Brotherhood is more than it appears. Viewing the film’s trailer and posters, one may be discouraged or undecided about the film’s quality due to the film’s overuse of actors, particularly reality stars. Anyone with a passing interest in Nollywood will be aware of the industry’s obsession with celebrity/actor-driven films with little regard for the story or plot. This may be true for most Nollywood films in this respite, but “Brotherhood” is a breath of fresh air.
The film follows Wale and Akin, two brothers who become orphans when they are young. As an adult, Wale joins the police force, whereas Akin becomes a hardened criminal who joins a robbery gang. When Wale’s task force is assigned to take down the robbery gang, everything goes wrong.
Jade Osiberu teams up with Ugandan filmmaker “Loukman Ali” (The Girl in the Yellow Jumper) for his Nigerian directorial debut and her last cinema release for a while. Despite the fact that action thrillers are a much-dreaded genre in Nollywood due to technical and financial constraints, Loukman Ali’s work indicates a promising future for the genre. It isn’t perfect, but it is by far the genre’s best outing in Nollywood.
Tobi Bakre, without a doubt, is the show’s star. His performance is flawless throughout the duration of the film. It’s his magnum opus (for now). Jade Osiberu has been at the helm of his career since its inception, from Sugar Rush to Brotherhood and the soon-to-be-released Gangs of Lagos. The duo are at the verge of creating one of the best an actor/director relationships Nollywood has witnessed.
Several other members of the film’s cast, including Folarin Falana, Ronke Oshodi-Oke, Sam Dede, OC Ukeje, Toni Tones, and Basketmouth, contribute significantly. Falz may have created a caricature character that has served him well in his acting career over the years, but it was time to branch out into a less stereotypical role that would showcase his range as an actor, which he accomplishes with this film.
Brotherhood tries to convey several messages amidst the thrills, stunts, and impressive visual effects, but its fast-paced sequence hinders the story and may leave much to be desired. Several subplots, characters, and relationships go undeveloped. The problem with Brotherhood is that it focuses more on the thrill than on the story itself, which is already sufficient.
The relationship between Wale (Falz) and Akin (Tobi Bakre) is at the heart of the film. It’s why the film exists, but it doesn’t do enough to establish chemistry between the characters or give a detailed rundown of their previous relationship. It only tells but does not “show.”
In addition, the growing phenomenon of the overuse of actors and celebrities, maybe to influence sales or drive the story and film is a deterrent to adequate films like Brotherhood. It discourages the audience from taking the film seriously.
As a result, despite its impressive stunts and VFX, Brotherhood tells a compelling story that only keeps the film moving but does not elevate it. It is not a perfect film, but it entertains and thrills the audience and prepares them for what is to come in Nollywood’s near future.