Movie Title: Wura
Cast: Scarlet Gomez, Yomi Fash Lanso, Carol King, Ray Adeka, Iremide Adeoye, Ego Iheanacho, Martha Ehinome, and Lanre Adediwura.
Release date: 23rd January
Director: Dimeji Ajibola, Adeola Osunkojo and Yemi Morafa
Runtime: Average of 25 minutes per episode
If there is one thing Nollywood producers continue to teach us; it’s their fearlessness in exploring different film genres.
Last year gave us a fresh take on how our stories are told with the likes of Brotherhood, the psychological drama Diiche, and several indigenous films, including the hit film Anikulapo.
With the release of Shantytown and Showmax’s latest original project, ‘Wura’, one cannot help but get excited at what this year has in store.
The first of its kind for Showmax, Wura, is a telenovela series that tells the story of an ambitious and ruthless CEO of a gold mining industry who would stop at nothing to protect her company and those she loves.
An adaptation of the South African telenovela series, The River, Wura, offers a different content value but falters in the compelling art of storytelling.
The Tea (Plotline)
We are introduced to a flash-forward scene where we see a lady pouring gasoline over a tied-up lady before setting the entire building ablaze.
As the fire burns, we flashback to a year earlier, where we are introduced to the lady who sets the building ablaze in the opening scene; her name is Wura (Scarlet Gomez).
Wura owns a gold mine that is falling apart due to the absence of gold. This causes conflict between her and the workers because of salary differences.
During her conflict with the workers, a spokesperson arises from them, Pa Kuti. Although this act angers Wura, her temper soon fades away after Pa Kuti shows up later in the day, announcing his discovery of a new gold mine.
Pa Kuti proposes that Wura increase workers’ wages in exchange for the gold mine’s location.
Things soon take a sharp turn when Wura hits Pa Kuti’s head with a rock, causing him to die. With this new development, Wura and her brother try to cover up their crime, but it becomes futile when there is a missing piece of evidence.
Now at a crossroads, Wura is forced to unleash her ruthlessness as she faces two threats: a blackmailer and Tumininu, the daughter of Pa Kuti.
It was nice to watch a series that did not take place in the city of Lagos. Finally, Nollywood producers are getting the memo that there are over thirty cities and hundreds of communities where dramatic events can unfold.
The setting, although simple, made it relatable and, for some weird reason, hard not to watch. First, there is the house of Pa Kuti which helped bolster his portrayal as an average worker, then Wura’s mansion is simply astonishing, and finally, there is the mine. The producers maximised the space and create the illusion of a real mine.
Camera angles and lighting also complimented each scene and were professionally executed.
Kudos to the casting director who took the risk to cast new acting talents. It was like a breath of fresh air to see new faces. Scarlet Gomez excels as a ruthless leader and kind mother in her role as Wura.
There was more that could have been done in terms of scripting. In the language of an average Gen-Z, the dialogues and actions “were not giving what they were meant to give.” They felt too bland and did not represent how such characters would speak.
Delivery is another issue in this movie. While the actors looked the part, their deliveries could have been better. It was just monotone and lacked depth and emotion.
Watching this movie might make you question how day and night work. One moment we are watching Wura visit Pa Kuti’s family; the next scene is during that same day when they are having a burial ceremony after complaining about a lack of money. It just doesn’t add.
Lastly, there were many “show, don’t tell” moments. It was obvious that the writers relied on dialogue to move the plot forward. If this was their attempt at making the episodes shorter, they failed as many scenes dragged on. For example, in the party scene where Yomi Fash Lanso spent about two minutes talking about how good a food tastes. Unnecessary.
6/10. Watch it. Wura has been done several times before, but the drive and ambition of the main character tend to hook you.
Wura is now streaming on Showmax.
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