DIRECTOR: JADESOLA OSIBERU
CAST: Dakore Akande, Funke Akindele-Bello, Tina Mba, Joseph Benjamin, Marc Rhys, Damilola Adegbite, Rita Edward, Lydia Forson, Patrick Doyle, Ngozi Nwosu, Bolanle Olukanni, Jemima Osunde, Bemyoda, Nedu
RUNTIME: 100 Minutes
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
Isoken, the recent romantic comedy movie written and directed by Jadesola Osiberu hit the theatres on the 16th of June, 2017. The movie surrounds the character Isoken (Dakore Akande), a successful 34-year old single woman who is under pressure by her mother (Tina Mba) to get married especially considering that her two younger sisters are married.
Her mother manages to hook her up with Osaze (Joseph Benjamin) at the beginning of the movie. Osaze is a native of Edo State where Isoken also comes from and he is wealthy, cultured and quite bourgeois. Later on, through a series of rather unfortunate events, she meets Kevin (Marc Rhys) an English Photographer and with time creates a rather unusual friendship with him.
This leads us to a classic love triangle as Isoken is at war with herself about making a choice between the two met who come with their individual merits and demerits. At first glance, the premise of this movie is extremely familiar and somewhat cliché if you want to be critical. However, the execution of this movie was a very pleasant surprise for me.
A few minutes into Isoken and I realized how relatable the script was. A round of applause to Jadesola Osiberu for creating scenarios that you can easily imagine finding yourself in. The simplicity of the script made the humor come across very easily. It wasn’t overtly funny, which basically means that this movie isn’t trying to crack your ribs. The humor in the movie was rather subtle and would leave you with chuckles and light giggles because you’ll be able to say ‘Yeah, I can see that totally happening to me.’
The actors generally carried their roles well, except for a few scenes by Damilola Adegbite where I felt she didn’t deliver on the depth of her character and Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson who I felt was a bit typecast. Special props to Funke Akindele who brought her A-game to her role. She used this movie to send a friendly reminder to the world reminding us that she is much more than her ‘Jenifa’ persona, which was a real breath of fresh air.
Isoken also had an abundance of art, music and culture interwoven in beautiful ways. Most importantly, the movie was a teacher, bringing the audience various lessons in marriage, relationships, and the general human condition.
Critically speaking, the issues I had with this movie were minimal and they were mostly pacing issues. Some of the acting fell short in terms of delivery but it didn’t take too much away from the movie in the end.
Isoken will always be remembered as one of the best romantic comedies of the year reminding us once again that there is beauty in simplicity.