Movie Title: ‘Olóládé.
Date released: 24 November 2023
Number of episodes: 6
Running Time: 35 minutes ( average per part)
Producers: Olawale Adetula, Adeleye Fabusoro, Dele Ishola, and Adaugo Uzoma
Director: Adeniyi Joseph-Omobulejo
Cast: Mercy Aigbe, Femi Adebayo, Mide Martins, Liz Da-Silva, Jaiye Kuti, Damilola Oni, Frank Donga, Mr. Macaroni, Oluwatobi Olubiyi, Debby Flex, and Anyanwale Olanrewaju.
Nollywood and the get-rich-quick storyline are two peas in a pod. “Ololade” a Netflix Original series, is another instance of that dead horse storyline.
Ololade, a Yoruba word which means “The wealthy has come,” is produced by TNC Africa. The series delves into the complexities of newfound wealth and the underlined consequences therein.
Directed by Adeniyi Omobulejo, the movie tells the story of the lives of Lateef and Adeshina, two friends who were catapulted into affluence through separate incidents and unveiled the consequences of sudden riches.
The series has 6 episodes of twists and turns confronting these two friends and their final fate.
However, the movie, which boasts of talented casts, and a plot brimming with promise, weaves a tale of intrigue that, unfortunately, trails off into loose ends.
The movie begins with suspense; a night scene in which two figures whom we later come to know are Lateef (Femi Adebayo) and Big Mummy (Mercy Aigbe), bury a body in a shallow grave.
In the subsequent scenes, Adeshina played by Frank Donga, a discontented school teacher who is unhappy because his wife earns more money than him, believes that his ‘glory’ was ‘stolen’, so rather than invest his time in work, he focuses his time with is his pastor, praying for the restoration of his ‘glory’.
While Lafteef, a mechanic, a womaniser and a gambler stumbles upon sudden wealth when Big Mummy gives him N20 million for helping to bury Lade, one of his love interests who was mistakenly killed by Big Mummy in his apartment; Adeshina, on the other hand, mysteriously gets a transfer of N50 million, changing the course of his life.
The sudden reappearance of Ihotu, a member of the criminal group, Black Lions, who had transferred the money to Adeshina, demanding her money and compelling the duo into a money laundering scheme heightens the intrigue of the series. What would become their fate?
One thing that stood out for Olóládé was the interpretation of the characters by the actors. Femi Adebayo did a great job interpreting his role as Lateef, likewise Frank Donga.
Olanrewaju Ayanwale was also outstanding in her role as Risi. But the same cannot be said for supporting characters like Amaka, Shina’s side chick, and Abosede, the village girl introduced by Shina’s mother. These characters feel like afterthoughts, contributing little to the overall plot coherence.
One mystifying character is Ihotu, played by Debby Felix, whose enigmatic presence raises more questions than answers. Her abrupt transactions, lavish spending, and ties to the ominous Black Lions remain unresolved, leaving the audience puzzled and craving clarity.
Ololade attempts to weave a classic “money miss road” narrative but stumbles in its reliance on black magic.
The first half of the film excels in building suspense and anticipation. The audience is introduced to a web of relationships and cultural intricacies that promise to unravel as the story progresses.
The film’s narrative structure keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, eager to witness the resolution of the unfolding drama.
However, ‘Ololade’ is a movie riddled with logical incoherence. It’s a movie that asks for the suspension of logic to consume gratifying entertainment content. And, while the film is overall enjoyable, a critical atomistic inspection reveals that it is little more than a jumble of inconsistencies.
As the story unfolds, the film begins to struggle with its complexity. Subplots are introduced and left dangling, characters disappear without explanation, and crucial storylines are left unresolved. The audience is left grappling with too many unanswered questions, ultimately diminishing the impact of the narrative.
The movie, Ololade, suffers from logical incoherence, with the inclusion of superfluous characters and unexplored plotlines.
Lateef’s role as an auto-mechanic lacks justification, and the series fails to capitalise on potential payoffs for certain character traits and story arcs.
The story satires social norms but does not provide enough narrative details to uphold each subplot. For instance, if Lateef is an auto-mechanic, it is only depicted in one scene, there is nothing to show the intrigues or difficulties he must have encountered in the course of his job, the same with Adeshina.
Also, if Lateef is a chronic gambler, as the movie purported, where does that gambling addiction lead him? To what effect does it shape how they operated as a phoney betting outfit?; another loose end.
Viewers were left shocked at the end when it was discovered that Sade, Shina’s wife, may have cheated on him and had her baby out of wedlock. If anything, the revelation helps build the anticipation for the second season of Olóládé.
Despite its pitfalls, the movie provides subtle comedy and thrilling family entertainment. Though a Yoruba movie, it’s easily relatable even to non-Yoruba audiences.
Verdict: the movie earned a 6/10 for bringing us through the nostalgic theme of most Nollywood classics, but failed to adequately integrate the storyline.
Ololade series is currently streaming on Netflix.
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