Released: 30th September, 2022.
“Aníkúlápó – he who has death in his pouch, tells the story of love, hate, deceit, jealousy, and covetousness, you’ll feel the intrigue, suspense, anger, and empathy.”
Written and directed by Nollywood maverick; Kunle Afolayan, the movie ‘Aníkúlápó’ is almost perfect. Befitting of his status in Nollywood, the overall quality of the film is startling. Although the idea of a ‘perfect film’ is unattainable, this one comes very close. Let’s get into details…
‘Aníkúlápó’ is a dramatic folklore mostly driven by passion and betrayal. Spanning almost 2 hours, the film’s tragic plot is full of mysticism but the story is put into motion by these two themes.
Heralding a plot onward is no easy task. Nollywood is regularly plagued with shaky storytelling and even shakier acting but thats not the case with this movie. The characters are painfully human, flawed and continually bemused by the actions of lead male; ‘Saro’, played by Kunle Remi. More-so, the stellar performances of Bimbo Ademoye, Taiwo Hassan, Sola Sobowale, Mr Macaroni and Eyiyemi Afolayan make it difficult deciding just who the villain of the story is. Compelling is one word to describe this movie.
Speaking on the setting, director Kunle Afolayan, in partnership with Netflix and KAP, flexes his film-making muscle. What viewers get to see is a culmination of decades worth of experience in the field and a dedication to the craft. Shot by Jonathan Kovel on a 40 acre resort acquired for the purpose, the cinematography captures in brilliant detail the rich color of precolonial Yoruba culture. To describe just how vivid it turned out would be saying too much. But like a disappointing stain on precious white fabric, there’s a pretentious flaw in the directors choice of depicting Yoruba culture as “anti-slavery”. Really man?
Another aspect deserving a round of applause is the special effects. To describe the status quo of special effects in Nollywood as comedic would be understating. That status quo has although begun to change in recent years with great movies like this one. Special effects were tastefully kept to a modest minimum, only used where completely necessary. And used very well. Like spices in a good stew the screenplay, dialogue, and symbolisms also contribute to just how good this movie really is.
Overall the movie scores a solid 4/5. Hot off his 2021 Christmas classic; ‘A Naija Christmas’ Kunle Afolayan is making box office strides very reminiscent of west’s Tyler Perry and Steven Spielberg. Even cultivating a synergy with actor Kunle Remi, the pair of them have tapped into a zen state that’s more and more apparent in their movies. To conclude, Nollywood has always been a big industry but dare I say with the quality of recent projects it’s about to be even more exciting times for Nigerian movies. Watch ‘Anikulapo’ on Netflix and tell us what you think.