Directors: Funke Akindele, Abdulrasheed Bello
Cast: Funke Akindele, Nancy Isime, Akah Nnani, Lateef Adedimeji, Mike Ezuruonye, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ime Bishop Umoh, Waje Iruobe, Patience Ozokwor
Streaming on: Prime Video
I finally got my Prime Video to work and subscribing, even though after watching the trailer of Funke Akindele’s “SHE Must be Obeyed”, I knew in my bone, that it wasn’t worth my time.
The latest addition to the Prime Video lineup, delivers a narrative around female entertainers and the music industry, that will make you wonder who the TA for this limited series was. Created by the duo of Funke Akindele and Abdulrasheed Bello and brought to life by a stellar cast (veterans and newbies, I was impressed), this series tries to blend elements of humour, suspense, drama, and mystery, attempting to make it compelling and comedic but instead falling flat, making it underwhelm, bland and shallow.
The series revolves around the enigmatic character of “She,” aka Siyanbola Adewale an award-winning songstress, whose obsession with being number 1 and having control in the industry leads her to cleverly craft situations that will defame her other colleagues in the industry and position her to be the best amongst the rest. As the story unfolds, viewers are drawn into a web of deceit, power tussles, and secrets. The narrative cleverly intertwines past and present, revealing the layers of She’s complex personality and the mystery that surrounds her. Each episode peels back another layer of the story, keeping the audience hooked, however leaving us wondering how they can get to the point of the whole series.
The cast of She Must be Obeyed delivers some exceptional performances, firstly, when you have many popular acts, its becomes hard to see each character and what they bring to the overall plot. But some characters were well worth it. My honourable mentions will go to Akah Nnani, as Siquo his mannerisms and that British accent, he pulled it off well then moving to his original accent, had me in stiches. Lateef Adedimeji the gullible driver and cousin, She showed him something, and while it might feel like playing gullible is easy, he made it effortless and remain positive that there was good till the end. The others played their roles, would it have made any difference if it were played by anyone else, maybe not, did it change the fact that the episodes didn’t crescendo not really. The portrayal of She, played by Funke Akindele is almost like how I feel when RMD plays a very rich man! Funke has had years and years of practise to play a local lady turn pin up. This role was no different. When the wig came off she had the Quasimodo look (that make-up artist needs to be shot) she was local and then when the wig came on she will was all pin-up and Stepford with an attitude for days. This isn’t new to Funke, I actually thought with the alopecia look they were going to play something up around her and why she became greedy or hell bent on succeeding at all cost, but I couldn’t sit through the whole series, it was giving me brain drain on different levels.
Production Design and Cinematography:
The series boasts a visually stunning and atmospheric setting (couldn’t get the JJC songs and some of Funke older productions out of my head, LOL) , with meticulous attention to detail evident in every scene, especially the musical show scenes. The production design created a rich and immersive world for the characters to inhabit, while Cinematography and the use of light and shadow added to enhancing the viewing experience. However, editing and costumes (covering eyes)! The editor could have done more work cutting the scenes and increasing the tempo especially from episode one. I also got a sense that it would not have been bad as a movie as against subjecting us to 6 or was it 8 episodes but hey!
In all, ‘She Must be Obeyed’ is a series that manages to blend the story and performances in a pointless, unconvincing, and contrived manner. This series is a watch at your own peril and from XploreNollywood it earns a 3/10.
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