EbonyLife Films’ latest release, ‘Your Excellency’, promises much (and delivers) with a cast loaded with familiar faces, led by comedy queen Funke Akindele-Bello, who also directs. As is often the case with Mo Abudu’s movies, the characters are mostly well-off or wealthy, exemplified by billionaire presidential aspirant Chief Ajadi.
The plot plays out against a backdrop of ever-present social media, shaping events by the minute, as the director keep things moving. Not surprisingly, none of the candidates are qualified to be president, keeping the story as true to Nigerian life as possible. The same goes for many of the scenes, which you could easily imagine really happening in the corridors of power.
For those who like their Nollywood full of slapstick comedy and belly laughs, this may not be the ideal film, as this satire is a little more sophisticated. The funniest moments (and there are plenty) come from situations and characters that we all recognise – Ajadi getting the party ticket only because he can fund the campaign; an Instagram babe posing on a private jet that never takes off; and Ajadi’s wives jostling for position when the possibility of becoming First Lady begins to take shape.
The film is not without its flaws – a sub-plot involving a reality TV couple is entertaining but superfluous to the main story and could have been removed without harming the quality of the movie. The actors are mostly good but Akin Lewis stands out as the affable Ajadi, displaying an easygoing charm, some witty one-liners and hilarious dance moves on the campaign trail. He makes the character so believable that he would probably stand a good chance in a real election, perhaps as a senator or governor!
‘Your Excellency’ is good family viewing, especially during the festive season, and represents a new breed of Nollywood comedy, relying more on witty exchanges than stammering gatemen and lots of shouting. And, if you find the real-life characters in Nigerian politics hilarious, you will love this film.