We just finished watching the Opa Williams film ‘Three Wise Men’ (Williams, for a generation that doesn’t know its heroes, is one of the frontrunners of institutional comedy in Nigeria with ‘The Nite of A Thousand Laughs’) and we have two visceral reactions.
First: It is FUNNY! We laughed, and laughed, and laughed and laughed, and laughed.
We don’t know why. Maybe because we had such low expectations anyway. Maybe because we are so used to disappointment from Nigerian movies that anything that’s remotely good shocks us into delight. We don’t know. But it IS FUNNY.
And it is brilliant mostly because it is such a simple basic story –with such a simple, basic premise. No, we shan’t give you even the
slightest spoiler, save for one. But know this, the trio of RMD, Zack Orji and Victor Olaotan (you would remember him from ‘Tinsel’, and
‘Fifty’) made the film a total riot.
And here is where its true brilliance lies: unlike The Wedding Party (our favourite for years) which pulled out all the stops and left no
expense un-deployed to create a movie going experience, this one actually – visibly – withheld its punches. Very basic costuming,
nothing in terms of location. Nothing but the sheer brilliance of every single one of its actors, including the forever Tina Mba and
Sadly, the director – Patience Oghre – completely ruined it at the end with the worst, weakest, most abominable ending of any movie we have seen in recent time.
It is the worst because it was so unnecessary and so unimaginative, and so pointless. You will see it when you see the film. And you
should see the film still. Because RMD’s character dragged its brilliance to the end regardless. And because it is so gaddemm funny
that its sin can be forgiven.
So here is an urgent memo to the producers: Can you cut off that stupid ending? Can you cut it off at the end? It impressed no one at
the cinemas, it made everybody collectively gasp at such a misstep, it made us sad, and it could stop people from confidently selling this movie with enthusiastic word of mouth.
The ending is that bad, and it ruins what should be a perfect accompaniment to The Wedding Party this season.
Williams and Oghre you have such a great opportunity to cement your reputations and the reputation of Nigeria’s storytellers by doing that ending right. The good news is you can cut off that hopeless 4-minutes, and the story would still end with brilliance and joy.