I decided to see A Tribe Called Judah over the weekend and I was not disappointed. The hype about the movie from the day it was released was overwhelming, and from all corners of social media, drowning the erroneous belief that it could have come from influencing.
The movie starts with the incredibly talented and skillful Actress Funke Akindele waking up with a start. She must have been woken up by the nightmares of her father disowning her after she became pregnant. Her father’s voice can be heard in an audio flashback as she gazes into space, lambasting her for her supposed promiscuity, threatening to throw her out of the house, as her mother protests in vain.
She then gets up from her bed and begins her morning prayers, anointing herself first, and then to all her children whose portraits were hung in an old mirror. Then she takes a sachet of Captain Jack Rum, which by the way is my favorite liquor, and begins to drink it. This is especially funny as many religious Nigerians would frown against taking alcohol, immediately after praying to God.
She then steps out of her apartment, where she robustly greets people around her, gives her keke Napep (tricycle) to a rider, and carries people around her, including her last son Ejiro towards a major bus stop, presumably. She stops by a small market where she finds a woman she gave a small loan to start a small business being beaten by her husband who suddenly felt threatened by his wife’s newly found financial freedom.
In trying to settle the matter, she is verbally abused, but Ejiro stepped in, and before the fight can get serious, he calls all four of his older siblings in order of seniority, and they respond to the calls with alacrity, leaving their workplaces and their activities to answer the dragon’s call. Together, they pounce on Linda’s husband, Papa Michael. The proper way to introduce all the brothers who are all from different dads; Emeka, Adamu, Shina, Pere and Ejiro.
She then explains in the next scene how she had all her children from different dads from different ethnic groups. She is the typical African mother who works very hard to put food on her children’s table. She is also disciplined, as she is very against Ejiro’s begging, Pere’s stealing and Shina’s hooliganism. She is also kind and willing to lend a helping hand to others who are in need.
She then suffers from a kidney failure that forces all her children to cooperate in crime. Emeka who is fired from works learns that his CEO is a money launderer who stashes hard currencies in his VVIP showroom. He and the siblings attempts to break into the shop during a costume party. Although unknown to him, his ex boss Collete has the same plans, and with gunmen armed to the teeth. Thankfully, Shina’s disobedient act of bringing a gun saved them a lot of problems.
The movie ends as they make their way to a greener pasture after successfully taking eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Overall, the writing is excellent, cinematography, props location and set design is wonderfully. However, there are a few loopholes I couldn’t help but notice.
The first is that, Arukwe, the owner of C&K furniture is shown to be a money launderer. We are not aware what he does to get these monies, and it could be from politicians, drug and human traffickers, or sales of illicit or fake products, but do they have to be in dollars? Especially considering dollars is not the average man currency in Nigeria. A large percentage of Nigerians may have never seen a dollar bill before and it is clearly because it is not legal tender here. We simply do not know how the movie comes and go, only that boy’s count money in qa warehouse, and bring it to his showroom. Considering the fact that he is major character, I simply feel we deserve to know.
Also, despite the heavy fighting, and the amount of money that was thrown several stories down by Emeka and Adamu, it appears every single dollar bill was accounted for, by either Team Emeka or Team Collete.
Finally, the scene where Arukwe’s team were splashed with acid was also unreal. How do gunmen allow themselves to be so easily surrounded? And then, how would acid that can melt a person’s skin melt so easily be carried in an open rubber basin? A gun fight where Arukwe’s team would be pegged, and eventually overpowered but with casualties from both sides would have been better for me, and I think for a few other people.
All in all, I got good value for my money.
This movie is a solid 4.5/5, no wonder the movie has now grossed over 400 million naira in 12 days.