N. F. Kenure
It’s Kemi Adetiba, so I had high hopes. The Wedding Party was not exactly cinematic genius, but it excelled at giving us a clean linear story that middle by class Nigeria could relate to, devoid of most of the theatrics that is classic Nollywood. So at the very least, I expected a movie where every shot counts. This was not it.
Sola Sobowale is the vintage Nigerian mother who yells and expresses every emotion by being loud and over the top. I get this. While it was comical in The Wedding Party and almost all the TV ads she’s been in since, it got old really fast in King of Boys.
She plays Eniola Salami, a criminal overlord who is trying to make a way into mainstream criminality- Nigerian Politics. As she struggles with Politicians who accept her help behind the scenes but are unable to deliver promises made to her, Makanaki, an underworld thug makes a play for her throne as the ‘King of Boys’.
Reminisce(Makanaki) already looks like he could be a gangster off the streets of Ajegunle, so this was no long stretch for his movie debut. He did it well. He was scary and creepy, and I got carried away in real angst as he held on to a baby whose parents he was robbing.
Adesua Etomi is Kemi Salami, the daughter/consigliere to Eniola’s empire. She is suave, beautiful, smart and self possessed. Boring.😴😴
Jide Kosoko's character Alhaji Salami could very well have crossed over from the Merry Men movie.
Am I the only one who wants actors out of their comfort zones?
The only person who was presented differently was Ill Bliss and that’s only because of the weight he’s lost, which made him almost unrecognizable. It would have been awesome if he’d lost the weight for the role but who am I kidding?
A lot of scenes were handled beautifully- Eniola at the Cele church and Makanaki at a shrine gearing to battle each other by fortifying themselves spiritually- I was afraid we were about to delve into old Nollywood tropes of Christianity overcoming ‘darkness’, but thank all the gods that didn’t happen.
Soon the movie began to lag and I got bored💤💤. The dialogues became cringeworthy and my first eye roll happened well into the movie; Eniola being interviewed by the NCCC. The fire scenes were implausible and I was more than ready for it to end. Still, apart from pacing and length, it was not altogether terrible.My favorite thing about King of Boys was the use of Languages. Different Nigerian tongues flowed seamlessly through it all.
Kemi Adetiba’s latest stab at movie directing holds promise as it is quite ambitious, but it does not quite deliver. I loved that we got to see through a series of flashbacks how Eniola inherited her Empire or Kingdom, but it should have been tightened for precision.
Gobir played by Paul Sambo stood out as he projected a calmess even in the storm that was the fire sequence. Adesua’s role felt like a waste of her time and efforts, it should have gone to pretty much anybody else. Toni Tones who I thought was perfect casting for a younger Eniola plays her part with nuance and grace.
The cop out to to typecasting ruins it all. It’s fine for comedies like The Wedding Party, but for drama, a range in casting and nuance in emotions would have better served Adetiba’s vision.
This got only two eye rolls from me.
Toni Tones gained 40 pounds for the role.
Nov 9, 2018