After sampling the field as an actor and producer, Funke Akindele expanded her range as a filmmaker with the release of her directorial debut – Your Excellency.
Your excellency is a 2019 political comedy-drama produced under the banner of EbonyLife Films.
The 2-hour long movie which clearly highlights the power of social media is, however, a slightly convoluted artistic piece. The movie tells the story of Chief Olalekan Ajadi’s likely chance at becoming the president after three previous failed attempts.
Aside from the several noticeable jabs thrown at both local and foreign politicians, there is quite a lot to see in this movie. Here’s a quick analysis of some of the pros and cons of Your Excellency:
Chief Olalekan Ajadi, the protagonist of the movie, was played by Veteran actor Akin Lewis and he nailed it. His portrayal of a typical Yoruba politician was apt. His mannerism, his delivery and even the charisma was nothing short of perfection.
Funke Akindele who directed the movie also played a part and she owned the character of the favourite wife of Chief Ajadi. Both actors were a delightful pair. Some of the other actors that made good impressions are Osas Ighodaro, Toni Tones, Shaffy Bello, Seyi Law and several of the supporting cast.
Although it would seem it took very long to get to the point of the story, it had quite a good message. Aside from highlighting the power of social media and the ups and downs of living publicly, Your Excellency proves that anything can happen. It gives hope to the underdogs of the country and helps believe that despite the challenges, the good people do have the last and most satisfying laugh.
As it is known, the best comedy comes from truth and Your Excellency proves this. It is filled with relatable events that are naturally funny. There might have been some excesses, even so, it was entertaining.
The overall production design of this movie is worthy of appraisals. The attention to detail with respect to the political elements is very commendable. The luxury, the costumes, the inaugural event and even the slum where the blogger resided was very well portrayed. Kudos!
Sound Effect and Music, Quite catchy
Considering the importance of music in political campaigns, it was nice to see the filmmakers really factor this into the movie. It was so much so that the movie has two catchy theme songs.
Aside from the theme songs that are quite groovy, the collection of songs used in the movie was nice and very complementary to the happening events. The sound effect was also adequate for the situations in the movie.
Story and Backstory
The general idea behind the story of Your Excellency is nice but the development of the story became so long-winded that it almost lost its appeal. Understandably, writing sometimes will require the distinct establishment of different plots and the eventual convergence of these plots, still, there didn’t seem to be the need for a rather comprehensive backstory for Kachi. Some of the scenes could have been conveniently cut and the movie would have still been nice.
The backstory was also quite complicated, especially for Kemi Ajadi, the favourite wife of the beloved underdog of the story. It is known that EbonyLife Films is fond of bringing in characters from shows and movies into each other. And even though it had worked brilliantly in Chief Daddy, it did not seem right for this movie. Kemi who used to be an actor isn’t well learned and she also has the Jenifa ringtone. Are we to believe Kemi is Jenifa even though she speaks better than Jenifa or Are we to believe she is Funke Akindele, which would be really absurd considering the name and how learned Funke is. Or is Kemi simply a fan of the Jenifa series? Which is it?
Length of the Movie
The movie lasted for 2 hours and as nice as it would have been to be laughing for that long, it became rather exhausting especially because of the unnecessary scenes. It did not help that even after an hour into the movie, it appeared as though there was no point to it.
Too Much Press and Social Media
Despite social media being an important theme in the movie, it was a bit over-flogged. It was stretched out and it seemed like it was being shoved in the face of the audience. Also, the constant interviews were a bit too much. As much as it was a delight to see Eku Edewor’s pretty face, there were other creative ways the points made in the interviews could have been made.
This has become a constant problem with most Nollywood comedy-dramas. The actors feel the need to be excessive to be funny and end up being appalling. For instance, Chigurl’s character is not at all fit to be a presidential candidate. Not to mention, Alhaji Ali’s Hausa accent was coming and going. If the accent was that necessary, the producers could have cast a Hausa man instead, just a thought.
No doubt, Alex Ekubo is a good actor, but this movie proved he is not only a bad singer but also a terrible performer. The music performed at the end of the movie would make you want to gouge your eyes out. The editor tried to cut to the screen audience, but he could not hide the fact that Kachi did not know the lyrics and could not properly lip-sync to his own music.
There seem to be quite a lot of things that are wrong in this movie, but one must admit the attention to the political details is very commendable. Although Funke Akindele still has a lot to learn about directing, Your Excellency is a fair start.