The Bling Lagosians offers closure, at least; an aftertaste that leaves you more grateful than swayed. Just like most Nollywood hood-busters, it starts with a plan of that one epic party that would feature both the climax and the weathering down. We know.
The movie is set as usual in Lagos, and chronicles the lives of Lagos high class socialites, with a closer focus on the prestigious Holloway family. The father, Akin Holloway (Gbenga Titiloye), is depicted as the one who ruins the family with his love for other peoples’ wives. But the movie ends with a lingering promise of the dead bones rising again. So we gather here today to mourn a libodo that has learnt how to scale a fence.
The material is not new, typical Nollywood, although with the potential of surpassing what Idumota and Iweka road both have to offer. The characterization is weak, leaving all the work to the stock characters intentionally incorporated just to make us laugh. For example, there is a flat character like Dunni (Toyin Abrahams), a typical Yoruba character made more comical by her ignorance and her continuous strife to feel relevant. On the side, there are the gossip troupe; Oge, Ngozi, and Kiki. They are of no obvious use in the movie. The character of Nnamdi played by Alex Ekubo gets a sigh. The kind of sigh that builds up in your guts when a Black American tries to fake that African accent by pronouncing black panther as blek penter.
The issue of typecasting and poor representation heavily dents this movie. The portrayal of the surrealist notion that rich people cannot help but have chaotic lives, that Yoruba people are loud and uncultured, and that rich people cannot have genuine friendships. There is also that perpetuity of female sacrifice and forbearance. It relays the truth that a woman is constantly expected to set her man straight, and to fully bear the brunt of a failing marriage.
Sadly, there is no plot. Or maybe there was, but it was too weak a pulse to detect so I moved right past it. You could totally remove half of the characters and the story itself would not even notice. Once again, typical Nollywood. The bling lagosians unsurprisingly does not feature a side of Nollywood we are yet to see.
But you see Elvina ‘baby’ Ibru? That “tatted bitch” is a whole mood and I stan! I love the slight relief she brings to the whole production. I praise Elvina because even though her character does not allow her to do much-another picturesque mother in a rich and affluent family content with making the tabloids and shutting people down with her perfectionism-she made quite an impression.
For Bolanle Austen-Peters, incredible as her profile might be, this testing-the-waters project (I assume) is bad news, and even the awesome soundtrack could not resuscitate it. At some point, I wished I was listening to those songs than watching the movie.
The doors should be thrown wide open. I still do not get the obsession with playing safe and the ridiculous fear of overdoing it. Overdo it please, if it creates room for more promising stories.
In summary,The Bling Lagosians is another overplayed vignette of upper class Lagosians fighting themselves with a level of civility that is more humorous than serious, at the same time blinded by their materialism and a degree of “I-am-better-than-you” ness.
And there was no bling!