Cinema review: Why ‘The Wedding Party’ is the best movie I saw in 2016

Posted on December 31 2016 , at 08:00 pm
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  • The movie is proof that Nollywood can deliver spectacular work if those involved are determined to.



Ali Baba and Sola Sobowale play the role of Dunni’s parents while Ireti Doyle and Richard Mofe-Damijo play Dozie’s parents in The Wedding Party.
Ali Baba and Sola Sobowale play the role of Dunni’s parents, while Ireti Doyle and Richard Mofe-Damijo play Dozie’s parents in The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party is one of the best movies I saw in 2016 and definitely the best Nollywood movie for the year.

The movie is proof that Nollywood can deliver spectacular work if those involved are determined to.

The movie follows the Aristotelian unity of drama of a 24 hour plot as all the action takes place in just one day.

There aren’t many scenes in the movie, but it was very well put together.

The plot revolves around a Yoruba bride and an Igbo groom and all the drama that unfolds on their wedding day.

As typical of many Nigerian bourgeois families, intertribal marriages are often frowned upon by at least one parent, especially if the other family isn’t as wealthy as theirs.

The movie is directed by Kemi Adetiba, an award-winning filmmaker and New York Film School alumni
The movie is directed by Kemi Adetiba, an award-winning filmmaker and New York Film School alumnus

Dozie is set to marry Dunni, the love of his life who also happens to be a virgin. On the D-Day, their wedding is threatened by the antics of his ex-girlfriend and a costly mistake by Sola, his impromptu best man.

Ali Baba plays the part of Dunni’s father and even though he is a comedian, there was no attempt by him to be overly funny or crack jokes.

The comic movie, directed by Kemi Adeitiba featuring Sola Sobowale, Ireti Doyle, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Frank Donga, Banky W and Adesua Etomi, has many hilarious scenes and it was funny from start to finish.

The scene I found most hilarious was the entrance of the bride’s parents into the wedding reception. Sola Sobowale really gave us the Yoruba mummy dance steps intended to spite haters.

The characters played their parts very well and the movie leaves very little to be desired more. However, the character of the wedding planner, played by Zainab Balogun, was a tad exaggerated.

The movie is star-studded, and many star-studded Nollywood movies have had the problem of each person trying to be ‘important’ – the dialogue then drags on and on and there are many unnecessary scenes to give each star a chance to shine.

However, The Wedding Party broke that jinx as everyone involved stayed true to form and there was no single irrelevant scene. Each character was relevant in their own way and the too many cooks did not, for once, spoil the broth.

Adesua Etomi, Frank Donga, Sola Sobowale and Ali Baba in The Wedding Party.
Adesua Etomi, Frank Donga, Sola Sobowale and Ali Baba in The Wedding Party.

The Wedding Party is a comedy, and even though there are many lessons that could be drawn upon from the issue of intertribal marriages, the movie makes no deliberate attempt ‘lecture’ or be unnecessarily deep to pass its message across.

Like the comedy that it is, it sets out solely to entertain. If you are able to head home with one or two lessons through the laughter, good for you. If not, you have your entertainment to go home with.

If you have ever attended a Nigerian society wedding, all the people you meet there are well represented in this movie.

There is the (uninvited) distant relative who shows up just for the food and drinks. There is the serious hustle for souvenirs that can actually cause a brawl. There are people who attend just because they want to find fault with everything and everyone at the wedding. There is the groom’s ex as well as the mistress of the groom or bride’s father.

The cast was very carefully selected and they all had good chemistry as they interpreted their roles perfectly.

Selfie time, smiling time! Cast members share a selfie.
Selfie time, smiling time! Cast members share a selfie

Dunni and Dozie’s chemistry is undeniable, just as Mrs Onwuka’s dislike and disdain for the Cokers seemed so real, the audience could touch it.

The dramas and twists and turns that follow throughout the movie are also very well executed. From the cape of the wedding gown ripping off, to the video of the wild bachelor’s eve party being played at the wedding, the audience is smoothly eased into each part of the movie and there are no abrupt (and unnecessary) shifts in the plot as it is common with many Nollywood movies.

One of the best things about the movie is that at no point in time did it seem to drag on. You know when you’re seeing a movie and you’re just like ‘Ooooh, what’s the point of this part? Can they just jump to something interesting?’ There were no such moments in The Wedding Party.

We all know that the dramas that unfold at Nigerian weddings are cinema worthy and the cast and crew did well to make a movie about it.

All in all, it is a superb movie and definitely worth the ticket price.

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