Hi fam, it’s Dife the storyteller reporting for duty(lol). It’s a pleasant weekend and even more spiced because there’s a public holiday on Monday, thanks to our Muslim Brothers!

It’s time for a rich, didactic, and entertaining movie review of the movie, Anikulapo by Kunle Afolayan.

The movie started with a narrative prologue of how people were buried in Yoruba land in ancient times and this served as the premise for the movie’s story. The movie had its setting in the old Oyo empire where we were introduced to a young man, Saro who migrated from Gbongan to Oyo and caught the interest of an older woman who didn’t take long to show her true color as ‘Sugar Mummy’. Unlike Joseph in the bible Saro played along, he was gifted a house, established in business by Sugar Mummy, Awarun. Still, in Sugar Mummy duties, Awarun connected Saro to make clothes, and Asooke for Queens, and just like that on the first day of their meeting, a love affair was kindled between Saro and the King’s youngest wife, Arolake.

Arolake at the age of 15 was acquired by the king to be his wife however she had no children for the king and she became a  piece of ridicule among other wives yet the most loved by the King. As soon as Sugar Mummy knew about Saro’s love affair with Queen Arolake, she quietly left the relationship and warned Saro about his foul play with the Queen but Saro’s coconut head didn’t align. It didn’t take long before Saro and the Queen’s specks of dirt were exposed by one of the princesses who was also interested in Saro.

Saro was apprehended and beaten to death the night he decided to run away with Arolake. Arolake seeing this fled into the evil forest where Saro was also dumped. However, a twist was introduced in the story when a mystical bird called Akala appeared to resurrect Saro. It resurrected him but on second thought the bird said “You don’t deserve to live. Go back to death.” At these words, Arolake quickly stepped out to chase the bird away from Saro before it sends Saro back to death. Meanwhile, Arolake hurriedly picked the bird’s egg that the bird unknowingly dropped.

This episode launched the couple into a journey over the hills and thick forests where they met a hunter who accommodated them in his hut through the night and they followed him to his village where they met the hunter’s son dead. Arolake called her husband aside and told him about the resurrection power of the Akala bird’s egg that she picked in the evil forest. She handed over the bird’s egg to Saro and emboldened him to go and use the egg to resurrect the hunter’s dead son. Reluctantly, Saro went to the dead boy and resurrected the boy just by touching the boy with the Akala Bird’s egg. That’s where Saro was nicknamed Anikulapo, meaning “He who has power over death”. As expected, the news of a Resurrecter soon spread across the village, and neighboring villages, and Saro now Anikulapo became a celebrity and got different sorts of rewards for the many numbers of dead he brought back to life.

Through it all, Arolake was still barren but they were living well as man and wife until Saro raped Arolake’s maid, impregnated her and she became a second wife. He moved on to marry the third wife yet Arolake was barren meanwhile he had almost abandoned Arolake who had become a piece of ridicule again in Saro’s house.  On a fateful day, Saro was summoned to the King’s palace to resurrect the King’s only son and heir to the throne.

However, Saro in his pride and fornication flow, demanded that he would resurrect the King’s son only if the king’s daughter will be given to him as wife and Saro walked out of the king’s presence back to his house. Somehow, the news of what happened at the palace leaked to one of the workers at Saro’s house, Arolake heard it and she packed her belongings and left Saro’s house before he got back from the palace.

This was a huge dilemma for the king but he chose to save his son’s life and have his daughter marry Saro. Saro was summoned back to the palace, but unfortunately, he tried to resurrect the dead prince with so much theatrics using the same Akala’s bird gourd but it didn’t work for him and he couldn’t resurrect the dead prince.  Due to his pride and treachery, Saro was put to death and again we saw the Akala bird appear to Saro and jolted him out of his dead state. The movie Anikulapo ended with mixed reactions of excellent theatrical work with an unclear storyline. The only dent I observe is the almost unfinished storyline towards the end. From the scene where Saro failed to resurrect the prince, every other thing in the movie feels rushed and leaves the audience feeling confused not necessarily in suspense.

Really, the movie Anikulapo is a good movie that portrayed deep Yoruba cultural heritage through the props, settings, and excellent acting by actors and actresses,  the conversations are epic and amusing. For instance, Elesho’s words to Baba Fakunle are amusing😂😀 and what should we say of Baba Wande’s words and mannerisms that often reeked of cunniness, favoritism, in Yoruba it’s what we call “Kebe Kebe”😀.

The movie gets a ‘Yes’ from me especially for the obvious hard work that was put into making it and for Yoruba cultural heritage preservation.

Je t’aime mon ami🤗🤗🤗

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