The Film Blog: Does Tope Tedela use ‘juju’ on all of you?

We’re split on this point at The Film Blog, but today those of us on the ‘Nay side’ get to have our say. And our say is this: we just watched yet another Tope Tedela movie and we have to wonder if the young man uses some voodoo.

To cut to the chase, we don’t understand what all the hype is.

Now unfortunately, we didn’t see A Mile From Home, the movie that gave him the surprise AMVCAs in 2014. But to be honest, based on what we see, we are almost certain he phoned in the same performance we have seen in almost every movie with him in it.

Like Out of Luck, where he went through the entire film with a dazed look on his face, no matter the scene. Or Surulere, where he couldn’t really figure out just what his character was supposed to be about and what it was supposed to be doing. Or Ojukokoro, which led to a sharp split in our newsroom, between those of us who wanted to puke and those who saw the heralding of the Second Coming.

And where we saw a Tedela out of sorts, others seem to see a guy who knows what he doing. Wawu.

See this for instance, from one of our colleagues here: “Whatever worries I had about Seun Ajayi and Tope Tedela being able to sustain present career momentum vanished as the film unspooled. Unless the entire industry is mad (which it is,) these guys should have projects lined up for years based on the strength of their work here.

That’s from the same guy we could barely stand in this film, who literally reads his lines, whose expressions are out of sync with the moment and the screenplay, and who seems to have only one character ever – the guy with a slight crease on his forehead, looking morose.

And then we see Pulse talking about his stilted performance in the otherwise impressive Slow Country: Tope Tedela is perfect as Osas, radiating strength and fear as an ex, who is determined to win and save the mother of his child.”

What is going on here? The same Tope Tedela?

He’s very likable. He looks like he takes his work very seriously and we hear he is gold on set, immensely cooperative and an adult in the room. Those of us on the nay side want to root for him. So maybe there is a bit of that.

But that can’t be all there is. We need someone to explain to us what exactly is going on here.

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