Movie Review: Citation by Ogechukwu Okoli

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Title: Citation

Release date: November 6th 2020 

Duration: 2hrs 31mins

Director: Kunle Afolayan

Distributed by: Netflix

Starring: Temi Otedola, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Bukunmi Oluwashina.

Citation is a heartfelt story based on true events. It centers on a bright student; Moremi played by Temi Otedola in a Nigerian University who speaks out after her celebrated university professor; Lucien N’dyare attempts to rape her. An investigation panel is set up and both parties together with their legal representatives and other witnesses are invited to give an account of what transpired. As the drama unfolds, there is an undercurrent of suspense that runs through the plot of the film attributed to the conflicting statements of both parties. The audience is kept at the edge of their seats wondering whom the panel will favor, the professor or the student.

I did not anticipate that I would enjoy this movie but I did. The theme is a sobering one and I don’t usually derive any form of entertainment from ‘sad themes’. However, I did look forward to seeing the film because of Temi Otedola. She is one of my favorite social media personalities and I was curious to see how she would fare in her new venture and I was not disappointed. 

Temi’s debut lead performance was compelling and quite impressive. I was particularly awe-struck by her ability to take on three languages in the movie – English, Yoruba and French. Her stellar performance does not in any way dim the performance of the other actors in this movie. I was pleasantly surprised to see Ibukun Awosika in the movie. She starred as herself as the head of the sexual harassment investigative panel. I loved her role, the elegance and class she brought into it. 

This movie review would be incomplete if I left out Joke Silva who played role of the legal representative for Moremi. Joke Silva is like royalty of the movie industry.

A character to look out for would be the student leader at the panel. Her scenes were the much needed comic relief. 

The film was set in the renowned Obafemi Awolowo University located in present day Osun State in Nigeria as well as some parts of Senegal and Cape Verde. I’d describe the scenery as beautiful, captivating as well as exotic with a historic vibe.

Seeing statues of Nigerian great heroes as well as the mention of other African heroes made me feel represented and appreciate the good in our continent. I also loved the sepia theme and brown tone effect of the movie. The costumes were top notch and a number of African pieces were represented. 

The editing of this movie was seamless; I enjoyed the use of flashbacks. It helped us understand Moremi and the lecturer’s accounts respectively. 

The only downside from this movie is that it was quite long and there were two scenes I think was unnecessary: the concert scene and the scene where Koyejo-Gabriel Afolayan engages in his final Karate Session to earn the black belt. However, I did find Koyejo’s Karate stunts plausible and impressive. I would have enjoyed Seun Kuti’s performance at the concert but for the poor sound quality.

Citation lived up to its hype and I really enjoyed the film. The ending was satisfying and I’m glad that the entertainment industry has begun engaging in conversations around societal issues.

I would rate the movie a solid 8 out of 10 and I recommend it. It is available on Netflix.

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