In the spirit of citation, the university community, and all things academic that the movie Citation also stands for, let us look at the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (also known as linguistic relativity). It argues that language affects its speakers’ world view or cognition, and thus people’s perceptions of life are relative to their spoken language.
This can be seen in the language diversity in this movie. The level of authority, tone and mood of each character speaks volumes about their world view. For example, Moremi speaks French and English with more authority and confidence than Yoruba, which she speaks more timidly. It is like a Venn diagram, with English in the middle. Could this be a function of her international experience as against her immediate locality?
There is a rich assortment of language in this movie which helps in guaranteeing a wide range of combining factors that make for a good story, and it is very commendable.
One of the things to be loved about this movie is its imperfection. Everything appears to be so silly and messed up till the tightening of loose ends begins. There is good suspense in this movie, especially surrounding Prof. N’dyare (Jimmy Jean-Loius) and what his game plan details are, really.
Moremi (Temi Otedola) is a young and vibrant post-graduate, widely acknowledged as the best student there is in her department, but fails woefully in the area of street wisdom, which the movie portrays to be a function of her very young age.
It is not enough to blame Prof. N’dyare as a sexual predator. There are and will always be sexual predators. Arming the prey with the right kind of knowledge on predator techniques and schemes, as well as showing in great detail the kind of punishment that will be meted out on such sinners cannot be over-emphasized, and that is why this movie is very important – to show and to teach. It also helps to inform those who would need it that there are advocacy organizations fighting this cause this day, if only one would educate and equip themselves for liberation.
One of the famous ways male predators catch their preys is by pretending that they are weak to an unsuspecting victim. It works all the time, and Prof. N’dyare in this movie is a major example.
This lecturer draws in closer to his mark by segregation – creating a smaller class for easier establishment of his favorite student. He also rewards such student openly. He does everything legally possible to condition the whole class’ mind to identify the victim as just the class pet. He organizes class parties for the team, even in his own house. In fact, he draws upon his many years of evil experience in his intentions. Things work in his favor more when only he and she can speak French in the whole class.
Moremi is a baby. If she were at least a little street wise, she wouldn’t need her doctor boo, Koyejo (Gabriel Afolayan) or anybody else to explain anything to her about the kind of mess she’s about to be in. Asides her age, could this also be because her undergraduate days weren’t spent in Nigeria, the land of hard learnings?
The girl child needs to continually be educated for their own protection. Moremi doesn’t really get it till the last moment where her innocent position becomes sorely unbelievable and contestable till she is able to go out of her way and get more evidence.
In totality, the production design and cinematography, work hand in hand to help the picture come out beautifully. It is a tour movie that establishes that Africa is beautiful, though the movie over-engages in tourism thereby allowing for too many unnecessary scenes.
In as much as many, if not all, of the sex-for-grades instances in this movie ring true, they could be more realistic. Right now, this very important movie leans more on the side of fiction. This might be owing to the director’s ambition to go Pan-African with his narrative of sexual harassment in Obafemi Awolowo University, and with the use of big shots.
Speaking of big shots, Ibukun Awosika manages the disciplinary panel like a professional, and it stuns. It is obvious she has done this many times before, and those scenes were clearly informed by a person of such calibre. She employs strictness where it’s appropriate, and knows the places exactly where the panel needs to ease out to refresh.
There is a seemingly pressing need for the director to show Samba, though. The way he is introduced is cliché and not original. Agreed, Moremi is naïve, but she is not as stupid as to allow herself leave the team to follow a street child and laughing on the way. Even in Hollywood, this would be frowned upon.
It is noteworthy that Moremi has an innocent and pitiable face already. She really doesn’t need to make extra faces that appear like a subtle ploy in wanting sympathy from Prof. N’dyare (i.e. before the near-rape incident). She doesn’t even make this same face with Doctor Boo. So yes, it was quite confusing to tell if she had fallen in love with the prof “who just understands her” or not. The director does well to milk this countenance and makes her friend, Gloria (Ini Edo) the truly convinced person about Moremi indeed being onto the prof.
Some of the film’s time is spent in academic discourse that bring little or no value to the themes at hand. If an audience is not into socio-political discourse, the topics discussed in this movie would be very boring, except the story’s themes are “cited” by them. This is one extra hurdle the movie could have crossed fully, and not half-heartedly.
Isedehi Aigbogun, also known as ISD, is a staunch academic, holding a B.A., M.A., and PhD (in view) in English Language.
She’s a Screenwriter, Screenplay Analyst, Consultant, and Film Scriptic.