Known for her work at Ndani TV, writer/producer Jadesola Osiberu has made her directorial debut with the star studded romcom, Isoken. The lineup boasts of Dakore Akande, Funke Akindele-Bello, Tina Mba, Joseph Benjamin, Marc Rhys, Damilola Adegbite Attoh, Rita Edward and Lydia Forson. Others include Patrick Doyle, Ngozi Nwosu, Bolanle Olukanni, Jemima Osunde, Bemyoda and Nedu. The movie follows the story of the titular character, Isoken played by Dakore Akande as she navigates the storied path of an MSW (Mature Single Woman) in contemporary Nigerian society. Under pressure to marry (like her other sisters), Isoken finally gets a double breakthrough and must ultimately decide between two eligible bachelors from very different backgrounds.
Picture quality. The picture is clean and crisp. You can tell that a lot of work went in during the actual and post production. The colours literally pop on the screen adding to the easy breezy feel of the film’s chick flick appeal. Top marks for grading and colouring.
Costume. What’s a Nigerian movie about women and weddings without fashion and glamour? Just like the 2016 Nollywood monster hit, The Wedding Party, Isoken breaks a leg in the costume department. As the movie is set in present day, the characters are very fashion forward in their clothing choices.
Soundtrack. A lot of attention was paid in the curation of the songs that made the soundtrack. The audience is given a break from the gbangbatigbangba with the beautiful music from the likes of Simi, Falana and Bemyoda.
Comedy. Tina Mba nails her character as an overbearing-but-really-means-well Edo mother. She steals the show with her pantomime like gestures and hysterics which are complemented by a more reserved and subtle Patrick Doyle who plays her husband. Funke Akindele-Bello, Nedu and Lydia Forson also lend their weight to the comedic mix.
Acting. Dakore Akande played the lead excellently. The drama between her and le beaus (Joseph Benjamin and Marc Rhys) is not just believable but easily relatable. Worthy of note and commendation are screen regulars like Patrick Doyle, Tina Mba, Funke Akindele-Bello and Lydia Forson.
Sub plots. It is a very simple story that is well told, almost too simple and predictable as is expected in the romantic comedy genre. Which is why when the opportunity for some depth came in form of the sub plot of Isoken’s sister having multiple miscarriages, we were disappointed that it was not further explored. Same with the tease of a back story with Bolanle Olukanni’s character. We definitely want more.
Reviewed by Isabella Akinseye.