As always this is not a review, I don't write film reviews, ask Ifeoluwa for that abeg
So I missed seeing Dare Olaitan's directorial debut when it was screened at the 2016 edition of The African Film Festival AFRIFF.
I was then immediately looking forward to see it come December which was the initially announced date of cinema release. That was not to be as the film was pushed forward to release on March 17, 2017.
The cast list was mouthwatering, and the trailer seemed to hold more secrets than clues as to what exactly to expect, at best it was a crime story sufficiently infused with comedy. A robbery gone awry was promised interspersed with other promising shots and dialogue.
Saturday the 18th of March came and I went to the cinemas, eager and expectant. Because I want you to see the movie, and because this is not a review, here are a few of my observations on "OJUKOKORO"
It Rings Loudly of Homage to Quentin Tarantino.
The division of a movie into chapters as it progresses is not the reason a film becomes Tarantino-esque, however, we are most likely to associate the style to Tarantino as he seemed to have owned it better than anyone else. Watching Ojukokoro and other crime thrillers done in this manner you notice a certain similarity in the execution and pace, the long takes and largely desaturated colours and even the way violence is meted out in an instant without preparing the viewer. Or even the way the after effects of a gun fight are quickly shrugged off in the next scene
BAM! You've moved from a guy with his head down the toilet to another guy unexpectedly eating lead. Next thing I'm laughing about something else.
Ojukokoro settles into its locale without pretence..
There was a time a nollywood movie about people working in a filling(gas) station would have included dialogue spoken entirely in Queen's English. Ojukokoro makes no such attempts at pretense. The dialogue moves from Igbo (As heard on the radio) to pidgin to Yoruba and something I guess was Bini pidgin, the colloquialisms had the cinema audience laughing in familiarity with the way they were used and the meanings conveyed.
I have a theory on the milk and ponmo phrase but you'd have to watch it yourself to see though.
The Movie is set up...
such that with the twists and turns on offer, we would probably see four or five more flicks with some of these characters reprising their roles in the sequels.
Ojukokoro Comes off as minimalist.
Minimalist by conscious design if I must say, but a little too minimalist in some scenes, from the colour tone to the long takes to the contained story itself, Ojukokoro is designed purposefully to work this way. Proof that you don't need lavish set ups or foreign location shoots to advance or strengthen your story nor create Cinema worthy content.
Hats off to Dare Olaitan on this one, seeing how he ended this film on that cliffhanger, he'd better hurry up with the sequel, we can't wait.