Directed By: Mildred Okwo (30 Days)
Produced By: Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo
Written by: Tunde Babalola (Critical Assignment, October 1st, Last Flight To Abuja)
Starring: Femi Jacobs, Rita Dominic, Linda Ejiofor, Kehinde Bankole, Chika Chukwu, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Basorge Tariah Jnr and Jide Kosoko.
This is probably my most sought after Nollywood movie. I didn’t get a chance to see the movie while it was in theaters and then award season came and everywhere I turned ‘The Meeting’ was either getting nominated or sweeping it all. So now that I have finally laid my fingers on it and seen it, here is what I feel about the movie. Enjoy J
A Lagos-based corporate executive, Makinde Esho (Femi Jacobs) finds himself at the mercy of political patronage, bureaucratic red-tape and his tender heart when he embarks on a one day business trip to Abuja to secure a government contract.
Watching Nollywood movies in Cinemas for me has always been a big risk. I mostly leave disappointed so I have resort to using my Iroko or Dobox accounts to see Nigerian movies. But one of the movies I regret not being able to experience in front of the big screen with a pack of popcorn, a can of Soda, and my lady on my right has to be ‘The Meeting’
The Meeting is a well-crafted Nigerian story. Nigerian in the sense that it touches on some of the most important issues eating into the soul of our society. Tunde Babalola best known for crafting the stories behind blockbusters such as Critical Assignment, Last Flight To Abuja(really? He wrote that….never mind) and Kunle Afolayan’s upcoming thriller October 1st penned down a very impressive story that details Nigerian corruption, tribalism, obsession with jobs and slave driving in the corporate environments.
What I found most amusing about the story was the core focus isn’t even as the trailer led us to believe. I have always been an advocate of trailers not revealing the entire storyline to us so the true element of suspense and intrigue isn’t lost and that’s exactly what this movie did. I wish I could say more but then I would be spoiling the movie
For a movie which took place more than half the time in a small brown room with a handful of characters which we see repeatedly, I would expect the story to get claustrophobic at some point and loose its touch, but it never did. It was a very satisfactory, funny, romantic and dramatic movie.
Mildred Okwo previously best known for directing 30 Days does a great job behind the cameras in The Meeting and had some very skilled friends to help bring to live an outstanding project.
Rita Dominic who is also the star of the movie (we are getting to her performance in a bit) co produces The Meeting with Mildred and this happens to be her first production. I guess we should look forward to some quality titles from the stable of Audrey Silva Company in the future(hopefully).
Jim Bishop(a Kenya based DOP) serves as the Cinematographer for this movie and does as amazing job. The color rendition was brilliant and the camera placement and composition enhanced the story. The makeup artists, the location managers and casting directors also did great jobs. The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the movie was the sound design. It kept varying and I had to constantly adjust my speakers.
This was the soul of the movie. Without the outstanding performances in this movie, all the hard work in other areas might have been a waste. The Character development and casting was very impressive. But most shocking of all was Rita Dominic as Clara Ikemba. A role that could have easily gone to Patience Ozonkwo. The makeup artist did a great job transforming her into a miserable old woman and she also did a great job changing into the local, over bearing gatekeeper who was more important than the Minister himself.
The two lead characters, Femi Jacob and Linda Ejiofor at first seemed not to have a bond during their first few meetings and that made me initially think they lacked chemistry, but as they kept popping up on the screen together, the chemistry grew and my interpretation of that was the awkward relationship two people from two extreme age brackets needed some adjustment to get used to.
Everyone else in their little roles were huge in their delivery. It is a highly skilled team and they made this a memorable movie for me.
I am sure you can guess what this movie scores. Yep that’s right, A Popcorn and Soda. And a well-deserved one for that matter.
“The meeting is simple. It has a very original ‘Nigerian story’ and one of the best screenplays I have seen in a while. A story of love, tribalism, preferential treatment which has loads of comical spectacles”
This review is written by @don_Sylvestre