Movie Review: ‘Bope Boya,’ Produced By Femi Adebile


Reviewed By Ajibare Abioye

It’s been said that no one watches a movie without a measure of expectation – the poster picture, trailer and other forms of publicity ensure that. The term ‘movie’ or ‘film’ generally suggests a feature-length motion picture. On occasion, I’ve been momentarily disillusioned whenever such advertised productions happen to be shorts or series, unless when stated prior to release. I’m not saying the latter two are inferior, but I believe our expectations as audience should be guided as much as possible.

At the end of what turned out to be the first episode of “Bope Boya” though, I had been hooked to the story and was happy that it had relatable human characters in the Niran family, and I was eager to find out in subsequent episodes how they would navigate through their pitiful circumstances despite being ministers of God.

Although Pastor Niran’s story conformed to the minister-of-God movie trope, “Bope Boya” treats it in a positively different way to many that have come before it. The mini-series also looks like an upgrade in terms of sound design from the production outfit, which contributed significantly to its engaging tone. The subtitles were conscientiously done, though their italicised form was a misapplication. The introduction of B-story characters such as Pastor Tunde and the enigmatic Pastor Paul strengthened the story, and the series was well and truly underway in the second episode.

Not long after however, there was a rather sharp shift in direction – from hero to antihero, from the unique to the familiar, from Reverend Adesoji the discipler to Reverend Adesoji the commentator, from Pastor Niran to Pastor Paul, who bore so much charismatic resemblance to Warrior in “Scar of Desires”. Likewise, the newly-introduced Daniel was strikingly similar in setting and costume to a character in “The Keeper 5”, and for a little while, I wondered if I was still watching the “Bope Boya” that got my attention weeks before, or the aforementioned movies. Niran’s wife was gone and their daughter seemed to have vanished into thin air. Switching narratives within a single movie isn’t too good for filmic story telling in my opinion. Also, a showdown-turned-show-off between two agents of darkness was disconcerting for me. In any case, I just had to get to the end to know what would happen to my beloved Pastor Niran.

To my greatest delight however, the best thing about “Bope Boya” is its solid finale. It was power-filled and packed with sound lessons, impressively because we could SEE them, rather than them being solely conveyed through high-sounding expressions that aren’t easily understood. It’s ironical that it’s the same unnervingly-familiar boy and his father who graced the screen with their confidence in God’s power. I believe everyone would agree with me that their portrayal is quite an apotheosis of firebrands in holiness, which genuine children of God need to be. Some things I noticed about child upbringing from Daniel’s parents will undoubtedly stay with me for a long time.

Pastor Niran still comes into the picture at the end of “Bope Boya”, and I believe that with a bit more focused storytelling, its second season will take the series up another notch. All in all, “Bope Boya” is a wonderful mini-series you’ll enjoy and that will bless you.

The links to the series are below:

Till the next article, stay blessed!

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