Movie review: ‘The Wedding Party’ is all the Nigerian weddings you’ve been to and some

dunni-in-the-wedding-party-600x400The Wedding Party is the much anticipated Nollywood romcom directed by (up until now) music-video director, Kemi Adetiba. The result of a collaboration between EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Koga Studios and Inkblot Productions (Elfikke Collective), The Wedding Party stars Banky W (Dozie Onwuka) and Adesua Etomi (Dunni Coker) as the movie’s love interests; Atunyota Akpobome [Alibaba] and Sola Sobowale are the The Cokers (Dunni’s parents) and Ireti Doyle  and Richard Mofe-Damijo as The Onwukas (Dozie’s parents). It also stars Zainab Balogun, AY Makun, Ikechukwu, Beverly Naya, Enyinna Nwigwe, EmmaOhMaGod, Lepacious Bose and the incredibly funny Frank Donga.

The problem with Nigerian movies that have had a lot of hype is that they more often than not fall short of all the expectations they have built up. ‘The Wedding Party’ has raised its fair share of expectations. Having made the rounds in teaser photos, hype talk and even an international tour (Toronto to South Africa) since mid year, the film is finally coming home with a premiere that should be worth talking about on the 26th of November.dozie-dunni-ay-in-the-wedding-party-600x400However, its safe to say that this movie deserves all its hype. It manages to tell the tale of every Nigerian owambe you have attended in one very entertaining movie run. The Wedding Party also gets the benefit of an impressive cast that delivers. Sola Sobowale’s incredible delivery of the classic bride’s mum will not to be forgotten soon. But she’s not the only one, Banky W, despite this being his debut as an actor, naturally delivers the role of a play-boy with honest intentions and Ikechukwu (Sola) is believable as the stand-in best man you do not want at your wedding.

Dunni is the ‘miss-goody-two-shoes’ only child of a Yoruba oil magnate, Chief Bamidele Coker and his wife, Tinuade while Dozie is the ‘playboy’ son of  rich business-man, Felix and Obiannuju Onwuka. The love-struck couple have taken a vow to remain celibate until they get get married but that’s not their only problem. Obiannuju is a cold woman who not only has a distaste for her own husband, but also for her daughter-in-law to-be and her Yoruba family.

The couple against whatever odds -and the odds are stacked against them from an impatient Priest to the ghosts of girlfriends past- are finally getting married in a one-day Nigerian wedding. dozie-rosie-in-the-wedding-party-600x400The bride’s mother (Sola Sobowale) is bent going all out to impress, especially as Obiannuju has made no effort to hide her disdain for her family. At their wedding, you can expect to see every character you would at any proper Nigerian wedding -from the gate-crashers to the pick-pockets – and because the movie is a romcom and doesn’t try to be anything else every character is relevant and they each get good screen time.

bamidele-tinuade-coker-in-the-wedding-party-600x400The Wedding Party -all of it- takes place in one day but that does not limit the plot. The star-studded cast is able to tell more than the day’s story through an impressive performance that is not very common with Nigerian movies -showing and not just telling. For example, we are able to tell Dunni’s favourite spot in Lagos in one of the scenes even though the movie takes place in one day and there were no flash back scenes. The Weding Party gets an A for communication of both dialogue and nuances.

felix-obianuju-onwuka-in-the-wedding-party-600x400It’s absolutely funny, and informative all at the same time. But most importantly – and you can tell that this was the aim of it’s makers – The Wedding Party is entertaining.

Also, in a refreshing surprise, this film , despite being set in Lagos does not tout the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge. It shows the beautiful Lagos landscape but not that bridge. Kudos Kemi Adetiba!

The Wedding Party starts showing in cinemas nationwide on the 16th of December and you really should go see it.

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