Series title: Blood sisters
Running time: Average of 50 minutes per episode
Directors: Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang
Creator: Temidayo Makanjuola
Cast: Ini Dima-Okojie, Nancy Isime, Ramsey Nouah, Kate Henshaw, Gabriel Afolayan, Uche Jombo, Kehinde Bankole, Daniel Etim Effiong, Wale Ojo and Deyemi Okanlawon.
Date of Release: May 5, 2022
From the streaming platform that gave Nigerians films such as ‘Man of God’, ‘Chief Daddy’, and King of Boys’ comes an original crime thriller series that has captured the hearts of many Nigerians, Blood Sisters.
In partnership with Ebonylife films, Netflix released its first Nigerian limited series on May 5. Several hours after its release, viewers took to various social media platforms to applaud the efforts of the cast and crew, with the hashtags of the series and its characters trending on Twitter.
Blood Sisters primarily tells the story of two best friends, Sarah and Kemi, who become fugitives after murdering a man. They find themselves running away from the law and the ruthless family of their victim.
Meeting the demands of “what it takes to be a blockbuster,” it is no surprise that the series has become a national sensation. However, as with other films, this four-part limited series has shortcomings.
The Tea (plot)
If you think the opening of ‘King of Boys’ is enough to send chills down your spine, then ‘Blood Sisters’ will have you sitting at the edge of your seat. We are introduced to two young ladies digging in the ground and suddenly pushing a wrapped-up body into the hole.
A flashback takes us to the two ladies, Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime), talking about Sarah’s marriage to Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon) and appreciating the bond that exists between them. Meanwhile, Kola’s elder brother, Femi (Gabriel Afolayan), tells his wife, Yinka (Kehinde Bankole), that he has found an assassin to kill his brother at the wedding.
Fresh from his meeting with the board, Kola arrives at the rehearsal dinner and sees Sarah. He gets angry when Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, Kenny (Ibrahim Suleiman), shows up, causing a commotion. In an attempt to apologise, a remorseful Sarah gets punched in the stomach by Kola.
The next scene shows both Sarah and Kola’s family at a dinner table, and it’s glaring that Kola’s family, especially his mother (Kate Henshaw), hates both Sarah and her family because they are poor. After dinner, Sarah opens up to Kemi and her mother about Kola’s abuse. While Kemi asks her to stop the wedding, her mother orders her to tolerate it as the family’s financial well-being is at stake.
Kola manages to overcome the hitman sent to assassinate him during the engagement party. Sarah, after reflecting, has a change of mind about getting married. This doesn’t sit well with Kola, so he strangles her but is cut short when Kemi shoots him, causing his death.
The opening scene becomes apparent when both ladies desperately look for ways to cover up their crime.
Following Kola’s disappearance, his family is worried. While his drug-addicted sister, Timeyin (Genoveva Umeh), accuses their brother of killing him, his mother is optimistic that he has come to his senses and is taking a break. Meanwhile, the ladies have a problem when a photographer has incriminating pictures.
Due to his impossible blackmail, they resort to killing him. Kola’s body is later found, and a search begins for the girls.
To escape the police, the girls run away, facing different challenges thrown their way. With help from Kenny, the girls plan to flee to another country, but their plans are cut short when he dies at the hands of an organ trafficker.
Kemi sustains a significant injury following their encounter with the organ trafficker, so the girls’ journey to her grandmother’s town for assistance. During their stay, they were arrested by the police and taken to an abandoned warehouse by Kola’s uncle, Uncle B (Ramsey Nouah).
Kola’s mother, who seeks revenge, asks Femi to kill the girls. Seeing his hesitance, Timeyin offers to do the job, but she shoots Uncle B instead of attacking the girls.
The movie ends on a cliffhanger with Timeyin pointing a gun at her mother’s head.
It would be a crime not to appreciate the stellar acting performances of the entire cast. The chemistry between Nancy Isime and Ini-Dinma was astounding as they portrayed what a real friendship entails. Kate Henshaw also does an excellent job playing the role of the hostile and wicked mother, who delivers very savage lines. And there is the breakout star, Genoveva Umeh, who plays a convincing drug addict sent to rehab and fails to know a mother’s love.
Other cast members like Deyemi Okanlawon, Ramsey Nouah, Kehinde Bankole, and Gabriel Afolayan also did a great job in their respective roles.
The cinematography is also top-notch as the production crew delivers on capturing stunning locations that represent Nigeria. From the high brow areas to places like Makoko, the series delivers on portraying a realistic picture of the country.
The costumes worn by the characters also stood out, as the designer opted to create striking pieces that, to a certain extent, reflect the characters’ identities.
There is also the commendable exploration of themes like physical abuse and manslaughter, which remain controversial issues in society.
Through storytelling, the producers shed more light on abuse victims from Sarah and Kola’s ex-girlfriend’s perspective.
Themes like friendship, the importance of family, class, and the quest for power were recurring in the series.
Lastly, the stunts were not something one might expect from a Nollywood movie. They were professionally executed and had me on the edge of my seat.
- Dialogues and delivery: While many of the dialogues were good, some were unnecessarily straight-up. And for those that were good, the mode of delivery felt unnatural, making it hardly convincing.
- Unnecessary scenes: Video editors, take note: not all locations must be included in the final cut. There are quite some scenes that do not contribute to the development of the plot. All they did was just make up for the time frame.
- Cameos: While it’s entertaining for the audience to see their favourite celebrities suddenly pop up during a scene, it becomes obnoxious when they don’t correctly deliver a single line.
- Camera movements: In Episode 3, I noticed that the camera was shaky. At first, I felt it was a mistake, but I was thrown off when it continued to happen. It made me wonder if I was watching a single-camera show.
8/10. Blood sisters takes a fresh spin on how African stories are portrayed and promises to take viewers on a thrilling experience.
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