In a recent interview with TheCable Lifestyle, Kunle Afolayan discussed his upcoming movie Mokalik, which will feature singer Simi in her acting debut and targeted at winning an Oscar, and the reasons for enrolling his nine-year-old son at a mechanic workshop. In all of it, he kind of threw a shade at Nollywood when asked how he felt about wrongly subtitled movies.
“Sincerely, you can’t find that in my movies but even in Hollywood you see such. We have several filmmakers and don’t forget there are grades in movie productions. Is that not Odunlade Adekola and Femi Adebayo winning awards? They have their market and their market loves their movies irrespective of the blunders made during subtitling. They put it in on Africa Magic. So why didn’t they vet it before showing it? The people watching it don’t have a problem. It is us the elite that has all the time to see this. Truth be told, I hardly watch them because I’m keen on watching movies that will challenge me and change my orientation about certain things.”
There are takeaways from Afolayan’s statement. As a well-celebrated filmmaker whose works have been cemented into the strata of the greats, Afolayan does have a point. Not that he is entirely blameless though. His long-spanning career has hits and misses in the movies he’s made: his 2017 comedy Omugwo toplined by Patience Ozokwor comes to mind, which Cinema Pointer known for their scathing reviews describes as a “buffet of bad acting, nonsensical scenarios, lazy scripting and unimaginative dialogue, and what you get is an empty barrel.”
I like that Afolayan can be objective enough to see the current state of Nollywood, a disturbing development that he has also contributed to. On Mokalik, Afolayan revealed that he’s done his research to tell the story of an average handy person. Good. But we’ll know if it’s Oscar-worthy in due time.