THE INDEFINITE LIST OF THE TOP CHARACTERS FROM THE FILM – THE WEDDING PARTY
The Wedding Party is the most anticipated film coming out of Nollywood and featured at Tiff this year. The colorful outfits, slapstick humor and popular Nollywood actors drove the interest in the film. I bought tickets for the film the day of the premiere and soon discovered that premieres were special events with guests adorning their Sunday’s best.. I threw on a wrinkled T-shirt and hopped on the train heading south to attend the premiere. On arrival, I was met with a lineup extending to the back of the building. 150 people stood in line ahead me. With a wide range of film attendees including: young adults, couples and senior citizens it was no different from the audience that attends a Hollywood comedy.
Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director for tiff introduced the audience to Nollywood and why Lagos City was the focus for of City-to-City. Following Bailey’s introduction was David Oyelowo speaking about Nigerian cinema and its great film making. Kemi Adetiba, Director of the film spoke last and was expressed gratitude for the sold-out show and opportunity granted to her first film at Tiff.
I. Ireti Doyle - Obianuju Onwuka (groom’s mother)
Ireti Doyle continues her strong on screen performance in the film. In the capacity as the groom’s mother, she is bitter and unfriendly throughout the film. Three-quarters of the film was her pulling the passive aggressive moves of scorned person and does it with grace. She kept the audience in the back of their mind throughout the film as we continued to wonder what exactly has her in a stuffy mood.
II. Zainab Balogun – Wonu (wedding planner)
My first encounter with Zainab was through the television series, Before 30. Her character is strong because she executes the Eurocentric mannerism of her character and transitioning seamlessly and unexpectedly to broken English. Slapstick humor does not lend itself well to solid acting, however the credit goes to the director and Zainab for balancing the acting while not ignoring the carefree nature of the film.
III. Atunyota "Alibaba" Akporobome & Sola Sobowala – Bamidele Coker & Tinuade Coker (bride’s parents)
You have to speak in tandem about these two characters given the amount of time they have on screen together. Alibaba, a successful comedian used his timing skills to exaggerate certain moments that helped carry the film in its slower moments. Sola created huge laughs but her obnoxiousness wore me down towards the end of the film.
IV. Felix Onwuka (groom’s father)
Richard Mofe Damijo earned the loudest applause at the theatre. He is a Nollywood icon and through the years has defined Nollywood excellence. An actor known for his range and depth, it was interesting to observe how he acts in a less rigid role. Felix had a predictable character arc and a weak development of the character did not provide Richard room to sympathize with his character.