Movie title: Soòlé
Running Time: 1hour 58minutes
Director: Kayode Kasum
Producers: Adunni Ade and Lou-Ellen Clara
Lead Cast: Sola Sobowale, Femi Jacobs, Meg Otanwa, Adunni Ade, Adedimeji Lateef, Shawn Faqua, Bukunmi Oluwasina, Eso Dike, Teniola Aladese, Kelechi Udegbe, Mike Afolarin, Saidi Balogun, Ikponmwosa Gold
Date of release: November 26, 2021
As simple as it might sound on paper, filming on a bus in transit poses a unique challenge for filmmakers. Any filming activity at a public transport facility or on transport infrastructures such as trains, buses, ferries, rail stations, bus terminals, bus stops, and ports requires a certain level of expertise from the director and the entire crew.
Additionally, the storyline has to be gripping enough and suspense-filled to keep the viewer locked to the screen.
Perhaps, this may be why Nigerian filmmakers rarely weave the plot of their movies around a moving vehicle.
Save for late Sound Sultan’s 2014 movie ‘Head Gone’ and Mr Latin’s Yoruba comedy movie ‘Lagos to Benin,’ released in 2015, few Nigerian filmmakers have towed this line in recent times.
But Adunni Ade, a relatively new and fast-rising Nollywood actress, dared to brace up to the challenge in her debut movie production, ‘Soòlé.’
The movie narrates the hurdles a Catholic nun, Veronica, travels from Lagos to Enugu after failing to fund a children’s orphanage.
“Soole,” which means “cheap ride,” becomes her only chance to cut costs and get to her destination in the east.
She got into this very unconventional soole bus, where she met different travellers like herself, who decided not to go to the park, but instead boarded a cheap bus to Enugu.
While Veronica negotiated the price with this soole bus driver, a particular lady came to drop a box and pleaded with the driver to give it to someone in Onitsha.
The long journey to Enugu was beyond ordinary. It was trailed by various drama, from the driver picking passengers along the road to a pastor preaching and collecting offering afterward to another selling sex enhancement products, and then to the unfortunate robbery where a bag belonging to a passager was stolen.
The armed robbers soon discovered that they carried the wrong bag, which brought about a significant twist in the entire storyline.
The writer did not highlight what the movie aims to achieve, which was one of the flops.
The storyline created many gaps that left the audiences with unanswered pertinent questions.
For instance, the bag given to the driver contained foreign currencies, which the robbers were after. But unfortunately, the movie did not tell or reveal whose money it was, how the robbers knew it was in that particular bus, and what happened when the owner of the money did not get the movie.
Another unexplainable scenario in the movie was how the two students in the bus who turned out to be officers of the special investigative department of the police also shot at police officers at the checkpoint? Aren’t they supposed to be colleagues?
Also, many unnecessary scenes did not relate to the actual storyline. For example, the sub-story of the lecturer with the mystic powers who had inherited his powers from his father was entirely unnecessary.
The baby-making factory was another fabrication that did not suit any piece of the storyline.
To crown it all, the Soole bus driver shot during the robbery incident suddenly resurrected from the dead at the same spot he was shot, 11 months after the robbery. How’s that possible? Or did the director forget to add that scene before ‘the 11 months later?
Soòlé is a beautiful satire that tells the Irony in our contemporary society.
Shooting a movie on a road trip is a phenomenon. But, unfortunately, it’s not a stunt you come across every day in Nollywood.
The movie is relatable to road travellers because it captures certain phenomena peculiar to travelling within the Lagos to Enugu route.
The movie captures some unique high points of travelling along the Lagos to Enugu route. The scenes where the bus stopped at the famous Ore bus stop, the famous Onitsha bridge that welcomes you to the east, and the road sellers on the road, are commendable.
It confirmed that the movie was shot on an actual road trip from Lagos to Enugu.
Not to mention the quality sound technique and soundtrack, alongside the excellent cinematography.
Despite the A-list cast, the storyline lacked prospects.
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