When my friend Sarah who runs Fashionistar fabrics said she really liked the movie “King of Boys” I was like, ok maybe it is worth seeing. I had not heard much about the movie but since it was by Kemi Adetiba (whose talent I admire immensely) I had a feeling it would be good. I also had no idea who she had cast in any roles apart from Sola Sobowale who is an amazing actress, but I was expectant. My expectations were in no way cut short, in fact I was blown away! Here are some things I gleaned from that movie. Ps. Spoiler alert!
Get a good cast to tell your story : Kemi Adetiba had a good story and is an excellent producer/director but if she had gone with the wrong cast everything would have gone awry. No matter what plans you have who you partner with can make or mar you and for Kemi the brain behind King of the Boys her partnerships made her real good! One of the shining stars of the movie was Paul Sambo, I had never heard or seen him before this movie but I loved his character and how he played it. He was the good guy, the Hero doing his job against all odds and his charm, acting skills and good looks made “Gobir” an awesome character. Then there was Sola Sobowale her acting was top notch and like a relative would say “she deserves an award” She was believable in her role of Alhaja Salami the ruthless mama of the underworld . She reminded me of Grismelda Blanco a Mafia Queen of the 80s. Adesua Etomi played Kemi and she brought home her role of daughter cum sidekick to Alhaja , plus her wardrobe was seamless. Then Reminisce played the role of Makanaki so convincingly that I kept asking myself where did Kemi get this Baddo from, he totally killed his role as an overambitious underworld kingpin and I fell in love (yep I like the bad boy types in movies but in real life I will probably run). Then nwannem Illbliss played the role of Odogwu like a boss! Other actors worthy of note were Toni Tones who played a younger Alhaja Salami and was totally in character. Bringing such a Star studded cast in one movie is very tricky but these guys were a winning team
Against all odds: Kemi went against a lot of unwritten rules in the Nollywood blockbuster rulebook. She was told any movie that was up to 3 hours would flop, that she had to make it a comedy if she wanted it to be a box office success and that casting a woman in a lead role would not work. She was also told that making about 50% of the dialogue in Nigerian languages would not work. Well she ignored the naysayers and did what she felt she had to do and she held us captivated for most of 3 hours (one or two scenes could have been a bit shorter). It was not a comedy and her leading lady was an excellent choice and she is smiling all the way to the box office. You see in this life when God speaks to you, you may be the only one that hears what He is saying . Your Mum may not hear it, your friends may not hear it even your spouse may wonder if you are ok, but once you are sure in your spirit that this is the way to go then go ahead. You need to get to that place where you stick with your gut and trust God. If He gave you the vision then it will work out well in the end.
An unlikely story of Redemption: In one scene Paul Sambos character tries to rescue Sola Sobowale even risking his life. I was like “Hian wetin nah this woman is evil and wicked why you risking your kife trying to save her“. Then my sister Ogo reminded me of Jesus…”isn’t that what He did for us even with our sin staring us in the face?” His mercy and grace prevails and He leaves the 99 to come after us, the one naughty lamb. Paul rescues her because though she was a badass she wasn’t responsible for the particular crimes she was being tried for. Isn’t that how it is with the enemy, the accuser of the brethren? He accuses us of both what we have done and even what we have not done and regardless of what we have done, God still thinks the best of us, redeems us and give us a second chance . He gave His whole life for us that we may be free and even when the world thinks we are unworthy God thinks we are totally worth it.
Many times we take His mercy and grace for granted: The irony is that even after we have almost lost our lives due to our own misdeeds and get a second chance, we crawl back to our vomit. See Alhaja after all she had been through, when she got a second chance shouldn’t she just have become a Nun and just be thanking God day and night? but Ina! she goes back to a life of crime. She may say to herself this is the only life I know, but we can always do better and when we get a second chance we should go and sin no more.
Live by sword and die sword. The Bible says that you reap what you sow! It’s the truth and like Majek sang you can’t plant cassava and reap cocoyam . Alhaja lived a life of crime and infamy and she paid with the lives of her nearest and dearest! The same happened to Makanaki the underworld kingpin who won Alhaja at her own game and deposed her from her throne as the King of Boys! His reign was short-lived and he was ruthlessly gunned down and overthrown. Sometimes people think you can dine with the devil and escape unscathed, but the truth is that once you enter that dining room, the evil takes over.
Hurting people hurt people.: There is hardly any criminal alive who didn’t pass through a life where they were hurt in one way or another. Damaged from the pain a lot of them repeat the cycle and inflict hurt on other people. Take the case of the lead character Alhaja Eniola Salami. She was raised in very abusive circumstances and that hardened her and made her abuse others. Not an excuse though as some are able to get over the abuse and become better people but for a number they struggle with the demons within.
A mother /parent plays an important role : Alhaja raised her daughter to live as a lawyer in a life of crime. She could have done better and shielded her from her shenanigans, she should have done better. As parents we have been handed a great responsibility to nurture our children and with God’s help make the best of their nature. May God help us not fall short.
There are so many other lessons, e.g. the unfairness of a system where honest people seem to be the minority and crooks hold sway but I think I will stop here. So my verdict is that this was an excellent movie, good cinematography and I would watch it again. Kemi well done!