The Jadesola Osiberu written, directed and produced Love movie cum romantic comedy titled Isoken is a brilliantly told story about feminism, family, society and its pressures, the gift of friendship and love that does not falter or fail. After a degree in Communications Engineering from the University of Manchester, she began her career in the media as a Trainee Journalist at Channels TV, working both on and off camera. While lining up an impressive plethora of stars like Dakore Akande, Funke Akindele-Bello, Tina Mba, Joseph Benjamin, Marc Rhys, Damilola Adegbite, Rita Edward, Lydia Forson,Patrick Doyle, Ngozi Nwosu, Bolanle Olukanni, Jemima Osunde, Bemyoda and Nedu the Nollywood movie is made perfectly for Cinema and breaks all of the Nigerian typecasts of what a Nollywood movie should be or look like. Similar and different from the wedding party, this film ends with a Lagos party which is a spiritual experience everybody should experience at least once in their life. This movie is extremely smarter and funnier than we expect it to be because Jadesola Osiberu writes and directs an incredible and much needed story.
The story is based on Isoken. Although she has what appears to have a perfect life – beautiful, successful and surrounded by great family and friends – Isoken is still unmarried at 34 which, in a culture obsessed with married, is serious cause for concern. Things come to a head at her youngest sister’s wedding when her overbearing mother thrusts her into an orchestrated matchmaking with the ultimate Edo man, Osaze. Osaze is handsome, successful and from a good family, making him perfect Nigerian husband material. But in an unexpected turn of events, Isoken meets Kevin who she finds herself falling in love with and he just might be what she truly wants in a partner. The only problem is, not only is he not an Edo man, he is Oyinbo (Caucasian). Isoken is a romantic dramedy that explores cultural expectations, racial stereotypes and the bonds that unite families in touching, dramatic and comedic ways.
This project boasts incredibly strong characters and a few flops that do not show up but aren’t really noticed because the movie is so strong. Dakore Akande and Funke Akindele create an incredible experience in this movie – especially Funke Akindele showing that she is a well rounded actress and is definitely not “Jenifa”. The former star of the UNFPA sponsored “I need to Know” put a really incredible performance as a member of the clique and more often owned scenes meant for Dakore. Ghanaian Lydia Forson however plays her regular typecast in the film and is hardly memorable except as the comic. Welsh actor – Marc Rhys embodies his character all round and Joseph Benjamin does justice to his character. The subtle details in his character are well taken care of with a powerfully written script. Damilola Adegbite however lost momentum in her delivery as the movie progressed. Borderline perpetually an up and coming actress, she failed to deliver the mush and depth needed in the movie. However, the character of Isoken’s sister brought with her the much needed emotional depth that the movie needed, but lacked until its intense final moments.
The role of the Edo parents are portrayed perfectly with the very refreshing aunt and her tongues of fire and comedy. Finally, the OST of Isoken tells a beautiful and subtle story and the carefully curated tracks featured the incredible Simi and Falana as well as other incredible musicians bringing a new Nigerian music age.
This film is rated A for AMAZING!
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin