Four months into 2019 and has there been a standout Nollywood film? Yes, standout, because at this stage of the industry’s evolution movies should be way better in scripting, editing and offer storylines that are diverse and inclusive. I’m dismayed at merely thinking of the fact that a film like Makate Must Sell exist. Directed by Don Omope (Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo, Tatu), the teaser of the movie was just released (please, don’t make a trailer!) and it ticks every box on popcorn Nollywood: comedy, star-studded cast, a kind of celebration (a wedding, in this case), and tragically cinema-bound.
This is not to to say that Market Must Sell is going to be a bad film. Comedian Chigul stars in the movie and I’m a fan, and I thoroughly enjoyed her screen time on the 2018 dramedy Chief Daddy. Omope, who is helming the movie as a director, worked on The Wedding Party as a producer and it’s not surprising that Makate Must Sells siphons a little of The Wedding Party‘s DNA.
In the teaser, Chigul’s character is at a wedding reception when a friend says, ”We are waiting for you,” meaning it’s her turn to get married. I can’t count how many movies there are on women pressured to get married, and this prompts Chigurl’s character to urgently say to someone on the phone in another scene that her market must sell, or whatever that means. Most interestingly, she goes on a date with Blossom Chukwujekwu, who is dressed quite eccentrically and tells her right off the bat that he isn’t a man or woman.
Toke Makinwa in the teaser is an interesting sight, and it looks like this will be her first movie debut given that Foreigner’s God was purported to be the movie that will launch her into Nollywood. The movie also stars Akan Nnani, Josh 2 funny, Wofai Fada, Daniel Etim Effiong, Greg Ojefua, and Charles Okocha, Bisola Aiyeola and comedy magnet Toyin Abraham. That said, Nollywood is still facing a crisis, don’t be fooled. Comedies have evolved and rom-coms are getting self-interrogatory and satirical a la Rebel Wilson‘s Isn’t This Romantic. But Nollywood comedies are bland and never imaginative. Also, why should I pay a premium to see a repetitive, formulaic movie at the cinema when there are options like streaming platforms where it can be uploaded?
Market Must Sell hits cinemas May 3, 2019, and it’s a collaborative effort form Filmone Distribution, Screenart, See Fam and Ahh Entertainment.