Director: Kemi Adetiba
Writers: Tosin Otudeko, Kemi Adetiba
Cast: Banky Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Alibaba Akporobome, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Iretiola Doyle
Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Genre: Romantic comedy
Watching The Wedding Party was a roller-coaster of all sorts of feelings for me. Minutes into the film and I’d begun laughing in snorts. From the way the title came up in fairy-tale twinkles, to the breathtaking aerial views, this is one film I could watch every single day. Apart from being Banky Wellington’s debut movie, it combines a beautiful story line with rare and unbeatable acting. Sola Sobowale (Family on Fire, Ohun Oko mi Somida) has to rake in a plethora of awards for this one. You should’ve seen her dance into the wedding hall being led by an ecstatic Engineer Bamidele (Alibaba Akporobome).
No other actors could’ve played these roles better although I found Richard Mofe-Damijo (Dinner, 30 Days in Atlanta) a little too soft on his wife (an aloof and terribly saucy Lady Onwuka played by Iretiola Doyle). Where was his stern ‘Oloibiri’ look that knocked fear into anyone? Well, the film is more about the Wedding Day not just the party – a day in the life of Dozie Onwuka (Banky W) an ex playboy. Everything seemed to have waited till that day to go wrong. His ex (Beverly Naya) cornered him and planted trouble in his breast pocket, his best man had a fatal accident, and the new best-man (Ikechukwu ‘Killz’ Onunaku) got drunk before his speech at the reception. Ikechukwu brought his character to life here, ending up way more entertaining than he was as “Nino” in Gbomo Gbomo Express (with Ramsey Nouah and Blossom).
Without being less impressive, multi award winning actress – Adesua Etomi (Ayamma, Out of Luck) played Adunni the virgin bride who’s mother (Sola Sobowale) wouldn’t stop “creating a scene”. Her friends also – Yemisi (Somkele Iyamah) and Deardre (Daniella Down), had more comedy packed into their scenes than I expected. Somkele Iyamah (The Arbitration, 93 Days) – gave us about the only stunt to be found anywhere in this movie – the backhand slap that sent Rosie (Beverly Naya) flying backwards. And at no point did a scene feel like a waste of time, except when Daniella Down stood to dance among a performing cultural troupe. I can’t imagine the week-long rehearsed choreography she happily ruined.
Enyinna Nwigwe (Silver Rain, Remember Me) played Dozie’s older brother, a role he blended into perfectly. The film also stars model and on air personalty – Zainab Balogun (Cocktail) playing a party planner with no chill, a complete ball of energy whose overactive demonstrations with Iya Michael (the caterer) were made for a good laugh and nothing else. The music (by Dr Bayo Adepetun and Michael Ogunlade) and sound (James Olivier) were as clear as crystal, and the camera angles (by Akpe Ododoru) ensured nothing was left to the imagination. The bridal gown by bespoke fashion tailor (Mai Atafo) was a sight, and so were the cream-colored aso ebis. Co-written and directed by Kemi Adetiba (Across a Bloodied Ocean), The Wedding Party is a romcom certified to leave anyone in good spirits.
The film which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival has so far grossed over #400,000,000 at the box office with tickets still selling. Produced by Don Omope and Ijeoma Agukoronye, The Wedding Party is rated 9/10 and is a hands-down must watch. Catch the trailer below.