Movie Review: Okafor’s Law

Director:  Omoni Oboli

Story/Script: Omoni Oboli
Cast: Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ufuoma McDermott, Omoni Oboli, Gabriel Afolayan, Ken Erics, Yvonne Jegede-Fawole, and Richard Mofe-Damijo

Year: 2017

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Boys like bets, especially when it has to do with getting a girl. There was a time when most of the films we saw involved boys betting to break the audacious girl in school, or bets involving tracking and dating the callow girl in the area. You get her; you become a hero to your squad. You fail and you become an unworthy member of the squad. The game is to boost the ego. And so no man ever fails when given the herculean task. Get straight F’s at school, you are fine and you can still be the leader of the squad, but fail at getting the girl, and then you have really failed in life. Girls are to be tampered with;
the female species is to be conquered, and so says every chauvinistic male out there.

It is this exaggerated bet that Omoni Oboli crafts another interesting storyline from. Her film, however, uses long dialogue, spiked with good humor to sustain its aim at the cinema. Okafor’s Law takes inspiration from this bet game, but this time it has a name and we learn that it has been a law that has been long existent. This particular law vaguely states a new rule about conquering women; it states that a man who does a good job while being intimate with a woman will have another chance at being intimate with her.

Chuks AKA Terminator is played by Blossom Chukwujekwu and it is through him this law plays out. His intention is to prove to his friends, Baptist (Gabriel Afolayan) and Chuks (Ken Erics) a law they are ignorant of. He proves the Okafor’s Law to them by going after a PR Guru (Toyin Aimakhu) and Ejiro (Omoni Oboli) the Church girl; he even tampers with Ify (UfuomaMcCdermott) a billionaire wife. It is with this billionaire wife he gets what he bargains for.

The burden of combining key roles, such as writing, directing and being one of the major characters takes a toll on Oboli, and it reflects on the finished film. There is a story but there is also an eagerness to finish telling the story and even with Chukwujekwu’s great skills, we cannot help but pick how his role as Chuks/Terminator gives him nothing challenging to work with. Omoni is smart to cast him in the lead, it could have been Gabriel or Ken but she chose Blossom, and it was a marketing strategy which worked.

Okafor’s Law is a star-studded movie. With good actors, comes a film that can be forgiven for its sometimes exaggerated and long dialogue. Ufoma McCdermott and Richard Mofe Damijo give wonderful performances that sustain the film. The film characteristically ends the way most Nigerian films do- with a happy ending.

Cinematography is great.  A striking strategy devised by the writer is when she transports us to where the Okafor’s Law originated from. The disparity of the present and the past is worthy of note.

Okafor’s Law is not Omoni’s best work. Coming immediately after “Wives on Strike” which found a balance within activism and humor, Okafor’s Law is quite a let-down. Omoni is a great writer, a wonderful director and as a producer, her strategy is one that should be studied, but Okafor’s Law lacks a sustaining cinematic offering. An interesting story is not enough to define a film as excellent. The story is the type that many will find interesting to follow but that is it.

Average or not, controversy or not, Omoni has mastered the use of social media for promotion/marketing. Her fans are simply true to the end, they helped make necessary noise for the film and it will win Omoni a spot on the news again for reaching new miles.

 

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