Dare Olaitan’s “Ojukokoro” is a movie we will remember from 2017, for years to come.
The movie got the attention of movie lovers and ‘potential’ Nollywood fans with its first trailer, and became a conversation on Twitter after it screened at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). It finally made its debut in cinemas in March 2017.
It is a Nigerian crime-heist comedy film starring an ensemble cast such as Wale Ojo, Tope Tedela, Charles Etubiebi, Seun Ajayi, Shawn Faqua, Ali Nuhu, Somkele Iyamah, Emmanuel Ikubese and Afeez Oyetoro.
“Ojukokoro” was written and directed by Dare Olaitan and produced by Olufemi D. Ogunsanwo.
It tells the story of a money-strapped manager of a shady Petrol Station, who decides to rob his employers, but along the line, he finds out, in a sudden twist, that he is not alone in his ambition and that a good reason isn’t always a right one.
To simply describe “Ojukokoro” as a movie about greed would be correct. It would also not be wrong to call it a hard reflection of Nigeria, a country where most corrupt and immoral decisions are fueled by greed, and of course, poverty.
From its direction and screenplay to its score and performances, “Ojukokoro” is a representation of what a good movie can and should be. But it is the acting and dialogue that make the movie come alive, and memorable.
The actors are uniformly superb: Seun Ajayi is excellent as Monday, as is Shawn Faqua as Rambo, and Tope Tedela as Sunday, and Somkele Idhalama as Sade – the movie boasts an ensemble that beautifully works.
In “Ojukokoro,” Emmanuel Ikubese, arguably a stereotyped actor, is given the opportunity to deliver a powerful and convincing performance.
Showcasing his talent. As an accountant of a petrol station, who is addicted to drugs, his character barely speaks, yet, he oozes raw potential as he holds and wins the attention of the audience.
A homage to Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino’s styles, “Ojukokoro” is full of subtlety and complexity, it is also as comprehensible and compelling.
The plot is intelligently layered until all the characters inadvertently merge together to give viewers a clear understanding of their perspectives.
Despite the multiple interweaving plot threads and twists, the momentum never dawdles. This is because “Ojukokoro” is a movie that establishes its story and characters in a place and time of finely detailed specificity, concurrently making them relatable.
It is also a movie with smart characters having smart conversations and delivering witty lines that are insanely funny and enjoyable. Also, the fusion of languages such as English, Pidgin, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba brings a feeling of authenticity to its grimy setting.
Told in three acts, the movie should be the introduction of a distinctive filmmaking style and a turning point for the debut director, Dare Olaitan.
Undoubtedly a movie we will always remember for being a surprising and impressive phenomenon, “Ojukokoro” sticks even after the credits roll.
A solid piece of work, “Ojukokoro” is the best thing we saw on the big screen in 2017.