Citation made its debut on Netflix on Friday, November, 6th. I must say, this is slowly becoming a pattern in Nollywood. Are filmmakers slowly leaving cinemas behind? That’s a discussion for another day.
Citation follows the story of a 21-year-old postgraduate student, Moremi Oluwa, who gets sexually harassed by her lecturer, and betrayed by her friend in a fight to seek justice.
Directed by Kunle Afolayan, “Citation” is a relatively known story told in a very unfamiliar way. A great, feel-good story and one that really does deserve to be told, inside a movie that does deserve to be watched.
Nollywood seems to be paying strict attention to the oppression that comes with being a woman and this, most definitely, is commendable. This is a topic that cannot be talked about enough. Sexual harassment, especially, in tertiary institutions is an issue that needs every noise it can get. 5 of 10 Nigerian women have been sexually harassed one way or the other while in school, and the other 5 know at least 2 people who have been. That is how rampant this issue.
I’d give the movie a 10/10 on casting. Kunle Afoloyan “calmed down” to select those to play the characters. His choices deserve a standing ovation to say the least. Every cast was amazing; from the lead actors, to the supporting roles, to the “waka pass” actors.
I absolutely adored watching Temi Otedola, especially considering the fact that this is her debut film role. She played Moremi, the lead character, and she was, without mincing words, the bomb! Her acting was everything. Her body language, her facial expression, her emotions, all so real. You almost cannot tell she’s a newbie in the whole movie business. I was really looking forward to seeing her act, and I must say, I was blown away.
Worthy of mention are the geeky twins.
Another first-time actor at the great-to-exceptional level in the movie, Ibukun Awosika, who as done everything except acting. She is a businesswoman, pastor, author, motivational speaker, and currently the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. With her delivery in the movie, you will almost argue that she is a veteran.
And a movie with the likes of Joke Silva, Jimmy Jean Louis, Ini Edo, Gabriel Afolayan, Oyewole Olowomojuore, Sadiq Daba, Adjetey Anang and host of others, you can only but expect the best.
The “Back to school” feel
Most people watch movies for entertainment and it’s a bonus if it happens to be somewhat educational too. Citation hits this notes adequately. A bliss! (I know it’s the second time I am using this word, but i simply can’t help it) Entertainment and a sprinkle of history tutorials and international relations lessons. As a student of Political Science, the movie took me back to my class-room. Citation succeeds the aim of informative entertainment it was designed to be.
Writer, Tunde Babalola, worked the script to hit every single detail important for an exceptional movie.
The makeup department should be applauded too, the make-up game was strong. The cinematographer was on another level with stunning scenes of nature, of color, of African aesthetics being vibrant and breathtaking. Through shots by Jonathan Kovel we are able to feel and experience the scenes play out.
Remember the backstory we talked about in our last review? Well, Citation is a compensation. The use of flashback was excellent. The audience could easily flow with the story line and climax.
Little Details That Made All The Difference
The Cameo performances: Few people, including the director himself, Kunle Afolayan, made cameo performances, and best believe, it is something to look forward to. I won’t be a spoiler.
Jollof War: The writer snuck in the ever popular jollof rice war between Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal, and as you might have guessed, Nigerian jollof won.
Costume: The Ghanaian character was on Kente half of the time and that makes a whole lot of sense.
Choice of music: It will be rather unfair to not give credit to the excellent fusion of African music.
Not once did I lose interest or enjoyment sitting at my computer screen. Not once! With that said, it might be important to note that, the movie was a little bit too long. Some scenes were unnecessary and might be considered as a waste of time for some. Some scenes probably shouldn’t have made the final cut. The story could have been told in about 90 minutes and it still would have been the fantastic.
Top of the list is definitely Temi Otedola’s Yoruba. She has some homework to do if she’s thinking of taking another role where speaking the language will be necessary. However, not that her Yoruba is cringe-worthy, cute is the right word.
If you stopped me on the streets of Lagos and asked if you should spend your time streaming Citation, I’d yell, “Yes, you should!” at the top of my voice. Over all, we rate the movie a 9/10.
You don’t have to agree with our rating, tell us what you feel in the comment section