“Brotherhood” is Nollywood’s best attempt at an action film… with a poor dose of dialogue

Omoleye Omoruyi
“Brotherhood” is an upgrade of gunshot and accident scenes in typical Nollywood…

If you have been to the cinema to see what the heck the fuss about the recently released movie, “Brotherhood”, is about, you will meet an audience who love that the main character, who is a hardened criminal, got away after providing the strategy to hack two bullion vans and was successful with it.

But that is a story for a later part of this review.

“Brotherhood” is a story of two brothers who are on either side of the law – one a hardened criminal (who shows some signs of empathy and contentment), the other, a policeman, who intends to run through the ranks to make a statement about doing good for society.

The trailer got people talking because it showed signs of growth from bizarre, supposedly action-packed movies. Not to release any kind of spoilers, but “Brotherhood” is an upgrade of gunshot and accident scenes in typical Nollywood.

The Plot – “Brotherhood”

There are three kinds of brotherhood in the movie.

One is of the twin brothers whose parents died at the beginning, and are obviously orphaned and may have to struggle their way to old age. The other is a criminal gang that regards themselves as brothers, and the third is a police force who are keen on reducing crime in society and has a leader with integrity.

The several brotherhoods in the movie simply project what the brothers – Akin and Wale are about.

The movie begins with a scene that leaves unanswered questions – the kind that will make you wonder if we are supposed to imagine what would have caused the murder of two people. This becomes worse when you do not find out if the murdered individuals were either influential or wealthy.

Brotherhood (2022)

However, the shooting in that scene already tells you there will be some closeness to reality in gunshots and blood and death. Except that we would have loved that the brothers showed some kind of emotion after seeing their parents killed before their eyes.

What happens after the scene is the story of Wale and Akin, the protagonists of a story of criminality, betrayal, and familial and romantic love.

It is a simple story and must have been told severally, but stories have unique qualities, yeah?

The climax of “Brotherhood” comes towards the end when everybody becomes enlightened about who is who.

Read also: Aníkúlápó tells you a star-studded production can have a good story, but it leaves us hanging

Besides the story, some interesting characters helped the story have life. Let’s name some of them:

Characters in “Brotherhood”

Akin, a.k.a. Kalashnikov or Kala (Tobi Bakre) – is the main character in “Brotherhood”. He eventually becomes the central figure in a criminal gang but is keen on not killing people. He will interest you if you love a strategist in your clique.

Wale (Falz the bahd guy) – had to write his stage name in full because he brings the bad guy vibe to the movie, and this time, he is a policeman. When you put together Wale and #EndSARS, you will want to tell a story of a Nigerian police force with good eggs in it.

Shadow (Basketmouth) – the CEO of The Juju Boys. The inspiration for the name juju boys will fly over your head every time, but he is the leader of the group that gave the police force headache.

Izra (O. C Ukeje) – This one is a subtle reference to a typical Nigerian whose greed leads to the choices he/she makes. He is the one who brings up the plan to rob two bullion vans within 48 hours. But, something will kill a man, right?

Aunty (Ronke Oshodi Oke) – Aunty projects a typical struggling Nigerian parent who would love their wards, notwithstanding their choices, but would not question their source of wealth when they should.

There are, indeed, several other interesting characters, as it is a star-studded film (with three former Big Brother Naija housemates), but you would have to watch it to see them.

The issues raised

1- Child abuse: You may be surprised at a scene where kids are used to process hard drugs, but it is an underreported issue in Nigeria because the focus is always on drug abuse and the drug lords. Besides, that is the focus on sexual abuse-related matters and domestic abuse – which are still unfortunate phenomena.

It is great to have “Brotherhood” bring that issue to the limelight, so we understand that our siblings or neighbour’s kids or stray kids on our streets could be drug traffickers, and we are oblivious to it.

Nigerian society is full of stray kids, so start panicking, please.

2- Bad parenting: Interestingly, the character, Aunty, says she raised Akin and Wale with love after their parent’s death, but she seems not to know when to ask questions. At some point in the movie, Akin begins to spend some of the money he got from the first robbery, and Aunty tells Wale that the former now had a good job. When she asked what, the room is quiet.

Akin tells Wale when he meets him outside the room that he is now a mechanic, but the audience will laugh at that response, not because they know he is a robber, but because it is a regular thing in many Nigerian homes.

3- Audience happy about a criminal’s escape? You will think this is a trivial issue, but the audience gave Akin (call him Kala) a standing ovation when he kills Izra, and is shown with another member of the juju boys in another country, obviously free and enjoying life.

That is exactly what happens in Nigeria, where criminal politicians are encouraged, internet fraudsters are given thumbs up, and gang leaders are asked to do more so as to get back at the country’s leadership. It is a vicious cycle of sycophants and the main characters – the sinister lot.

Izra - Brotherhood
Izra – “Brotherhood”

4- Bad choices? Many times in Nigeria, people use the state of the economy and the illicit activities of politicians and civil servants as a yardstick to engage in crime, but Wale tells Aunty one thing

I wore the exact same shoes. I chose to be a better man.”

What do we think?

“Brotherhood” is arguably Nollywood’s first attempt at a proper action movie, but you will argue that the action itself does not match the uninspiring and unnecessary dialogue that takes place all through the movie.

In a movie like that, you will expect quotes just like we had in movies like “Italian Job” or “Fast and Furious” – the kind that inspire you in any aspect of life you are playing. But, dialogues are beyond just quotes, and “Brotherhood” does not give the audience either that or anything at all.

Most of the dialogue in “Brotherhood” will pass for a conversation among Basic One pupils.

Yet, “Brotherhood” excites movie lovers who enjoy the action genre as it has close-to-real gunshot scenes, an accident scene, a proper crime scene, and blood in the proper places when people are shot.

However, the language choice in some instances may be poor, especially when pidgin will pass for a better option.

See or skip?

Again, as mentioned in many reviews we have done, Nollywood does not usually get the kind of budget Hollywood or Bollywood gets, and so, cannot compete in the action movie genre. But, “Brotherhood” deserves the flowers it will get and should set an antecedent,

Go support your own ma…sir.

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