‘Brotherhood’ Review 2

‘Brotherhood’ Review: Gaps in Plot Frustrates Action Blockbuster

Thinking back to the late 2000s, as a child growing up on the streets of Lagos, there were a few things powerful enough to capture the attention of kids and adults alike. While most would agree that the universal love of football was the one thing that held this kind of power, I would argue action-packed blockbusters playing in the shops of local film retailers had this power.

There was something unique about seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Van Damme brutally killing a horde of soldiers, that attracted the captivating stares of passersby. A pleasure most of us can testify to experiencing. While there’s no doubt that the action genre is one of the most captivating and best-selling in Nigeria, the hunger for the genre in Nollywood hasn’t been satisfied.

Jade Osiberu’s Greoh Studios has taken upon the challenge to satisfy this hunger through multiple projects. The first of these projects, Brotherhood premiered last Friday all across Africa, intended to make a Billion Naira at the box office. A bold goal for a bold project.

‘Brotherhood’ Review

Brotherhood follows twin brothers, Akin (Tobi Bakre) and Wale (Falz) who are orphaned when their parents are killed on their way home from church. Years later, following several attempts to survive on the streets of Lagos, the brothers fall on opposite sides of the law with Wale joining the police force and Akin joining a notorious gang of robbers. The bonds between these brothers are put to the ultimate test when Wale joins a Task Force that is tasked to hunt down Akin and his gang.

Right from the moment I watched the trailer for brotherhood, I could bear testament to the fact that this is a project, unlike anything Nollywood has produced. The scale of this project is so massive, the hype skyrocketed with that one trailer. This hype was what I channeled as I hurried to the cinemas on Friday. But, Brotherhood, while a hit, has its few misses.

Kudos to Martini Akande (Nneka The Pretty Serpent) for his impressive editing skills, he reinvented what is considered a norm in Nollywood by delivering one of the best-finished products I’ve experienced in Nollywood. The stunt team is tremendous as well, delivering daring and jaw-dropping stunt sequences flawlessly. In fairness, the technical aspect of this film is brilliant, and here lies the issue. It feels like the technical parts were banked on to deliver a brilliant film but in the process, the core aspects of filmmaking, its cast, and story, were ignored.

Tobi Bakre (The Blood Covenant, Sugar Rush) is perfect, his embodiment of Akin was a thing of beauty, delivering one of the best performances in recent times by balancing the menacing, charming, and dangerous aspects of his character. Falz (Chief Daddy, Quam’s Money) on the other hand has come a long way from his days on Jenifa’s Diary, as he is stripped of his often channeled quirky characteristics, and now embodies a serious personality, one that is unwavering in the face of jest and disrespect. These two actors portrayed these twin brothers remarkably and their chemistry is nigh flawless.

The veteran actors in the film, Sam Dede (Gone, Isakaba) and Ronke Oshodi Oke (The Ghost and the Tout) brought a special feeling to the film. These are actors with over twenty years of experience and it shows in their presence and delivery. A brilliant casting choice indeed. Bright ‘Basketmouth’ Okpocha, Toni Tones (King of Boys, Quam’s Money), and Zubby Michael (Ponzi, My Village People) is another set of brilliant casting, stealing the show at any given chance.

Brotherhood Elenco

You must be wondering who the bad set of the cast is seeing as I’ve only cited the brilliant ones, well I don’t think this set of actors is bad but I do believe the role they play is miscast. The likes of Debo ‘Mr. Macaroni’ Adebayo, Boma Akpore, Diane Russet, Dorathy Bachor, and most of the supporting cast. Their lack of chemistry with other members of the cast is glaring and they fail to embody the level of charisma others had.

The storyline was another aspect of the film that isn’t solid compared to the overall theme. While a linear form of storytelling is adapted, the betrayal and deaths didn’t hit as hard as they should have, and there was barely enough time or backstory for the characters to make the audience invested in their experiences. Wale and Akin are a valid example of this scenario, while we are made to believe these brothers share a special kind of love with one another, it isn’t explored enough, especially in their childhood experiences.

Regardless of its shortcomings, Jade Osiberu created magic and has changed the Nollywood filmmaking dynamic. Brotherhood is one you should see in cinemas.

Ratings: 7/10

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