By Ayomide Arowobusoye
Since hitting the cinemas on Christmas day, 25th of December 2020, Omo Ghetto: The Saga has been the talk of the town and it does deserve to be the talk of the town! Just 9 days after it release, it dusted off every other 2020 movie and conveniently became the highest grossing blockbuster.
Read more on that here Funke Akindele’s film “Omo Ghetto” emerges 2020’s highest grossing movie
The movie is a sequel to the 2010 release, Omo Ghetto which follows the life of Lefty, her troublesome parents and Ghetto friends. Lefty lived her life as a hooligan and leader of a female gang.
At the end of the movie, we see Lefty being reunited with her twin sister, Ayomide. This twin sister was sold at birth to a wealthy barren, thus, her life was the opposite of Lefty’s. Ayomide grew into a responsible and educated young lady. The wealthy woman, however, adopts Lefty as an adult and aims at giving her a better life.
The prequel, “Omo Ghetto”, starred Taiwo Hassan, Rachel Oniga, Ireti Osayemi, Yinka Quadri, Eniola Badmus, Ronke Ojo and a host of others.
Produced by Funke Akindele-Bello and JJC Skillz, Omo Ghetto: The Saga picks up from where the original movie stopped. Apparently, you can take Lefty out of the ghetto but can you take the ghetto out of her?
Although, moved to an upper-class neighborhood, she doesn’t stay away from Askamaya ghetto, and remains the leader of her notorious female gang, “Askamaya Bees”. This put her out of place in her mother’s high-class and elite circles but that’s the last thing on her mind.
Things, however, take a sad turn as Lefty soon fall in love and end up putting her sister’s life at risk. Love brings her to what seems like her doom.
Though a comedy, Omo Ghetto (The Saga) is lesson filled. Akindele successfully weaved a lot of social issues into one film.
The movie gives us snippets about Cybercrime, Prostitution, Police corruption, gang clashes, dope selling and thuggery in Lagos.
It easily points to the the bitter reality that surrounds being raised in the Ghetto. A major highlight of the movie is Lefty’s adopted mother birthday night. We see her facing a serious backlash from her mum for inviting her friends over.
Mrs. Benson angrily called her friends “miscreants” and deemed them worthless; however, she is quickly corrected by Lefty that living in the ghetto doesn’t mean a meaningful life can’t be led.
Omo Ghettoo, like other works of Funke Akindele, is a star studded movie. Every time, she makes sure the roles in her movies are played by A-list actors, and every time, this pay off.
The film stars Funke Akindele-Bello herself (as Lefty) alongside, Chioma Akpotha (as Chummy Choko), Eniola Badmus (as Busty), Bimbo Thomas (as Nikky), Deyemi Okanlawon (as Femi Stone), Alex Ekubo (Obi Wire), Zubby Michael (as Aza Man), Akah Nnani (as Mario), Blossom Chukwujekwu (as Officer Dede) Timini Egbuson, Nancy Isime, Paschaline Alex, Mercy Aigbe, Chi-gurl, AY among others.
Funke Akindele played two separate characters (Lefty and Ayomide) and watching her switch roles effortlessly was such a bliss. Her role interpretation deserves kudos.
Some Nigerian entertainers also blessed our screens with cameo appearances. I’m talking about the likes of Sir Shina Peters; Media Personality, Toke Makinwa; Skit makers Broda Shaggi and ShankComics; self-acclaimed Mama Africa, Yemi Alade, Naira Marley, Slimcase and the movie’s co-director, JCC Skills (Akindele’s husband).
Remember what I said about Blossom Chukwujekwu in my Oloture review? Well, my criticism was justified in Omo Ghetto.
Mario! Mario! Mario!
YouTuber and actor, Akah Nnani was a whole mood from the beginning to the end! He played Mario, the junkie/hacker/borty pickin and he did justice to the role. At a point, all I wanted to see was Mario and remembering his lines while typing this brings a huge smile to my face. Talmbout ‘we don kill person ooooo, person don die’
Watch out for Chioma Akpotha too! Her delivery was priceless.
Undeniably, the use of colour was excellent. From the very first scene, the color set the mood and tone of the film before the actors even uttered any word. The overall picture was great.
The production quality was very impressive. I also really liked the fact that Asakamaya setaway from an actual ghetto or slum as seen in the 2010 release. Askamaya was presented as a very colourful and beautiful environment.
Omo Ghetto was action packed and the fight scenes were so real and enjoyable. We know how disastrous Nollywood fight scenes can be; from fake punches, to unnecessary slow motion, to cringe worthy facial expressions and weird “urghhs and Aaarrrggghs”.
Omo Ghetto fight scenes, however, broke from this norm. For a second, I thought I was watching a battle between the Jackie Chans, the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of Hollywood (Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit but at least you get the gist). The scenes were super relatable; the “blood” wasn’t looking like Zobo drink or Blood tonic too.
The director deserves big thumbs up.
The Theme Song
Okay! I must confess, at a point I was going to get off my seat and burst some dance moves, but well, all thanks to home training, I didn’t. It will be rather unfair to not point out the beautiful choice of songs and their fusion. The theme song is also very commendable. The transition from one tune to another was smooth.
Minor parts that made major difference
Worthy of note and probably commendation is Lefty’s car. Her colourful and classy Volkswagen Beetle was introduced in the very first scene. One word best describes her ride; FAN-TA-BU-LOUS.
Busty, the Scaredy Cat
One will think that with Busty’s size and stature, she’d be fearless and easily intimidate, but reverse was the case. She was the one that was easily frightened of all the members of Asakamaya bees. In the face of trouble, Busty will always find a way to excuse herself. On three different occasions, like Peter in the Bible, she showed she’s a big sly.
Lover girl Lefty
The movie clearly depicts that you can become a fool for love. The high and mighty, Lefty was again portrayed as a lover girl (in the 2010 release Lefty was head over heels in love with Schoolboy, her boyfriend who rose from the ghetto too but becomes a lawyer.
He easily influenced her decisions but Was, however, forced to leave her for another person that matches up to his standard). She was hopelessly in love with Femi Stones to the extent that she went to jail for him and almost lost her twin sister.
Unfortunately, she was only being used by her dear boyfriend; was betrayed and played.
The scriptwriter did a beautiful job I must say. The original release was strictly Yoruba movie, although subtitled, however, in what seems like a bid to reach a much wider audience, this time the dominant language is English. The mixture of languages, slangs, adages and wordplay just gets you in a very exciting mood.
New Sequel Alert?!
At about 2hrs 20 minutes, Lefty is shot at point-blank range. Does she survive? What happens to Femi Stone? Lefty’s last sentence is also ‘It is not over!’ My curiosity is aroused as to what this might mean.
The climax left open hints that there might be another sequel or even a serial. It’s a beautiful way to key your audiences’ interest and this is praise-worthy.
Top of the list is definitely the repetition of Amen estate. At a point, I thought someone will come out of the screen and yell “get an apartment in Amen estate” at our faces. We know you wanted to promote your sponsor but don’t bore us. This was a major turnoff.
Also, some scenes were unnecessarily dragged. A major example is the scene where the Askamaya bees confronted a rival group led by Tambolo.
Now there’s a part that still leaves me a bit confused. What do we call Ayomide’s accent? British? American? Brimerican? While we understand the fact that Funke was trying to portray the porch/elite young woman, sticking to one accent is a good idea.
WHAT IS BEING SAID ABOUT THE MOVIE?
The News Beam gathered the opinions of some Nigerians that have seen this movie and here’s what they had to say about it.
Damilola Animashaun (Model): I like the storyline. It’s relatable. I don’t like how they ended the movie. Has the ‘oyinbo’ gone back to her country? What happened to femi stone afterwards?. I rate it a 7
Joke Florence (Fashion designer): The movie was worth the hype after all. It’s a whole ball of fun. I love the emotion rollercoaster. I’ll rate it 8/10.
Abiona Lashe (Marketer): The movie is entertaining, the action is lit and I laughed throughout (where Mario was always high, very Hilarious guy. I couldn’t stop laughing, where Chioma Choko cooked fried rice with weed and the women started misbehaving). It’s 8/10.
The movie is rated 18 for a reason. Therefore, you might want to keep your ward, under the age of 18 away (use of strong language, violence, alcohol and well, what seemed like a sex scene).
However, if you want to ‘laugh away your sorrow’ lift your mood Omo Ghetto is your best bet, at least for now. The movie is worth what you’d pay for at the cinema and more.
Overall, Omo Ghetto: The Saga’ was everything the trailer promised, it’s 8.8/10 for us.
You don’t have to agree with our rating, tell us what you think in the comment section.