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REVIEW: The Kujus Again

Title: The Kujus Again Director: Biodun Stephen Year: 2024 Running time: 1h 57m The Kujus Again unfolds the narrative of the family reuniting, this time…

Title: The Kujus Again
Director: Biodun Stephen
Year: 2024
Running time: 1h 57m

The Kujus Again unfolds the narrative of the family reuniting, this time at a hotel resort to celebrate the traditional wedding of Mauyon (portrayed by Kunle Remi) and Lily (portrayed by Sophia Alakija). However, the joyous occasion takes a dark turn when simmering tensions collide with unforeseen events, resulting in missing money and individuals.

The movie sets its dramatic premise quickly, when Kunle Remi and his girlfriend, Sophie Alakija, announce their engagement during a family gathering. However, the announcement fails to impress the family members due to the couple’s past antics. Lily, determined to have the wedding at the Kujus family house, is disheartened to discover that it no longer exists.

Despite her disappointment, Lily proposes an intimate destination wedding with a select group of family and friends. Each member of the Kuju family is assigned a role in the wedding preparations. Maugbe and his friend Chuks (portrayed by Folaremi Agunbiade) are entrusted with managing the logistics, but their characteristic recklessness nearly sabotages the wedding, leading to the conflicts that drive the plot forward, temporarily before the weak subplots mess it up.

Upon seeing the poster for “The Kujus Again,” I felt excited about Biodun Stephen’s upcoming work. Despite the mixed reactions to the 2020 prequel, the poster and trailer of this upcoming film exuded a promising aura, igniting anticipation for what visual delights it might offer. The addition of Don Jazzy to the cast heightened my curiosity, although I harboured doubts. Introducing a celebrity with a strong social media presence in a sequel doesn’t always bode well, as prioritising marketing over entertainment value can backfire.

Alas, The Kujus Again, as a sequel, does not live up to the high standard set by the original movie. The sequel falls short in terms of compelling narrative and creative storytelling, and most importantly, the overall impact compared to its predecessor, which was considered brilliant despite its imperfections.

The Kujus Again is set in 2020 amid the pandemic, and it seems filming took place during this period, given the deserted locations and the actors’ cautious interactions, occasionally making light of the situation. While shooting during such times likely presented challenges, it’s not the only factor contributing to the film’s lacklustre performance. Other glaring issues also play a role in its underwhelming delivery.

The Kujus Again lacks the genuine believability and relatability found in “Introducing The Kujus,” primarily relying on the storyline of Timini Egbuson and Folaremi Agunbiade’s characters, which fails to evoke empathy or significant audience investment. While it humorously portrays familiar family dynamics, including characters like Barry Wonders (played by Mc Lively), the exaggeration sometimes veers into the absurd.

The film struggles to define its genre, oscillating between comedy, drama, and dramedy, leaving viewers unsure of its intended impact. At times, the comedy feels excessive, leaving viewers questioning the direction of the narrative. Also, a noticeable absence in the sequel compared to the original story was the consistent stream of laughter from beginning to end, spanning through conflicts to the eventual resolution.

What stands out the most in “The Kujus Again” is how simple the story feels. It’s like the writers ran out of ideas and just kept the story going without much substance. Even though the main focus is on a wedding, which could have been a funny and exciting family drama, the movie feels bland and lacks the excitement it should have had.

In addition, many scenes don’t seem to connect well, and there are some parts of the story that don’t get resolved, like the tension between Chuks and Ebi about their relationship and the problems in Mauti’s marriage. Because these storylines are left hanging, the characters seem to wander around without any clear purpose, making the movie feel empty and kind of lifeless. Also, the scenes where they were searching for Lily’s parents dragged on and got pretty dull. And don’t even get me started on that ending—what was up with that traditional marriage? It was just laughable!

In the sequel, Femi Jacobs‘ character lacks the significant impact he had in the original film, where he played a pivotal role in unravelling the tension from the very beginning. His character appears flat in the sequel, which is disappointing given his talent and potential. One intriguing aspect left unexplored is Femi Jacob’s obsession with his daughter. It could have added depth to the story, especially for married women dealing with their husband’s attention towards their daughters. Unfortunately, his wife’s character, Mimi Onalaja, lacked a significant contribution or purpose to advance the plot; she remained passive throughout the narrative.

Similarly, Bisola Aiyeola’s emotional depth, previously explored, feels muddled as she merely moves through the story without stakes that could engage the audience emotionally. On the other hand, Ronke Odusanya, a veteran in Yoruba Nollywood, delivers her usual stellar performance, showcasing her skills and creating engaging interactions with the other actors. While viewers anticipated more from Bimbo Ademoye, her character had limited involvement throughout the movie and failed to contribute anything unique to the overall plot.

Don Jazzy’s debut in a feature film didn’t live up to expectations; he seems more suited to skits than movies. Overall, the performances were uninspiring, with the cast appearing disinterested in many scenes. The slapstick actors, particularly the character called Pastor, delivered distracting, half-hearted efforts. Additionally, the sequel’s production value, in terms of aesthetic appeal, also fell short of the original film.

Culled from www.nollywoodreinvented.com


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