By EDIALE KINGSLEY
“Thank you so much for inviting me to the Fifty premiere. I really enjoyed it and it was great to watch with such an enthusiastic audience. It was funny, melodramatic and disarmingly touching and courageous at the same time. It is a side of Lagos you don’t often get to see and a really original film. I loved the cast and characters and it was so refreshing to see a film that gave a voice to the fifty something women of Nigeria. I’m sure it will be a massive hit!”
— Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC 1 (UK)
Access bank must have literally emptied its vault to bring to life the rave of the moment, Fifty. Yes, the movie is some awesome flick to gossip and gist about this last quarter of the year. We can now shift our gossip gear to this subject other than the mouth watering fortune recently spent for habitual comfort by a delectable gorgeous gossip diva named Linda Ikeji.
The truth is Mo Abudu has produced a must-see movie. And it’s her intention to make the opus a prologue into a new-found penchant. Hanging her directorial trust on Biyi Bandele who is steadily becoming the run-to guy for big budget Nigeria films, Mo has printed her foot on the sand of cinematic excellence in Nollywood. As I write, careful not to be a spoiler, a lot of praises has been heaped over Fifty.
The cast, story, production quality and other ingredients involved in the movie has been judged and stamped with positive approvals. Yet there’s a little concern: the movie is rated 18 by the almighty Censor Board. And that singular move is what is standing against Mo’s successful debut. According to the distributor, Mr Kene Mkparu, CEO/MD Filmhouse Cinemas, who spoke at the media screening held recently in Lagos, the revenue target for Fifty is to beat Ay’s 30 Days In Atlanta record (which is the highest grossing Nigerian film of all time at #137,200,000 domestic gross). The hitch in that dream is that unlike this new film that is laced with half comedy and half seriousness, Ay’s film was purely for laughs and so got the general ratings.
Still keeping my pledge to not be a spoiler, I would like to state fifty reasons why every 18-year-old and above must see Fifty.
1. The Scenes: They are so real. For the first time I saw a particular scene in a Nollywood film that is truly worth the 18 ratings and it’s not for a bloody reason. That scene can rub shoulders with similar scenes in Notorious B.I.G and The Last King Of Scotland. Wow, I won’t say more.
2. The Sceneries: Lagos was captured for the good reasons. At the London premier a tourist who saw the movie promised herself a luxurious escape to Lagos.
3. The Story: If you are a sucker for good stories you will jump at this. It’s a story most people can connect with and possibly shed some tears. A story that I personally feel has some traces of Mo’s true life tales.
4. The Cast: The amazing observation is that even the Waka Pass actors were unbelievably a class. You haven’t seen Ireti Doyle in any character close to this before. Like Tunde Kelani opined “ …These ladies are on fire”
5. The Production: The technical quality of the job is a standard production. With the audio blending well with other cinematic component. Oh that swimming pool shot!
6. The Music: Aside the nice sound tracks and … The cameo performances of Some of Nigeria’s best musicians detailed into the plot of the movie just worked magic for some of us. Imagine Femi Kuti and the band live at The Shrine, Tiwa Savage, Waje, Nneka and King Sunny Ade all in a movie. Imagine!
7. The Subject Of Cancer: was beautifully touched.
8. The Subject Of Rape and Abuse: Not only touched but nicely done in a way that the subject’s sensitivity isn’t lost in the dramatic entertainment.
9. The Subject Of Feminism: This too got the deserved attention.
10. The Projection Of African Women. Nigeria women were projected as capable of being global success just their western counterpart.