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Atoke: I Laughed So Hard at the Screening of Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law, I Forgot to Stare at Blossom’s Pecs

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OkaforsLaw_05I went into the screening of Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law with no expectations. So, when I found myself chuckling after the first few scenes, I knew this one was going to be a winner for me. I laughed so much; I almost forgot the movie had Blossom Chuks Chukwejekwu half naked at some point.

Okafor’s Law follows the well known Nigerian theory that alludes that once a man has had sex with a woman, he has unrestrained and unfettered access to having sexual relations with the same woman. To put it in more crude terms: “Once De’be, Ever De’be”

This concept is very well known amongst Nigerian millennials, with a lot of conversations surrounding the theory being discussed even here on BellaNaija. So, Omoni Oboli decided to make a film where her lead character, Chuks, the Terminator, played by Blossom Chukujekwu, was tasked by his two closest friends to prove the theory was indeed a law. Ironically, his real name is Chuks, and these two friends are also called Chuks(‘)! Look guys, it’s raining Chukses (sp?) Oh, and the nickname, Terminator apparently came from being a sexual executioner. Well, would you look at that?!

Having hinged a significant part of his life’s work on this ridiculous bet, Chuks, The Terminator, sets out on the task of having sex with three women from his university days: Fifi – played by Ufoma McDermott, Tomi – played by Toyin Aimakhu and Ejiro, played by Omoni Oboli.
These three women are then unconsciously conscripted into the game being played by the three Chuks’.

There was something distinctly interesting about the style of the unfolding of this story. The use of flashbacks in the telling of the story, as well as the tastefully executed sex scenes made the film even more interesting.
I really loved the scene where The Terminator told the history of Okafor’s law – throwing the audience back into what could be deemed a cultural representation of Nigeria on a global stage – seeing as this was the Toronto International Film Festival.

The lines in the dialogue were witty and smart; I wanted to get into the mind of the scriptwriter so badly. And this was a sour point for me as I’d read of the allegations online about the script of this film being stolen from a writer called Jude Idada. With no proof to back the allegations, and no response from the Oboli Team about the rumours, I wondered if it should stop my enjoyment of the film.

It didn’t.
Okafor’s Law did show me how much of a pedestal Nigerians place sex. I mean, considering how full of apparent religious morality we claim to have, casual sex is still such an intrinsic part of our lives. Okafor’s Law showed me the normalcy of it all and made me think how differently we would be if we weren’t all just pretenders.

But pretence was a huge theme in this film as it was a requisite tool for Chuks the Terminator to win his quest. Blossom’s acting was great and it was very easy to see him take on the role. With the other two Chukses(?) I’m not quite sure their delivery of the lines had the punch the roles required; but, Gabriel Afolayan (who played Chuks, the Baptist) was a little more convincing than Ken Erics (Chuks, the Fox)

There were a few scenes that the film could have done without, honestly. The traditional wedding scene had cringe worthy acting and it dragged on for a few minutes. The scene at the cinema where Chuks ran into some girl from his University days. I kept expecting that scene to translate into something. It didn’t. Loose threads are just an inconvenience for the movie watcher.

Toyin Aimakhu’s role as Tomi the hard core Ad exec. fell flat. It wasn’t really the Yoruba accent seeping through her words; it was more about the fact that the part she was playing just didn’t come through. However, at some point in the film she reversed into her element – yelling insults in Yoruba. Then, it worked. Unfortunately, an actor is supposed to be versatile and should be able to slip into various roles as the script demands. If your work shines best when you’re acting only certain stereotypical roles, it’s an indication for more training and practice.

Omoni Oboli’s role was interesting, and I believe she would have played a better Tomi. However, she played a nice Ejiro and her body IS pretty HOT! The part where she asked her friend to drive her to the park to see Chuks was a bit weird. Which park? Yet, she landed at the park where Chuks was sitting and waiting for her.

I have to mention the scene that stuck me as ODD the most, and it involved alcohol. Y’all know I love and know my cocktails, right? So, why in all that is right and bubbly did Chuks get Fifi’s body guard (played by Kemi Akindoju) drunk and passed out in such a short time. Okay, so one hour? Two? How long did Fifi sit over there (we could see her in a booth at the lounge) while her body guard got plied with alcohol, so much so that she fell asleep? I tried to do a mental math of the body mass of the recipient of the body guard and the length of time it took to get this alcohol active. Nah! It didn’t add up. And in all that time, Fifi never glanced over to where her body guard was sitting? Come on, guys! Come ON!

My favourite part of the film was when Richard Mofe-Damijo gave Chuks, the Terminator, the best gift the audience collectively approved of.OkaforsLaw_04

Tina Mba was a graceful delight on the screen and she played the role of Mama Chuks so well. I have to say I’m really happy about the infusion of old and new Nollywood in the selection of Nigerian films screened at TIFF16.

The work done with this film is highly commendable, especially with the recognition and selection for this film festival. I know how hard it is to get funding to make films in Nigeria, so it was quite nice to see careful product placement of brands through out the film. Those brands believed in the work being done by Nigerian creatives, and it gives me so much joy.

Okafor’s Law truly made me laugh, and for that, I’m grateful to the filmmaker.

***

No payments in cash, or promise of favours, have been received in exchange for the ‘Atoke at TIFF16’ stories. The views expressed in the stories reflect the writer’s personal take from the events she attended at the festival – and not the opinion of a film critic.

Photo Credit: TIFF

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

33 Comments

  1. Crowley

    September 18, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Lol. Atoke pretty much “loves” every single Nigerian movie ever made, right?

    • Nancy

      September 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      She does. That is why she is not a film reviewer.
      American critics went in on this film, I felt bad for Omoni.
      One even wrote that if not for 93 Days and 76, he would have dismissed Nollywood as child’s play!
      I read even a Nigerian review the film and he was even more mean. I can’t!

    • Busarni

      September 19, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Atoke, how much were you paid? Nonsense; the same movie that professional film critics battered left , right and center. I know she must have put in hard work but she needs to invest more in studying and researching on how to be a better film producer, actor etc.

  2. bruno

    September 18, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    atoke u are not a good film critic. how can u love every single naija movie shown at TIFF. abi u have low standards when it comes to entertainment. abi any small thing can make u laugh or entertain u?

    • Don't be too hasty

      September 18, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Notice how she didn’t review every Nigerian movie at TIFF, unless those will follow soon sha. Plus most people will bring their A game to TIFF

  3. AceOfSpades

    September 18, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    That Toyin Aimakhu part was lowkey shade you know and I hope you know Toyin isn’t a Yoruba girl. I feel as a writer, you could have written that part better than that. Sounds a bit…just a tad bit….tribalist.

    • Not Bitter Kola

      September 19, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Toyin isnt a Yoruba girl but she does have the accent, being that she was born and bred in Ibadan, na or there she wan get Benin accent?

  4. The Real Oma

    September 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Atoke, i enjoy your reviews, they are honest, with praise and criticism given out with grace. Well done!

  5. bruno

    September 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I didnt want to say anything about the nigerian movies premiering at the TIFF cause they will say bruno has come again. pls the TIFF is a serious film festival where small but serious movies like (room, King’s speech, 12 years a slave, slumdog millionaire etc) are shown. the point of movie festivals is to give film makers (sometimes up coming directors, actors, actresses etc) with small movies a platform to show case their work.

    nigerians I hope u people didn’t go there to embarrass yourselves. cause the wedding party isnt a type of movie u go and show at such a movie festival like TIFF.

    dear nollywood film makers and actors and actressess, its one things to be noticed internationally as a film maker or an actress or actor and its another thing to be taken serious as a film maker or an actress or actor
    the trailer of the wedding party( staring nollywood’s latest over hyped light skin it girl adesuwa etomi) is just so full of clichés.

    I alsofeel like many of u just went to the TIFF to take picture in ur fine gowns so u can post on instagram.

    international movie critics are not going to say “they tried” like what atoke is doing. for them its either u made a good movie or a bad movie.

    I follow alot international movie blogs and so far I havent read anything about the nigerian movies shown at the TIFF.

    this year the movies receiving critical praise at the TIFF are La la land (emma stone, ryan gosling), moonlight (naomi harris, andre holland, marshala ali), lion ( dave patel), nocturnal animals (amy adams). I’m so excited especially for nocturnal animals cause I adore amy adams and tom ford (the fashion designer) is the director of the film. his first film ” a single man” was so beautifully made. I have high hopes for this one.

    • Halle

      September 18, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Awwwwh! Bruno is here…. “Dancing”

    • The Real Oma

      September 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Welcome back Bruno, we have missed you ooo :))

    • Corolla

      September 19, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Gbam! You hit the nail on the head. The movies Nigerians are carrying to international film festivals cannot compete on a global scale. Kudos to Kemi Adetiba, Ebony TV, and the cast members, but while The Wedding party might be a great “regular” romcom, showcasing a movie that lacks a unique POV or thought provoking plot on an intl stage is an embarrassment!

    • Bethany

      September 19, 2016 at 11:21 am

      On this occasion i agree with you @Bruno Adesuwa Etomi is extremely overhyped boring with only kissing and sex scenes as a specialty smh
      The interview she gave a few months ago about her ‘light skin’ not helping her career was a joke!
      When will Nigerians and Africans as a whole stop overlooking real actresses for average ones that happen to be light skin?

    • tunmi

      September 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I have absolutely missed you!!!!!!!!!! and yep, alla dis

    • Dee-USA

      September 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      His name is Dev Patel. Not Dave.

  6. bitumen

    September 18, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Nollywood movies are often made for Nigerians which defeats the purpose of having the movies screened at international festivals. Most of these nollywood movies are just hype. After i saw fifty, i made a vow not to ever spend money to watch any ebony life movie again. We need to make movies that can be enjoyed by the Global Audience. Indian Movies have many blockbusters. Tsotsi a south african movie won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it was a novel that was adapted into a movie. Queen of Katwe is another movie whose rights was bought by disney from a novel. Queen of Katwe is a true story of a ugandan girl turned chess master. Nollywood is trying too hard. If not for Jay Z and the rest who took fela in broadway global, nollywood wouldnt have done anything and even if they did it would have most likely been a poor job. Nollywood has the likes of HBO,UNIVERSAL etc , More Nigerians are watching telemundo and Zeetv. Are people in india watching africa magic and ebony life tv ? 30 days in atlanta won awards in Nigeria here. Put that film in any international festival and people would just sob to death. A soldiers story won awards too. Saw Soldiers story on catch up on dstv explora in a friends place and we were all depressed watching it. All in all, we may have different tastes and atoke is entitled to her opinion but Nollywood should wake up.

    • bitumen

      September 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      meant hollywood has the likes of HBO,UNIVERSAL

  7. K-babe

    September 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Like seriously, if you read some of the reviews eh!!!
    The only people that were well received were the 76 actors and then Steve Gukas 93 Days.
    Hollywood loves perfection and Nollywood with all its hype is not almost there, that is all.
    Dear Directors,
    it is not hating. It is fact. Has TIFF helped in selling Nollywood to the world? Maybe the name is now known to more people but after some of those horrendous reviews, I think it just ended up not doing much for the industry.
    The best review is of 93 Days. Nollywood, cool the hype. Stop circulation of the same old goods. Spend time, read, learn, practice then hit it hard and you will not need international validation.
    Look at how BRAZIL, Morocco and Ethiopia are causing serious wave without overdoing it.
    They are not hungry for what Nollywood is hungry for, yet they get it. They make films because they understand the art not for money. Omoni shot a film July and Spetember, she is running to TIFF.
    I think, I will just go and come back with all the links to the reviews I read, then from there, we can continue with Atoke’s crowd pleasing reviews.
    If only I was a good writer. Where is Oris that film reviewer, he is the only film reviewer in Nigeria. So honest and blunt that is what our filmmakers need.

  8. Eric

    September 18, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Why did you guys who read the reviews include links in your comments so the rest of us can read nah! Because going by what I saw on Instagram you would think Nollywood stole the show at TIFF. So all na wash or what?

    • Majestic

      September 19, 2016 at 5:19 am

      ? I wonder ooo

  9. That Film Girl

    September 18, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    • artklub

      September 19, 2016 at 4:16 am

      great, so when/where is it showing in nigeria?

  10. Lacey

    September 19, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Thank you @That Film Girl!Green White Green makes sense!A very thorough process that started since 2005,I am not a fan of Nollywood!I believe anything worth doing, should be done properly .
    Most of their storylines are so backward!I would rather relax with my Yoruba movies to amuse myself, the comedy type ones ,not the juju ones o!Although I look forward to 76 and 93 days!but movies like Okafor’s law is not a movie you should take to a global platform,as I am not sure about the morals or what they were trying to project with it though!

  11. Awesome

    September 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

    The story line/plot of Okafor’s Law even makes me drowsy… Really, who still tells such kind of lame story in this 21st century Nollywood…. Such kind of story/movie should not even be presented to AMMA or AMVCA how much more TIFF….

  12. Tosin

    September 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Makes we want to watch 🙂 Thanks, please keep reviewing.

    Okafor’s Law is a lie. Or is misleading. Asiko lo laye.

  13. WALIU

    September 19, 2016 at 8:30 am

    For those that mentioned ‘reviews’….pls past the links so we can read

  14. Mizwest

    September 19, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Cough cough I thing Blossom is hotter than hot. I’m so glad he’s been cast in a sexy role. I’ll watch and like this movie just for the simple vain fact that blossom is in it. Far as am concern he does what idris alba does for movies- he brings sexy back!!

    • Bethany

      September 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Blossom is another ‘light skin’ actor who lacks range & depth, sexy kwa? is that all he has to offer smh

    • Mizwest

      September 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Is blossom light skinned?!. I’ve never met him in person but he looks like a tall glass of hot chocolate on the screen. O and Bethany i didn’t ask for you opinion I never said hey Bethany do ya think Blossoms hot? Do ya ?do ya?. Do you wanna know why I didn’t consult you Bethany? In the voice of DWAYNE THE ROCK JOHNSON because IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT YOU THINK ?

  15. Mz Socially Awkward....

    September 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I hadn’t even heard of this “Okafor’s Law” before this moment… but now interested in seeing it. At least, if nothing else, for a laugh and some light entertainment and hoe much it did or didn’t meet up to TIFF expectations. Wish there’d been a trailer for some of us to get a preview of what to expect.

    Thanks for the review, Atoks, enjoyed the glimpse into what to anticipate (including the good and bad). Biko, kontinu bringing ’em forth.

  16. "changing moniker"

    September 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

  17. iba

    September 19, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    In addition to the above, contrary Omoni Oboli’s claims, Being Mrs Elliott, her first film and the latest one, Okafor’s Law were actually not written by her !! They were written by a Canada based script writer, Jude Idada but she bluntly refused to acknowledge this. What a slyness !

  18. iba

    September 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Yes, Nigerian films enjoyed the spotlights but at the end, Kenyan film titled KATI KATI went with a major TIFF award. We have more works to do.

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