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|Let's Talk About Omoni Oboli's Love Is War, Which Is Coming To Netflix Next Week by okenol(m): 2:20pm On Apr 26, 2020|
Winning a gubernatorial election in Nigeria is tough, but for an honest person like Hankuri Philips, the lead character in Omoni Oboli’s Love is War (now streaming on Netflix), there are higher odds of a camel passing through the proverbial needle’s eye. Hankuri (played by Oboli) is contesting the top seat in Ondo state, but there is a little problem, she is from Niger. More problems: Her only opponent is her husband, Dimeji Phillips (Richard Mofe-Damijo), a medical doctor and Ondo’s favorite son. This premise is promising, but the execution — in writing and directing — falls short.
The script is from Naz Onuzo, who has a thing for intricate storylines, exciting ideas that come out problematic (The Arbitration) or messy (Out of Luck). An exception in his oeuvre is the remarkable The Set Up, a plot-driven screenplay Niyi Akinmolayan (Chief Daddy) engineered into a smart ride. Onuzo’s latest, Love is War, is billed as a dramedy, but its true potential lies as a political thriller.
The film journeys through the muddy waters of Nigeria’s politics with a feminist lens. Hankuri has been handpicked by the President to run for Governor under the PPM party. She starts her campaign by lobbying support from essential party members, but the men all seek her submission: In one scene, the incumbent Governor of Ondo (Akin Lewis) demands she and a female senator bow to greet him. Hankuri is not the submissive type, but she quickly learns the game of politics. When Otunba (Jide Kosoko), one of her party’s big players, demands excessively, she connives with a bigger power — the incumbent Governor — to sideline him. Nipped by this, Otunba invents a diabolical plan to get back at Mrs. Phillips and his former party — he conspires with the opposition to tempt her husband into running against her. If Dimeji declines, the narrative will be that Hankuri is a selfish, power-hungry woman who won’t let her husband shine. If he accepts, he risks going to war with the love of his life. Either way, the couple suffers.
After consulting with his wife, Dimeji agrees to contest against her, but there’s a twist: He isn’t going to campaign, he will be her Trojan horse. But what the naïve couple failed to realize is that in Nigerian politics the party wins the election, not the candidate.
|Re: Let's Talk About Omoni Oboli's Love Is War, Which Is Coming To Netflix Next Week by okenol(m): 2:22pm On Apr 26, 2020|
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