Movie Title: Wildflower
Release Date: 23rd April 2023
Director: Biodun Stephen
Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Cast: Damilare Kuku, Deyemi Okanlawon, Toyin Abraham, Sandra Okunzuwa, Zubby Michael, Etinosa Idemudia, Nosa Rex, Imoh Eboh, Kiki Omeili, Eso Dike, Angel Unigwe and Rachel Isaac.
Domestic violence as a theme is not new in the movie world, especially in Nollywood. Many producers have countlessly explored these realities in their plots.
The movie, Wildflower, through its plot, also captures the same old story of women dealing with sexual and domestic abuse. However, the use of sarcasm made it different.
In exploring the cliche story of domestic violence, the film used sarcasm mostly in dialogues and characters’ mannerisms to lighten the profound moments. It made it enjoyable to watch.
Wildflower, directed by Biodun Stephen, tells the stories of two women and a teenage girl navigating abuse and assault by men around them.
These three women live in the same compound, but their circumstances differ. Though each of them takes some form of stand against their abuser, the results are also different for each one in the end.
Wildflower begins with the story of an intelligent and enterprising Rolake (Damilare Kuku), who gets a chance to work at a leading architectural firm as a personal assistant to CEO Gowon Williams (Deyemi Okanlawon).
Rolake looks up to Mr Gowon to the point of worshipping him. She is overqualified for the job, considering her master’s degree in architecture, but she’d rather be an assistant than miss the opportunity to work for a man she considers an icon.
Unknown to Rolake, Gowon has a dark side. He is a serial rapist. Ignoring her boyfriend’s (Eso Dike) fears, Gowon’s inappropriateness doesn’t register until he takes advantage of her on a business trip.
On the other hand, Rolake’s neighbour, Mama Adaolisa (Toyin Abraham), endures domestic abuse at her husband’s hands until tragedy strikes one day and he kills her and flees, leaving behind their two daughters (Adaolisa and Cecilia) whom Rolake takes upon herself to care for.
While Rolake is on the business trip, Adaolisa also narrowly escapes being raped by a sexual predator in the neighbourhood Johntana (Zubby Michael).
Amid these events, selfless Rolake was there for the girls even though she was dealing with her own rape trauma. She finally decides to seek justice against Mr Gowon, who is a man who has what it takes to make her lose everything.
The movie Wildflower was realistic in exploring scenarios of the incessant domestic violence and rape issues. it is interesting to see how well it plays it out in the scenes.
The story handles its themes as delicately as they are, without being too serious. It tells a tidy story, infused with little sarcasm that lightens up the serious moments.
The conflicts are set with precision, raising the stakes as the story plays out. Most importantly, It didn’t neglect any component of its plot, particularly the first and second acts of the movie.
I loved how the rape scenes between Rolake and Gowon, Adaolisa, and Johntana were shown simultaneously, which has a better effect on the audience visually.
The movie casting was spot on. Most of the cast put in good performances. Although nobody really stole any scene in particular. Plus, the cinematic shots were visually interesting and appealing.
Sometimes, telling too many stories in one story can take away the need to attain the necessary depths of a plot.
Wildflower probably would have come out better if it focused only on Rolake to explore workplace power imbalances, sexual abuse and the culture of silence. The stories of other women affected the depth of Rolake’s story as the lead act.
In terms of the sensitivity of its stance, the film over-explains its themes, as if it’s not sure whether it is passing the messages enough through actions. This made the movie’s dialogue heavy.
The movie had some unresolved ends. For example, we don’t get to see what happens to Prince Jimi (Nosa Rex) after killing his wife.
Also, Adaolisa’s sister (played by Divine Angel Unigwe), who suffered from post-traumatic disorder after her mother’s death, we don’t get to know if she ever recovered.
It would have been a judicious use of time to do without the loose subplots from Adaolisa’s family, especially since they don’t all get tied up properly in the end.
In all, the movie carefully handled the way its assault circumstances were played out without downplaying them and totally boring its audience.
It is streaming on Netflix.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999