I had gone to see Hoodrush on word of mouth. It’s marketing was almost non-existent. I was skeptical about the movie because I had once seen a musical touted as the first in Nollywood that paraded international stars and boasted of a heavy budget, but I regret to say it was the small chops at the buffet that followed it’s premiere that I enjoyed better.
It was due to this experience that I wanted Hoodrush – more than the producer hoped for – to succeed, but for two reasons mainly. The first being that I didn’t want to regret ignoring the nagging voice that told me to buy shawarma instead, and secondly, I didn’t want my very blunt and outspoken friend who had accompanied me to the cinema to bash the movie, and bash me later with her foul mouth.
The movie started at a moderate pace, but I had wished for a more dramatic opening. It followed the struggles of two poor orphaned brothers (OC Ukeje and Gabriel Afolayan) in the budding Nigerian music industry. It appeared the writer was playing safe. At this point my chatter-box friend had lost interest as she started ‘the bashing’.
Despite her irritating commentary I was determined to sit through the movie considering that I had spent money already.
The movie eventually picked up when the ‘Cougar’ character played by Bimbo Akintola was introduced. I must say at this point my friend picked up interest and reduced her chattering. Bimbo’s selection to play the role of the antagonist was on point, to say her delivering was arresting is stating the obvious.
I enjoyed the movie from this point onward. However, there were few misses I noticed but very passable if one is not saddled with the burden or the eye of a critic. The editing in the beginning scene I considered unintelligent. It looked like a jump and made my vision woozy. If the editor was trying to come across as creative, that cut didn’t do justice to him.
The acting was smooth, really smooth, and kudos should be given to Bimbo Akintola and OC Ukeje who complimented each other. Gabriel Afolayan also gave a good account of himself as the very emotional one of the siblings, but his crying all over the place started irritating me at some point. Men, I mean Nigerian men, don’t cry like that with catarrh running down their nostrils in front of a girl friend. Or if they do, they don’t do it all the time. The rookie actress, Ijeoma, that played his love interest is a promising act people should look out for and she did great justice to her role.
Overall, the film looked like an ambitious project that was well delivered considering the hostile factors that film-makers battle with in this part of the world. I was mighty impressed that the actors cast for the roles actually sang to fresh music, and well composed too, but I would have loved that the choreography were more sophisticated. A friend remarked that the singing was too much but I don’t think so, that’s the reason why it’s called a musical.
Other indices like location, costume, and sound did not disappoint. The directing and camera movement were nicely done as well.
In conclusion, the speedometer of the movie at the beginning may have been average but it grew to a crescendo like an interesting novel one had doubts about but became happy he read it to the end. Let me mention here, that my friend ended up crying in the bitter parts of the movie where the tragedy occurred. She gave them thumbs up eventually. This is a good movie, take my word for it.