Connect with us


Jude Martins: A Review of Jade Osiberu’s Debut Film – Isoken



I first heard about the film via a reader’s comment on my last review of Omoni Oboli‘s film,  Okafor’s Law. A few weeks later I began seeing the trailers and observing the publicity trend on social media platforms. So, I took interest is seeing the film – majorly for two reasons.

Reason one: because I have a bosom friend called Isoken; reason two: the film shares a baseline of a story I once wrote – a grown single lady pressured by her Mum to get married… Thus, I went into the cinema screen with a mindset – If you’re gonna tell my kind of story, you better do it well…

The film ISOKEN tells the story of a young, successful and intelligent single lady in her mid-thirties pressured by her mum and relatives to get married. She was introduced to a classy, wealthy and cute Osaze, whose aura placed a demand on her sophisticated shade. Just as she goes with the flow, she coincidentally meets Kelvin, a young Briton whose love for the Nigerian culture from childhood transformed him into a humble and simple character – the perfect blend for Isoken. She had to make a decision between pleasing her mum and sticking to her heart’s choice…

Genre (Romance/Drama)
My parameters for review are;

– Cinematography/Editing
– Casting
– Script (Dialogue)
– Plot

Being a Hollywood film freak, it will be unfair for me to expect picture and sound as perfect as those from Universal Pictures or Disney Studios, considering the constraint provided by slim production budgets in our industry. However, I expected a better post production impact than what I saw. The pictures were dull (obviously converted from a source file with a substandard resolution); the voices were too deep – I almost thought Dakore had a masculine voice (thank God I have met her in person). Also the balancing of music under the dialogues were not well done. On Cinematography, I will give a 5/10.

Brilliant choice of cast, if you ask me. Dakore did a fantastic job in blending class with the simplicity of a well groomed lady from a mid-class home, as was the demand for the Isoken character.

To be candid, for the first time I saw her step out a bit from the routine total splendour, which she is renowned to depict. I saw a different Dakore and I think she did not struggle at all.

Other key acts succeeded in coming a bit above average, the best to me being Tina Mba. She nailed her motherly role perfectly – providing the humorous balance which Funke Akindele also tried to achieve.
Joseph Benjamin had quite a responsibility playing Osaze, He did well in his dialogues/scenes with the exception of the “this is bullshit…” part. Somehow, I imagined a back–in–the-day Desmond Elliot in that scene.

Another remarkable act was Marc Rhys. Unlike some unfortunate oyibos who have struggled to make sense in our Nollywood scenes, Marc did a fantastic job in his role – portraying the sarcastic dry humour akin to people of his race despite their fancy for culture.

Lydia Forson was fantastic, the best of the trio if you ask me. Damilola Adegbite was a bit mechanical. Patrick Doyle?….hmmm….I guess Epa was just having fun being himself. The pidgin sweet for en mouth no be small. On casting, I will give an 8/10.

Jadesola Osiberu did a near fantastic job here. You could feel the femininity in the story, with detail to express that someone was writing from a familiar stand point. However, there were a few hiccups, such as Isoken exclaiming “Chineke!” rather than “Iheme” or “Osanobua!” like a proper Bini girl would do in her bid to express shock. She also should have given more lines to Isoken’s Uncle and Chuks. They sounded like potentials for better humour than Isoken’s younger brother. However, on the dialogues between Isoken and Osaze, Isoken and Kelvin, Isoken and friends, I’ll give a thumbs up! On dialogues generally, I will give a 7/10.

Not a projectile flow, but Jadesola succeeded in keeping viewers excited throughout despite having some unnecessary acts and scenes. For instance, Joke’s roles and scenes throughout were not necessary, except that the naming ceremony provided a meeting point for Kelvin and Isoken, an effort that could have been accomplished some other way. I am yet to figure out the need for Kukua’s argument with the boys on her way to pick up Isoken. If the point was to stress that ladies love successful men, enough of that was heard in the dialogue between Isoken and the trio at the spar.

One thing worth commending was the use of music to portray Kelvin’s love for culture. On that I feel like giving the writer a high five.

The wrap up almost looked like that of The Wedding Party, however I will sheath my sword since I heard from a reliable source that the project began before The Wedding Party. But hold on a minute! What was that reaction Isoken’s sister gave to her husband? What point was Jadesola trying to make?

Okay…. I will have said more, but let me park here. After all, the film was far better than some horrific projects we have seen on the big screen. On plotting, I will give a 6/10.

In conclusion, after seeing Isoken, I was reassured that filmmaking in the industry is becoming much better. I think you should grab a ticket at the nearest cinema to see Isoken (If you haven’t). At least, you will laugh….that is very important!

Jude Martins – Jude is a gifted writer, film critique and a public relations expert. His passion to articulate ideas date way back to his escapades as a young teenager; publishing His first article at age 13. He is committed to utilizing his prowess to inform, educate, inspire and communicate positivity to the society on topics relating to Entertainment, Politics and Inspirational thoughts. Jude is a Chartered Manager of the Nigeria Institute of Management and works with a Cinema in Lagos as an Operations Manager. JUDE MARTINS Email – [email protected] Tel - +234 (0) 8186671693, +234 (0) 8037332373


  1. isaobi

    June 24, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Nice piece. Well done . Since you are an insider in cinema business, can you furnish us with the details about the box office performance of Nigerian movies at the cinemas, in the last six months. This is the normal practice abroad.

    • Jude Martins

      June 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Isaobi, I have a couple of articles on that topic, published in recent past and do plan to write more extensively on it soon. Watch out for them on this space. Thanks.
      In the meantime, please google “Nollywood movies set to break box office records in 2016”

  2. ItsekiriGirl

    June 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Jude, with all due respect I disagree almost entirely with your review. The movie was well above average , The casting was 10/10, script and dialogue were excellent (and not stilted or awkward as Nollywood movies tend to be), the plot was well thought out, and the cinematography better than almost every other Nigerian movie made so far. Plus, it was laugh out loud funny. I agree that Damilola Adegbites character was a bit mechanical, but she served a purpose, truth is every woman like Isoken has a Joke in her life. Finally, I am not Ibo, but when I am startled I find that ‘Chimo!” is more often than not my choice of exclamation. I personally think Isoken is an excellent movie and every one should go see it. Just my two cents

    • Debbie

      June 24, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Exactly… I for one use a lot of non Yoruba words.
      E.g. When I want someone to come over, I say “Bia” (not sure of the spelling). I hardly ever say no as no or rara in Yoruba – I say Mba and on and on and one.

      And no, I am not Ibo.

    • Jude Martins

      June 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      I respect your perception. Indeed it is okay for any “Nigerian” girl to exclaim however they feel. But if the script writer thought it necessary to stress that she was an “Edo” girl, then it makes professional sense to complete the delivery.

      My thoughts though… You’re entitled to yours.

    • Katen

      December 30, 2019 at 10:11 am

      It was truly brilliant, superb outfits, cinematography and locations

  3. Fifi

    June 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Crap movie, waste of my two hours

  4. Debbie

    June 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    However, there were a few hiccups, such as Isoken exclaiming “Chineke!” rather than “Iheme” or “Osanobua!” like a proper Bini girl would do in her bid to express shock.

    Uncle, I would have agreed with you on this if I wasn’t Yoruba (full Yoruba for that matter with no Ibo blood) and I say Chineke or any other word that comes to mind (usually not Yoruba) when I want to express shock or any other exclamation.

    Now let me go back to your review.

  5. Bowl

    June 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Average movie. Plenty fakerity and forced Nigerianness.

  6. Awesome

    June 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    The first Review that I am reading that didn’t sound sponsored. Sounds quite Objective.

  7. Chinedu

    June 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Now this is a review! Very balanced!

  8. I love Nigeria

    June 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I hardly say no in Yoruba. It’s always mba or nehi. Mbok when saying please

  9. Majestic

    June 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Nice review. I’ll try seeing this

  10. Abominable snow girl

    June 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I just saw it this afternoon and I wasn’t disappointed.
    Aside from the minor fact that Isoken’s sister who got married at the beginning of the movie became a no show going forward, I thought the movie was amazing.
    Finally, we can say we have an authentic homegrown romcom.
    Loved it.

  11. Chynwa

    June 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    With these few points of yours, I’m beginning to reason whether I should spend my hard earned naira and time on this or wait for it to come on Iroko TV app. Well done Jude, I’ll wait for your review on 10 Days in Suncity

  12. Sel

    June 25, 2017 at 1:34 am

    I just came back from watching this movie. And I love love love it.

  13. tunmi

    June 25, 2017 at 11:33 am

    You mentioned post production and sound and I have to say Naija is just lazy ad greedy in that regard. South Korea is a perfectionist when it comes to getting the sound for their dramas. And they churn those out just as quickly as we make movies here. I would recommend “Another Oh Hae Young” which involves the character of a sound engineer. The amount of work and creativity and, quite frankly, the simplicity of creating sound will make you respect Soth Korean filmmakers and sound engineers. This is something we can do in Nigeria. We just don’t care too. So if a Nigerian film in 2017 still can’t get the sound right…. They are lazy and not creative enough.

    • curious

      July 20, 2017 at 12:29 am

      Currently watching Another Oh Hae Young right now! So scared to see if the guy dies or not at the end!

  14. Vivian

    June 29, 2017 at 12:33 am

    This movie is ‘liter than lit’ in my opinion. Every dime paid was worth it. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Beautiful cast, quality and music. The love story quite simple but beautifully played out. I kept reminiscing all night, and even after, with huge smiles on my face. I have recommended it to many friends, and to anyone who has doubts, doubt no more. From the poster and summary, I thought it would be a mediocre movie. This movie literally shamed that opinion. Amazing doesn’t even do it justice in my opinion. Dakore is so beautiful and sleek by the way.

  15. Taiwo Egunjobi

    March 22, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    On Cinematography, you actually said nothing on cinematography, but post-production and sound design. If you’re going to talk about cinematography, then one would expect a review of the actual photography and why you gave it a 5/10, especially when cinematography on this film is good.
    Was expecting assessments based on picture profiles, lensing, camera movement and position.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features