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Sodas & Popcorn Movie Review: October 1



October 1The last morning of a holiday is a strange period: long enough to mull over the things you didn’t get around to doing, but too short to actually do them. But there was no way I was resuming work without watching the much talked about October 1.

So let’s get down to it:

Set in 1960, October One is a dark psychological thriller that tells the story of a Northern Nigerian Police Detective, Dan Waziri (played by the legendary Sadiq Daba). Waziri is dispatched by the Colonial Government to the trading post town of Akote, in the Western Region of Nigeria, to solve a series of female murders that have struck horror in the hearts and minds of the local community before the Nigerian independence on October 1 1960.

My fears generally with movies that combine real life historical events with fiction is how smooth the blend between fact and fiction will be as was the case with Hollywood’s Lee Daniel’s The Butler. And like The Butler did a great job merging fact with fiction, so also did Kunle Afolayan’s October 1. In an industry that hasn’t even gotten the execution of fiction or fact right in most of the movies it makes, seasoned script writer Tunde Babalola gives a brilliant script which thankfully fell into the right hands of Kunle Afolayan.

Originally named Dust as revealed by Toni Kan in an interview with Afolayan, the movie was renamed October 1 because the story evokes anticipation and suspense from almost every character in the movie.  I agree it  was a better choice of name for these reasons. More importantly, October 1 was a perfect title because of its brilliant marketing strategy and relevance to the country’s independence. A big kudos to the team for its publicity.

October 1 reveals the killer half way into the movie, confirming the suspicions we had right from the beginning. My first reaction was that of disappointment and an impending backlash until I sat back to understand that hiding the killer wasn’t the real motive of the movie, but finding out the reason for the audience to fund out the reason for the killer’s lunacy.

Nevertheless, I personally feel a watchful eye would have discovered who the killer was from the trailer alone as I did and that could have been hidden a little bit.

If there is anything I enjoyed the most in this movie, and no, it wasn’t the overenthusiastic/downright hilarious Inspector Afonja (Kayode Olaiya), it was the cinematography. Production designer, Pat Debo and Cinematographer Yinka Edwards definitely delivered what I will consider the best work of art in Nigerian cinematic history. The lighting in the Forrest were, permit me to use the word, Epic. The introduction of Kanayo O Kanayo’s character even though he was hidden in plain sight gave me goose pimples and the entire cinema erupted in an applause at his reveal.

I have to take a minute to marvel at Afolayan’s movie making prowess. He obviously had clear vision for what he set out to achieve and pushed his cast to give the best possible performance you could expect from them. From Sadiq Daba’s impeccable performance and showing that wine gets better with age to the devious love triangle between the arrogant and equally charming Prince Aderopo played by talented newbie Demola Adedoyin whose skill made it look like he has been around for a really long time, the oblivious Miss Tawa played by Kehinde Bankole) and the poster boy for adult insecurity, Headmaster Olaitan played by Abiodun Aleja.

The glory of the film, however, is in the fact that the story is not afraid to go there: explore the timeless themes of religion, ethnic rifts, corruption, abuse, pain and privilege.

The film plays for 2 hours but there is enough suspense and laugh-till-your-sides-hurt humor to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Another impressive bit of execution in the movie was the attention to detail. The costumes and set designs were very deliberately done (a lot of people who were present in the 60’s should be able to identify with the scenery while the new Generation would get a feel of what it was like to exist in such a place and time.

The movie does have its flaws: Like how Agbekoya might have broken way too easily in letting out the grand confession and how the part of Ms. Olufunmi Ransome Kuti (Played by Deola Sagoe) who we know was a staunch historical figure ended up being a cheap ‘waka pass’, or placement for the designer. Also, the stunts in the movie could have been better executed, but we are impressed enough to glide over these things.

You know a film is good when Nigerian’s (tough crowd) unanimously begin to slow clap in honor of money well spent. The voice of the people is the voice of God so from us at Sodas & Popcorn the movie gets a solid Popcorn and Soda.



So what did you think about the movie? Did it meet up to your expectation? Let’s know in the box below.

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  1. D

    October 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My best movie this year both local and foreign) thus far. Mr Kunle Afolayan is a thousand years ahead of his peers in my opinion. Loved every minute and yes, money well spent ‘cos i was absolutely entertained. Others take a cue, you don’t need to force your ‘great’ movies down our throat and refer to critics as ‘haters’.

  2. Foo Fighters

    October 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Yep, Saw the movie yesterday and the whole cinema gave a round of applause when it was done.

  3. Eby sug

    October 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I can’t find anything wrong in dis movie cos in not a film critic.. I am looking forward to seeing more of Kunlez movies… Great work…


    October 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I have a new level of respect for Mr. Afolayan and I am extremely proud of this production. It was pieced together wonderfully and creatively executed. He has officially become my best director in Nigeria as he has an attitude worthy of emulation. Kudos to Tope Babalola, you are the best!!! click on my name to read my review.

  5. nene

    October 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    from a few sources (friends/acquaintances) i’ve heard the film was average and overhyped. i’ve never enjoyed any of kunle afolayan’s films. i saw figurine and kept pressing the fast forward button. irapada was ok. i think he believes a big budget means a good movie, but that’s not true.

    • D

      October 9, 2014 at 7:39 am

      I am glad your friends are the same flock as you. What a sad life!!

  6. remz

    October 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    @nene why dont you give it a go? Watch it. Your opinion might differ from that of your friends/acquaintances.

  7. Peter

    October 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Nice movie. I’d like to see it again!

  8. Kina

    October 8, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    What I admire about this guy is basically his attention to detail. This guy knows about setting a scene. Always a pleasure to watch one of his movies. I can’t wait to see this one.

  9. Concerned_Boyfriend

    October 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    A well balanced review. Thank you for the brilliant and concise narrative without giving away too much for those of us that have not seen the movie yet.

  10. Myne Whitman

    October 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I look forward to seeing this. In 2 years?

  11. Dolly

    October 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Honestly I’m proud a nigerian is moving up the bars in Nigerian film and for that i applaud Kunle Afoloyan efforts. No doubt October 1 seems like a must watch but i have my reservations.

    I think Kunle Afoloyan is sometimes overhyped, his first movie Irapada was totally boring, Figurine oh with the choking hype was good but kinda sloppy. I have seen better movies but hey thats my opinion of him till i watch October 1. And can I add that Kunle is a slow actor, he needs to concentrate on directing.

    • anonymous

      October 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      i totally agree with you. his movies start out great then end with an illogical conclusion. he should concentrate on ending his movies better. i definitely wouldn’t waste a penny going to the cinema to see that over hyped movie.

    • word

      October 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      And how will ur not watching affect our world. Hiss!! U come across as an envious nollywood crap-film maker

  12. Fis

    October 9, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Well done Kunle, Thanks for taking us back to the era of Adelove, Ogunde, Babasala and all the other numerous good ancient movies. The story telling and the directing and acting of those days had substance and a lesson to learn. The other people who matched that era is late Amaka Igwe and Tunde Kelani. Kudo’s , Today'”s Nollywood was hijacked by marketers who cared less about substance. Good movie, a balanced act with all the tribes including the representation of the Colonial Masters.

  13. Beez

    October 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    That Kanayo O Kanayo’s entrance was epic. Also I didn’t mind that the killer was easily guessed, the WHY HE WAS KILLING was what kept me going.

  14. Ewa

    October 10, 2014 at 8:12 am

    The movie is a great improvement from what we usually get and this gives me good vibes. The Nigerian movie industry is gradually getting there. Great script, good acting, etc. 7/10 for me . Well done Kunle Afolayan.

  15. Uche

    October 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

    A great movie indeed. Just that the Rev Fr remained the same after about 20years. (when Koya and the prince were kids till when he was killed)

  16. Uju Lilian Ikegbune

    October 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Wow! Am short of words in a kinda full of words way. Sunday Afonja & Inspestor Danladi Waziri(Sadiq Daba) were my favourite cast. Infact I like everything about the movie, especially the cinematography, story line, cast and everything again about the movie. The best movie locally n internationally.

  17. Azeez

    October 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Saw this movie and I must admit it’s the best Nigerian movie I’ve seen for a while since watching mainframe productions. The story was perfect, acting was marvellous, full of comedy but I feel they could have done better with the sound editing as well as sound track. I give it 7 out of 10. It’s way better than Half of a Yellow Sun.

  18. bisola

    December 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

    This movie is epic. I am so proud that something this good could come out of my country Nigeria. The production is superb. Sadiq Daba and indeed the entiere cast did a wonderful job. An Oscar won’t be aiming to high. For best foreign movie. Good job to Kunle Afolayan. If you havent seen this movie, you are on a looooooong thing. Lol!

  19. Moyo

    October 5, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I just watched the movie last Thursday, I am so proud.Well done Kunle Afolayan. I can”t get over Demola Adedoyin, his acting was superb, I didnt see anyone else, I am still crushing on him.Well done Sadiq Daba, My man crush all day every day Demola Adedoyin

  20. Ik

    January 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I dey carry last sha..but na when person wake up be him own morning…eeh…October 1st should only be shown to students of history…I read thru the comments and its definite Nigerian youths don’t listen..and can’t read between the wonder our music floats..the movie just told us of the different roles played by all the actors involved before and during 67 as rightly predicted by the prince.. and actually opened our eyes to the true nature of our past and present political bruhaha…listen to the last comments of the white man…and please think it all tru…lovely script babalola

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