Director: Mildred Okwo
Writer: Tunde Babalola
Starring: Femi Jacobs, Linda Ejiofor, Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw and Nse-Ikpe Etim
Makinde travels to Abuja from Lagos for a presentation for his company, to a ministry. He leaves Lagos with the mentality that everything works with order, and with hope that he will make it back home the same day. Nigeria is a place where you meet different kinds of people, some vow to make life harder for others and Makinde learns that first hand. An aggressive and inpatient secretary played by Rita Dominic and a pretty corper named Ejura played by Linda Ejiofor make up his Abuja story. He ends up spending more than two days in Abuja due to the secretary and Ejura is there as a companion.
The Meeting is a comedy but the intention is not to just make you laugh, it is also an attempt to question how things are done in Nigeria. It tackles a lot of issues. It tackles bribery, when guests waiting to see the minister have to buy recharge cards from the unruly secretary before they see the minister or be superficially nice to her to have their way. It also tackles tribalism, Clara, allows the ministers kinsmen to go to the office, she is happy with them because they are her people. They share a tribe. There is also a big reward from them and she cares about the reward more than anything. So visitors register but they are made to sit and wait while strangers come and see the minister immediately. Clara represents what is wrong with the ministry. She is in charge, as Ejura tells Makinde, she is as good as the minister Makinde wants to see and if she does not want him to see the minister, he won’t. Bolarinwa (played by Nse) walks in and she is allowed to see the minister but not Makinde and the other five that have been at the reception. The Meeting is a delicious script on so many levels.
This was not an unnecessary star-studded crowd. It was meaningful. They brought their A+ game. Rita Dominic is the standout character of the film. She was exceptional. She was totally transformed not because of just make-up but with her great acting capability and ability to adapt to an accent that was different from what we are used to seeing her do. Her performance as Clara was proof of the hard work that keeps her relevant after all these years. Femi Jacobs was exceptional and his performance won him an AMVCA, which was well deserved. So did Linda Ejiofor’s performance. It was great acting from the major cast. The big mishap that took away from the story is the casting of Kehinde Bankole as Makinde’s daughter. That did not work and I am glad they played it well by not giving more scenes to the father and daughter relationship. Considering that he ends up in love with someone around his daughters’ age. Using a younger daughter would have done more for the story, for example, if they said that the daughter was graduating from a secondary school rather than a university that would have flowed better.
The big mishap that took away from the story is the casting of Kehinde Bankole as Makinde’s daughter. That did not work and I am glad they played it well by not giving more scenes to the father and daughter relationship. Considering that he ends up in love with someone around his daughters’ age. Using a younger daughter would have done more for the story, for example, if they said that the daughter was graduating from a secondary school rather than a university that would have flowed better.
Production, design on The Meeting was excellent. The shots that quickly defined the difference between Abuja and Lagos were commendable. The night scene at the hotel, where Makinde and Ejura go to have a drink explains very quickly what Abuja is, a city where people are eager to have fun but they do it with so much calm.
The Meeting was a feast of laughter and lessons were learnt from it.
It gets an 8/10 from Xplore.
Rejoice a movie enthusiast, who feels Art is inspiring, it makes her think and she believes it is the way forward. You can check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/joicesamuelabutsa