by Wilfred Okiche
Only last year, while compiling our inaugural end of year list of the best movies, we faced a certain challenge and divided the list into 5 best movies and 5 contenders, all the while hoping for a better 2012.
Well, it is the end of 2012 and even though some interesting films were released this year, the challenge of picking out 10 to call the very best still persists. Still we’ll try;
5 of the best (in ascending order)
Director Lancelot Imasuen’s ambitious epic set in the Benin kingdom of old may have gone direct to DVD, but reports say this had more to do with internal troubles and ego clashes than with the quality of the film. And the jury at the AMAAs seem to have agreed as they lavished it with 10 nominations and three eventual wins.
Maami (Funke Akindele)is a dirt poor single mother who will do anything to make sure her only son Kashy, grows up to become the man she (and society)can be proud off. Tunde Kelani’s tear jerker adaptation of a popular play is flawed but redeemed by excellent production values and a hardworking cast.
Ties that bind
Hollywood meets Nollywood meets Ghollywood in this dramedy about 3 different women bound together by a similar tragedy. Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Ama K. Abebrese and Kimberly Elise all do fine work.
This expose on the devils of bureaucracy and official red tapism is also a tender love story as well as an engaging romantic comedy. For the singular pleasure of seeing Rita Dominic’s boisterous performance (in a career highlight) as a tightly wound, powerful personal assistant, ‘The Meeting’ is worth it’s admission price.
Mr Kunle Afolayan is simply incapable of making a bad movie. For the follow up to the blockbuster, ‘The Figurine’ he recruited certified hot property Nse Ikpe Etim and Wale Ojo to head up a cast that also includes Joke Silva, Chika Okpala and Ghanaian, Lydia Forson. ‘Phone swap’ may not be the game changer that ‘The Figurine’ was but it stands out brilliantly as a master class in Nigerian romantic comedy.
The contenders (in no particular order):
Last flight to Abuja
The pivotal plane crash scene could have been better handled and the ending could have tried being a little less cheesy but there is no denying that Obi Emelonye’s ‘Last flight’ is one of the most important films to come out of Nollywood in recent times. Going by box office receipts, the movie going public agreed whole heartedly.
I’ll take my chances
Ini Edo’s debut at cracking the cinema going audiences was more fizzle than sizzle but the dance numbers sure kept us entertained.
Heroes & zeroes
Inspired by true events and zeroing on the film industry, Niji Akanni’s follow up to the AMAA winning ‘Araromire’ proved a critical hit. Nadia Buhari, Bimbo Manuel, Olu Jacobs and Norbert Young all star.
Married but living single
Joseph Benjamin continues his winning streak of playing the male foil to the best of Nollywood’s leading ladies. This time cast opposite Funke Akindele as a man challenged by the wife’s career success, he further establishes himself as a peerless leading man.
After the last major movie musical ‘Inale’ kinda underwhelmed, ‘Hood rush’ rekindled hopes for the genre. O.C Ukeje is surely on to bigger things in the future and so is Gabriel Afolayan.
Do you agree? What did we leave out?
Wilfred Okiche tweets from @drwill20