Omoye Review: Not Just a Movie, a Course on Domestic Violence.
2017 has been a crazy year, with different trends, protests, agitations, political unrest across the world, but one thing that really stood out was the discussion on abuse on women – physically, sexually and domestically – and Omoye, an Uche Chukwu’s film, focuses on domestic violence.
You can watch the trailer here.
Omoye Review: The Story
The story is simple, believable and relatable. A hardworking and relentless young lady – Omoye (played by Kiki Omeili) – gets into a toxic relationship with a man – Femi, played by Salami Rotimi – that never takes responsibility for anything.
With abuse and violence increasing, she becomes emotionally and mentally drained but still won’t give up on her marriage.
Nollywood needs movies like this that tackle social issues in our society. Movies beyond the comedies. Movies that tell our stories.
Yes, domestic violence is one of our stories. It is deeply rooted in our culture – way of life.
Omoye Review: The Good
I like how Omoye is done in mostly pidgin English and set in Ajegunle, Lagos. Domestic violence is a normal thing in our ghettos. This is a Nigerian story, one that needs to be told and what better way than our unofficial lingua franca?
One of the incredible things about this story is how the writer gave Femi (Rotimi Salami’s character) all the characteristics of an abusive husband. He is lazy, completely irresponsible, a drunk, a rapist, a woman beater, and a borrower that defaults on payment.
What is even more interesting is how Rotimi Salami executed each of those characteristics. He was so believable, you start to garner hate for his character. That’s what a great movie does to you, you get soaked into it and start rooting for or against a character.
Kiki Omeili, on the other hand, was something else. This script was designed for her. it did not even feel like acting. She makes it so real. She won the audience.
We were, in one voice, fighting for her character as we watched, waiting for the moment she will fight back, and getting mad when her character keeps taking the rubbish treatment Femi was giving.
In my review of Glimpse, I mentioned how Bisola Aiyeola’s crying scenes were an annoying joke. This was the complete opposite. We might as well take the ‘Nollywood Cry Queen’ title from Nkiru Sylvanus (Cry For Help) and give to Kiki.
Omoye Review: The Bad
You see all these annoying fighting scenes in Nollywood where someone is throwing a punch to the air, please, let us drop them in 2017. It is really annoying. Same rubbish you get with WWE.
Nollywood needs to start respecting herself more. You are throwing punches in the air and you expect your audience to believe that you are fighting. That’s just not fair.
There was this scene in which Femi was being beaten and you can see, clearly, that the punches were being thrown into the air not him! That is just ridiculous.
Another thing I did not like about Omoye is the distracting aerial shots. We get it, there are drones now and we can produce sky-bird view in our films now but it was too much here and unnecessary on most occasions.
In conclusion, Omoye is a great movie. While the story was amazing, we might not have enjoyed it if not for the incredible performances delivered by Kiki Omeili and Rotimi Salami.
It is not everyday everyone in the hall claps after seeing a Nigerian film.
Uche Chukwu did an amazing job here. He brought in humor, just the right amount of it. So, you get to laugh, drop a tear then think.
You think of domestic violence in our society; its consequences, the supports it gets from our society. Omoye also explores some of the reasons women do not leave abusive relationships and why they should.
It is basically a 101 on domestic violence and a story that every girl child needs to watch.