Genre: Romantic Comedy
After seeing the newest EbonyLife Films production, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel today, I feel as though the forces decided to come together in my favour considering how frustrating last week’s movie experience was.
Verdict: 6 Stars
While the movie undoubtedly leads us through the life of a couple who will eventually “love happily forever”, I particularly saw how money was the target and propellant of the conflict of the story as well as the conflict’s resolution.
“In this spiritedly Nollywood romantic comedy, an aspiring restaurateur returns to her home in Lagos to try and refine the fare at her family’s little hotel, only to find that her parents are planning on selling out to a rich (and devilishly attractive) buyer.”— Culled from YouTube
Here is the thing I have observed with Ebonylife films ; These guys spare no cost in movie production. This pace setting move is guaranteed to keep the millions rolling in. Oh, I forgot to add, the release time couldn’t have been more apt; Just in time for Valentine’s day.
Have no doubt, this movie is life. From picture quality to casting and story, I had a thrill time watching. While my roaming eyes noticed some slips here and there which I’d mention, allow me first express my satisfaction. Ebonylife Films redeemed themselves with the Royal Hibiscus Hotel. This is in fact my very first movie of 2018!
I did mention on Twitter that after seeing this movie, I was convinced more than ever the necessity of money. Without wanting to make a fuss about the whole Valentine drama, how would you prefer a cozy dinner with BAE at Eko Hotel’s rooftop with a special welcome from the head chef as opposed to an evening spent in a hot, dingy room planning a completely bleak future with HIM? Say no more, my guess can go for a million Naira bet.
Chief Segun (Jide Kosoko) sells off his hotel as he is neck deep in debt. The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is however much more than a hotel, but a place of numerous memories for the major character, Opeoluwa (Zainab Balogun). She quits her job as a chef in a restaurant in London with lofty dreams of making the hotel of her childhood a hub for good food and the very best hospitality. As you well know, her dream is squashed by the shocking news that the hotel is being sold to the man; Deji ( Kenneth Okolie) whom she had just had a romp in the sack with and has unfortunately left her heart in his sheets.
Heart broken which I insist was a clear misinterpretation of the situation, she returns to London to work in a small restaurant but love does not let her go. Her Prince Charming buys the hotel for over 300 million Naira in her name just to prove his love. The said amount is paid to her parents ( can somebody preach about 30 billion gangs and the indigenous brideprice ministry).
See my point? If you no get money… 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️
It’s a happily ever after for every cast including the ridiculous receptionist, “Chika” ( Lala Akindoju) who we hear does not get sacked in the refurbished hotel but continues to chew her gum to the disgust of our mind’s eye and Martin ( Deyemi Okanlawon ) who falls in love with the singer. Without forgetting the Queen of the hotel, Opeoluwa’s mom, Rose ( Rachel Oniga) who finally visits the Queen of England.
Back to gushing about the movie, the comic scenes were well thought out with the intent of not just cracking us up but connecting the dots in the whole plot of the movie. I did not have to endure irrelevant scenes and at the end of the movie, I did not feel as though I was robbed of precious time.
Now to the little slips I observed:
If my eyes didn’t hurt, I thought I saw the microphone attached to Zainab Balogun’s dress in one of the scenes. Also, we are certain that Opeoluwa returned to Lagos as landmarks like the Civic Centre, the Lekki- Ikoyi bridge and the Murtala Mohammed Airport are proof but when Opeoluwa goes to her friend’s place to cool off after discovering the sale plot, she mentions that she might return to Lagos to get a job. Lagos? I thought she was in Lagos? If she wasn’t, we should have been stylishly informed just as they informed us that she had returned to London.
Ultimately, Critics like myself have very little to worry about with watching this NOLLYWOOD movie. It is the dream of every single Naija babe and quote me anywhere.
Make sure you drag your stingy man to see this movie as he might learn a thing or two about loving a woman right!.