These days we get to hear a lot about Court cases and Trials about disputes ranging from Domestic to Civil and Criminal cases with the information revealed prompting scandalous headlines and judgements destroying businesses, individuals and relationships. While those are the ones that get to make the dailies and get coverage in the media, there are those cases we never get to hear about. Cases and disputes so intense and sensitive that both parties decide to resort to go behind closed doors, with no one but the parties involved and their overpaid Lawyers present to resolve the differences and learn of the outrageous activities their clients want settled or dissolved by an Arbitrator. This is what writer Naza Onuzo and Director Niyi Akinmolayan along with a Star studded cast including OC Okeje, Adesua Etomi, Somkele Iyama, Iretiola Doyle, Dr Sola Fasudo and others showcase in this Legal Drama movie titled The Arbitration.
OC Ukeje and Adesua Etomi‘s play lead characters in this movie about relationship gone bad. The chemistry between both actors would have shone through any script thrown at them, but this was no ordinary script as Naza Onuzo managed to put together a difficult assertive piece penned brilliantly, to expose no saint, vice, advocate, judge, lover or associate. It was the actors who had all to fear from this, as they had to be all of the above at once.
While the two actors are not newbies in the movie business and have receieved praise and accolades for their individual efforts taking on diferent roles, the Sexual Faux Pas between their characters was a mismatch as Adesuwa couldn‘t quite match her co star‘s cool demeanor, and he also couldn‘t bring his numbness to match her vibrant stints resulting in a subpar deliverance from both Acts. This remains the case until the movie moves along, and in an act of spite Adesua lands *the kiss* as it would be referred to and hence we finally had a tale of Love so devastating, so complicated you know in that instant this wasnt meant to be. This is Chaos and like the Arbitrator emphasises “This is not a Coutroom with a Judge” and with that kiss, the Legal Drama becomes a whole new World filled with Infidelity, Deceit, Romance and Secrets, daring the Devil’s Advocate to step in.
The Musical scores and soundtrack in most Nollywood movies have always been shambolic and its a rare feat to see a director – like we have in this case, get his team to put together a musical score that heightens the emotions, compliments and ensure‘s a smooth transition across the scenes throughout the movie as every brilliant feature film deserves. Thumbs up for the movie Opening to Bez‘s Theres a Fire with an aerial shot of Lagos, with that alone you already have a good feeling of what‘s to come and expect.
The Fire Lit by Singer Bez at the very beginning eventually did flicker and would have gone cold along with the movie‘s unnecessary drags. But this was a star studded affair and where others stumbled Veteran Actress Iretiola Doyle shone through with the fiery brightness of the Sun putting this movie back on track with the calculated delivery and fierceness of her lines reminding us that you have to walk the talk. She was the star they needed and boy did she shine carrying along Somkele Iyama who seemed to falter at first under the Veteran‘s unbelievble charisma. Somkele was transformed into a Geek with a Voice that will not be silenced standing for what she believed was right, and she did just that. Dr Sola Fosudo was in the midst of this Chaos a perfect cast. Lota Chuckwu drove home that age old saying The end always Justifies the Means in an interestingly controversial manner although her contributions in the movie could be likened to that of an olympic swimming Life Guard not neccessarily needed but still relevant, she did well.
Usually in a Courtroom The Lawyers are the heroes, and they dominate everything with the clients being the helpless ones, but then again this wasn‘t a coutroom with a Judge. There are no heroes, only Villians trying to find a common ground or destroy one another through Arbitration.
This is the battle of the Sexes, Young versus Old, the Rich and the Poor, Love vs Lust, Infidelity, Violence and Vices. At the end of the day, The Truth is whatever you make of it all.
The Movie The Arbitration opens in Cinemas across Nigeria tomorrrow 12th of August.