the rich potential of its premise, the series struggles to achieve a good blend, primarily due to unresolved subplots and a fragmented narrative.


The series begins with a focus on Aunty Olubunmi (Sola Sobowale), who is a prominent socialite in Lagos. She is a figure of exuberance at social gatherings, always the life of the party. However, her public persona contrasts sharply with her private life, which is marked by solitude and declining health. The character’s complexity is brought to life by Sobowale, whose performance anchors the series amidst its many narrative threads.


Postcards - Richard Mofe Damijo
Postcards – Richard Mofe Damijo

Aunty Bunmi’s son, Oluyemi or Yemi (Tobi Bakre), is a struggling dancer with aspirations that seem far beyond his reach in Nigeria. His dreams take a turn when he is selected by an Indian dance agency to perform as a backup dancer, a role that takes him to Mumbai. This subplot, while initially promising, is marred by clichéd obstacles such as workplace bullying from a lead dancer named Ronny. Although Yemi finds a supportive ally and potential love interest in Aarti, the lack of depth in these relationships leaves viewers wanting more substance.


Parallel to Yemi’s journey is the life of Aunty Bunmi’s brother, Olumide (Richard Mofe-Damijo), a successful yet emotionally distant businessman who has long been settled in India. His life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters Rekha, an old flame, at a property he visits. Rekha’s rejection of Olumide years earlier, due to familial pressures, is a poignant subplot that is unfortunately underdeveloped, leaving viewers with lingering questions about their past and potential future.


Aunty Bunmi’s health issues serve as a critical plot device that drives her to India for medical treatment. Her interactions with Dr. Siddarth (Rajneesh Duggal), and his Nigerian wife, Zainab (Rahama Sadau), introduce additional layers to the story. Siddarth and Zainab’s marital discord, rooted in their differing views on having children, reflects broader themes of family expectations and personal aspirations. However, this subplot too suffers from a lack of resolution and clarity, as the reasons behind their marital conflict remain superficially addressed.


The series shines in its portrayal of cultural intersections, presenting a rich blend of Nigerian and Indian traditions, languages, and social norms. Scenes oscillate between the vibrant streets of Lagos and the bustling cityscape of Mumbai, offering a visually rich experience. The cinematography captures the essence of both locales, from the luxurious settings that Aunty Bunmi navigates to the harsher realities faced by Yemi in his pursuit of a dance career. The inclusion of dance sequences and musical elements adds an entertaining dimension, though these moments often feel disconnected from the core narrative.


Postcards - Sola Sobowale
Postcards – Sola Sobowale

Despite the commendable efforts in cultural representation, “Postcards” is hindered by its inability to tie and balance its numerous subplots into a cohesive whole. The series introduces intriguing storylines but fails to provide satisfying conclusions, leaving many threads dangling. For instance, the tension between Yemi and Ronny lacks a substantive backstory, making Ronny’s antagonism feel unwarranted. Similarly, Olumide and Rekha’s relationship history is hinted at but never fully explored, diminishing the emotional impact of their reunion.


Moreover, the central conflict surrounding Aunty Bunmi’s health and her strained relationship with her son Yemi is inadequately developed. The narrative hints at deep-seated issues between mother and son, yet these are glossed over in favor of more superficial plot points. Aunty Bunmi’s journey to reconcile with her son and confront her own mortality could have provided a strong emotional backbone to the series, but it is ultimately overshadowed by the series’ scattered focus.


The supporting characters, while portrayed by a talented ensemble cast, are similarly underutilized. Rahama Sadau’s Zainab character, for example, is depicted as a woman caught between cultural expectations and personal desires, yet her character arc is left incomplete. The dynamics between Zainab and Siddarth, particularly their disagreement over starting a family, could have added significant conflict and depth to the series, but these issues are only addressed on the surface.


Postcards - Nancy Isime
Postcards – Nancy Isime

“Postcards” stands as an ambitious yet flawed attempt to merge the Nollywood and Bollywood film world. The series excels in its cultural representation and the performances of its lead actors, particularly Sola Sobowale and Richard Mofe-Damijo. However, the disjointed narrative and unresolved subplots reduce its potential, resulting in a fragmented viewing experience.


“Postcards” had the ingredients for a compelling cross-cultural film but ultimately falls short in execution, leaving audiences with more questions than answers.


Release Date: May 3, 2024

Streaming platform: Netflix

Episodes: 6 Episodes

Running time: Approximately 33 minutes per episode

Director: Hamisha Ahuja

Cast: Sola Sobowale, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Rahamu Sadau, Nancy Isime, Rio Kapadia, Rajneesh Duggal.

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