Too Many Stars, Balanced Parade of Talents, and Still Maintains Good Quality
Growing up in the Eastern part of Nigeria, I used to play a game with my classmates in primary school. I’m not sure about the rules or where the game came from or who brought it to us, but we required someone to take the role of an Ojuju which is translated as a “masquerade” and a bunch of pupils screaming and running to safety from the Ojuju. That was just how the game was to be played. The costume for the Ojuju was not a problem. Whoever took the role just needed to make a face like a scary person and we just had to scream “Ojuju Calabar” while we ran to safety amidst screams and glee.
This memory did not rush into my mind as I had gone half into the Brotherhood movie at the cinema. There was the Ojuju Boys. I didn’t read meaning into that. There was a background voice like a whisper that echoed “Ojuju Calabar” in some scenes in the movie. The moment the first heist happened in the movie and the Ojuju Boys were masked like masquerades for the heist, that was when it clicked! That was when I remembered my primary school game and connected it with the whisper-song and memories began to rush in. This gave me a better understanding of the concept of Ojuju Ball for the premier of Brotherhood.
Twin brothers lose their parents to armed robbers. They grow up and grow apart with one brother being on the wrong side of the law and the other being the one that may indict his brother.
Brotherhood is a revelation that Nollywood can actualize any genre, but it just requires the right people, the right resources, and the right everything. Most Nollywood action thrillers either have an unbalanced storyline or ridiculous gun violence. Unlike this notion, Brotherhood blends the action with a thrilling heist and is more realistic. Some of the scenes got me and my fellow other spectators asking ourselves “Did they just do this in a Nigerian movie?” Scenes that I will attach as only possible in a Hollywood movie played out in Brotherhood and that is a real upgrade. For example, a car crash scene where the car literally rolled over with people inside it. We don’t see this every day in Nollywood.
The first time I stumbled on the official cast poster for Brotherhood, and I saw that the movie had all stars in it, I concluded that it would be a flop. Whilst all the stars in the movie is a marketing strategy, it doesn’t in any way reduce the quality of the movie. The stars executed their roles excellently. It is a relief that Folarin Falana ‘Falz’ did away with the British accent he is known for in Jenifa and Chief Daddy. His role in Brotherhood requires his character to be calm and collected and it was beautiful to see.
Worthy of recognition is the character of Zubby Michael as Poison. The Asabawood known actor is making waves with tons of cinema movies right now and it is deserving. The likes of Tiger’s Tail, Passport and now Brotherhood. His character is crazy and exciting. Brotherhood is dominantly in Yoruba language, but Poison brings in his Igbo attitude, slangs and craziness which makes his character so exciting.
The characters of Goldie (Toni Tonnes) and Akin (Tobi Baker) are giving off Nikita and Michael vibes in the series “Nikita”. OC Ukeje’s character as Izra is so much like Tokyo in Money Heist who likes to go against group plans. Though Izra adds greediness to his character.
The cinematic feeling was wild. One can feel the emotional outburst from the audience. There were scenes that sent everyone cursing in English and other local dialects. I wasn’t left out. I cursed when I had to. The climax was towards the end when “Bandana” by Fireboy and Asake was played. The song has already garnered recognition and has become popular. It was only fitting for the audience to sing along and vibe to the song as the movie came to an end.
GreoH Studios outdid themselves with Brotherhood. The movie is showing in fifteen African countries and we’re hopeful it breaks box-office at the prophesied ₦1 billion. Brotherhood is super recommended and suitable for people who love action heist thrillers.
Release Date: 23 September 2022
Run-time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Director: Loukman Ali
Cast: Folarin Falana, Tobi Bakre, Bright Okpocha, Toni Tonnes, OC Ukeje, Zubby Michael, Boma Akpore, Seyi Awolowo, Sam Dede, Jidekene Achufusi, Dorathy Bachor, Omawunmi, and Diane Russett.