Movie Review: Sista
Biodun Stephen, writer, director and producer, is a master of her craft. She has proven this over the years with titles like Tiwa’s Baggage, Breaded Life, Picture Perfect, Ovy’s Voice, The Wildflower, Looking for Baami, and many others, yet, without a shadow of a doubt. Her filmmaking prowess was further revealed in the Self-titled Movie Sista presently showing on Amazon Prime Video.
Sista is a well-crafted story, a perfect blend of all the right emotions that will keep you glued to your screen for the whole runtime of 1 hour 34mins. It is a story of love, betrayal, the selfishness of people (men), and the rare virtue of true forgiveness that brings healing to all who can give and receive it. The protagonist (Kehinde Bankole) is the typical African mother/woman, my definition of a feminist. Selfless, hardworking with a well-built work ethic and values, and confident in herself regardless of her limitations and what life throws at her, she always finds a way to rise above the challenges and give herself and those she cares about the best she can offer. From her childhood love, who later became the father of her children and eventually her children, they all enjoyed the strength of the selfless woman well depicted by Kehinde Balogun. The strength of a woman is also well presented in the movie by Tiwatope (Busola Aiyeola), a confident and self-assured woman willing to forgive her husband for his past mistakes and not threatened by the idea of another woman (with her husband’s children) coming into the “perfect life” she shares with her husband and family.
The plot, although predictable, is unique and relatable. From the opening scene to the very last, the events, actions and perfectly placed flashbacks transitioning seamlessly, mounting anxiety for the audience, and building emotions till the climax and perfect resolution. Each scene complements the next with a chain that completes the story with no missing parts. The performances in the movie are exceptional. The film features a star-studded cast in the lead roles of Kehinde Bankole, Deyemi Okanlawon and Bisola Aiyeiola. Other actors featured are Tope Olowoniyan, Ronke Oshodi Oke, Chiamaka Uzokwe, Chris Iheuwa, Adeoluwa Akintoba, Blessing Jessica Obasi, Chimezie Imo, Blessing Jessica Obasi and Adedamola Adewale. With the introduction of the main character Sista (Kehinde Bankole) from the beginning, her motivation is clear and leaves the audience without a shadow of a doubt about who she is and what endears us to her. The way she talks, her manner of speaking, and her general look correspond well with the picture the audience has of “people like her”. The dialogues are not protracted. The accent of the characters Sista (Kehinde Bankole), the half-educated cleaner, the Yoruba/British Tiwatope (Bisola Aiyeola) and Aunty Jay (Tope Olowoniyan) the tush Hausa lady sound natural and very believable. Thumbs up to the casting director, the director and the actors for a star performance.
In this review, I will rate the movie on a scale of 1-5 using the following criteria and give an average at the end as the verdict:
- The Story
- The Sound and Music Score
- The Cinematography and Lighting
- The Visual Post-Production
- The Acting and Directing
- The Production Design /Art Direction
- The Production.
The Story and Screenplay: The story structure, character development, motivation of the character and dialogues validate my assertion that Biodun Stephens is truly a master of her craft. – 4.5/5
The Sound and Music Score: The director employed the right sound to deliver information, evoke emotion and put the audience in the frame. The placement of the original music, “The mother song” by Inioluwa Gem at the right scene at every time, stimulating the perfect feeling, is a work of art worth studying. – 3.5/5
The Cinematography and Lighting: This team did well. The composition of the scene, the use of light to create the mood and atmosphere that evokes the right emotion, the camera movements, angles and the integration of special effects (lightning) all carry the audience on the dramatic journey of love, betrayal and forgiveness. – 3.7/5
The Visual Post Production: the transition from scene to scene, the consistent colour and tone from start to finish all aid the story and performance of the characters – 3.5/5
Acting and Directing: Stelar performances from all actors evoking the right emotions that make the audience love or hate the actors beyond the screen time – 4.5/5
Production Design / Art Direction: Set design, props, costume and make-up of all characters gave consistent aesthetic and visual style to tell the story. The overall look and feel of the set corresponds to the impression they are to create. – 4/5
The Production: All aspects of the film came together to deliver a beautiful story – 4.5/5
VERDICT – 4/5
A must-watch for everyone! Probably the best I have seen in recent times. I have seen the movie five times in two weeks, yet, I still stop to catch a scene or two when anyone is watching.
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