I have witnessed a number of scathing reviews about this movie – about how it does not make much sense and bull. These make me wonder about the level of intelligence of our Nigerian movie watchers. What did you expect?! The Wedding Party (1) had no proper story, depth or compelling leads for a sequel, but one was made which turns out to have an actual story and a myriad of depth. So what’s really the issue? Bad belle?
One of the most notable aspects of this movie would be the progressive and in-depth exploration of the concept of CLASS. The Winstons are lineage of the Royal Family – Deidra being 3,255th in line to the throne. Mr. Winston would have loved for her to marry maybe a distant cousin, to maybe score a closer number to the throne (or whatever weird reason), but she has fallen in love with a Nigerian man, Nonso Onwuka, which might affect the level of class the Winston family so dearly preserve.
There is the forced notion of class about some wealthy Nigerian people – they must show off. It is no surprise the kind of vehicle that comes to pick up the Onwukas and the Cokers at the Dubai airport, leaving the Winstons completely astounded.
The Winston privilege comes up again at the traditional wedding between Nonso and Deidra, when Mr. Winston has to spell out his family history to the Onwukas, to prove a point that they are beneath his family. It is here the theme of PRIDE is made manifest. The only thing the Nigerians here can do is walk away, to preserve their pride and dignity. But there’s an icing on the cake; the wedding would still take place – Nigerian pride and dignity established in mode of forgiveness.
TRADITION is key, and that is why it is important that this traditional wedding cannot continue at this moment, and I am glad this filmmaker creates the perfect excuse to end the wedding. I could swear that the level of abomination committed at this wedding could follow with a huge, irreversible curse in the olden days; as simple and honest as the mistake was, it was really terrible!
FAMILY AND FRIENDS are always available to catch you when you fall (whether with good or bad intentions), and there are a number of ways the family members and friends come in to alleviate or aggravate situations, and this also helps with the many amazing conflicts this movie contains. 9/10
Owing to the fact that The Wedding Party ( 1) makes no room for close friendship between Nonso and Deidra, this movie starts with montages of their current bond-situation. Brilliant! The mistaken method in which Nonso proposes is also recommendably progressive and hilarious, which also allows the movie proper start in no time. Also, for the fact, that the title remains The Wedding Party, little wonders why there has to be yet another one.
There is this bubbling idea about how this wedding has to end up in Dubai, and I have never seen a better reason, even in real life. The Winstons cannot use the great cathedral because it takes a year to get a booking; the wedding cannot continue in Nigeria because all the relatives cannot get so terribly insulted by Mr. Winston, and still support the wedding. In order to (like my mother sometimes says) allow breeze blow the matter, this traditional wedding has to happen at a much later time. For the first time, I see a Nigerian movie that actually gives good reasons (though, still got reservations, but will pass) for the sets to leave Nigerian and go elsewhere – and well executed as well. Abeg, make breeze blow the matter. Fantastic!
However, there are areas in which some clarifications or complete absence would have sufficed.
- Majority of people think after 6 months is fair enough time to propose, so Dozie confirming that it is not makes him look somewhat like a dickhead here, and it could be misleading to make the audience think this is the reason Deidra develops cold-feet.
- Speaking of months, did Nonso and Deidra start dating three months after meeting at Dozie’s wedding? Because Dunni seems to be 9 months pregnant, as she gives birth to babies that need no incubators. Let’s not even talk more about the time calculations and other logics here.
- There are a number of questionable things in Mr. Winstons luggage when he is being searched by Nigerian immigration. It would be nice if we had later witnessed the reason for this heavy packing.
- At their first dinner together, the Winstons and Onwukas, Mr. Winston tries peppersoup, which nearly kills him, later at the traditional wedding; he tries bitterkola which he couldn’t handle. Apart from establishing cultural differences, what is this use of this clichéd movie concept? As these have no effect on the reservations Mr. Winston has about Nigerians.
- Speaking of making no effects, AY could have been easily kept out of this movie. Why does his part have to repeat an already established point in the movie about the grandfathers of people from different regions?
These and a number of other unforgivable areas could have allowed the movie work better if looked into more properly. 5/10
Bravo to this filmmaker; everyone in this movie remains in character from The Wedding Party (1).
- Is it Mr. Harrison’s constant goof, or opinion of the bride in question as supreme, therefore deserving the best?
- Or the gate-crasher’s antics now elevated to airport level?
- Is it Yemisi’s (Somkele Iyamah) naughty character from the previous movie translating to falling for idiotic Shola, the very naughty and callous man who almost destroyed yet another wedding?
- Or Rosie’s (Beverly Naya) persistence to make Dozie (Banky W) fall for her again?
- Is it Mrs. Tinuade Coker’s (Sola Sobowale) consistent desire to be seen as a top-dog? Guess what? She still sells aso-oke, and has convinced the Winstons to dress the part.
- Or Wonu (Zainab Balogun), the wedding planner who still gets messed up by her delivery men, allowing a scene ensue between both families?
One could go on and on about the fact, and that is a clear evidence that a lot of work was put into this script.
It is quite understandable that the characters from the previous movie make their way to the new one; however, there are new characters in this movie – for example, Adanna (Patience Ozokwor). She plays such an important role in the wedding activities of the Onwuka family that it is unfair that we do not get a proper explanation for her absence at Dozie’s wedding, especially as she can easily make it to Dubai uninvited.
A number of “major” characters’ roles are a bit below the standard, but I won’t blame it on this filmmaker, rather, the previous one for not having them properly established; characters like Dozie, Dunni, Mr. Coker, and Yemisi could have more relevance, but they can’t because there wasn’t much story about them in the first place. This filmmaker, wetin concern am? Hin just pick the one wey e fit dey work on am dey go. 7/10
The dialogue in this movie is highly informed by deep knowledge of the areas of discourse chosen, alongside a huge understanding of the human mind and diversity. In other words, it resonates!
I am excited whenever Mr. Winston has to speak, as I am sure to always get orgasmic cerebral reactions. His speeches come about as a result of several considerations on the matter at hand (maybe not the right considerations though). Look at the insult he meted out on the Onwukas and Nigerians as a whole, for example. Normally, this should be considered in bad taste, and be written off as racist, however, it somehow is not, as everyone can also see that he was pushed. The following dialogues by Deidra, Mrs. Adunni Coker, Mrs. Winston and even he, himself, also help in not allowing his speech go unaddressed. This filmmaker played safe here, and that requires a lot of brainstorming effort; I have seen a lot of filmmakers fail in this aspect, thereby sending out the wrong message.
A monumental moment can be found with Adanna and Mrs. Adunni Coker as they throw insults back at each other across the traditional wedding hall. Each one of them, in response, shouting back at the other in her native dialect (Igbo and Yoruba respectively) as if they are being understood, when the reverse is the case – so hilariously human!
Oh how I wish there was subtitle, to allow people from far and wide enjoy what is being actually said in cases where the language spoken is not English.
Generally, the dialogue is good. Occasionally, there are talking heads, but they can go unnoticed. The dialogue also tries hard to not be too on-the-nose. Sometimes, as well, the actions tell the story in some scenes, and this helps with suspense, especially when only little worded dialogues are needed and used – for example, the scene of the proposal, majority of the action in this scene tells the story here; Nonso didn’t even need to propose, the actions all around did. 8/10
This is the area I might have some issues with, maybe because The Wedding Party (1) was kinda ace at this. The cinematography here too is a little bleak. This filmmaker seems to be obsessed with close-ups – would love to see him work with assorted camera angles and ranges, as well as EXT. scenes in future.
Back to the matter, too many scenes last for too long in this movie. Yes, each scene has its relevance, which helps the audience get through the scenes much easier; it could be done much quicker.
I understand that if there’s not much story to tell, you have to make do with what you have to account for the time you want to spend on record, and I appreciate that this extra time I am talking about (or asking for?) is not spent too much on useless things, like developing unimportant characters and things, but there has to be some other way around this for better outcome than this.
The moments where there are shows of tourist Dubai moves quickly and in scenes that could be described as montages. Special thanks to this filmmaker for not dwelling on them or making them proper scenes, and making it look like we have never seen a tourist country before. 6/10
Well, well. I believe this filmmaker tried his best, even if there is always room for improvement. There is no perfect story, but there are good stories, and this is one. 35/50
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.