Citation

“Citation” tackles sexual harassment but has loose ends

When you see a Nigerian movie trending as a Netflix Top 10 in Nigeria, do not be tempted into thinking that it is because the movie is great. Sometimes, it is because people are curious. “Citation” is the latest drama by Kunle Afolayan, and it explores sexual harassment in Nigerian universities. The film also marks the acting debut of Temi Otedola. Ms Otedola, whose elder sister Florence Ifeoluwa “DJ Cuppy” has made a name for herself as a disk jockey putting an end to the label ‘billionaire-daughter,’ might be looking to do same.

Otedola plays the lead character, Moremi Oluwa, in “Citation.” She is a postgraduate student whose friendliness and admiration for her professor, Lucien N’Dyare (Jimmy Jean-Louis), are misconstrued as sexual advances. The story unfolds as the university’s investigative panel chaired by Ibukun Awosika reviews the case presented by Moremi.

Afolayan’s “Citation” certainly sheds light on an undoubtedly important issue that sadly permeates Nigerian universities. More importantly, the fact that most victims of sexual harassment are the ones who lose out. However, the film has many loose ends. How does a brilliant lady like Moremi who challenges her lecturer and engages in intelligent debates wander off with a little boy without asking a question other than his name? It was obviously the intention of the screenwriter Tunde Babalola to foreshadow another scene, yet that scene was not well-thought-out. Again, how does the over-achieving daughter of a retired diplomat get wrapped up in a sex scandal that threatens her graduation and gains media attention, yet there is no sign of family support. And how does an undergraduate get a private performance for her 21st birthday from one of her favourite artiste’s and she does not take a selfie?

“Citation” also stars Joke Silva, Sadiq Daba, Ini Edo, Gabriel Afolayan as Koyejo, Moremi’s love interest, and Adjetey Anang as Kwesi. As for the acting, it was flat in general. For two and a half hours, you will look for that big moment but won’t get it. Mrs Awosika is possibly the most memorable character. Her role would have come to her naturally as she is the current chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. As such, she is used to chairing meetings. She leaves the audience with an indelible look, thanks to some good cinematography by Jonathan Kovel. The picture of her power navy blue jacket and pussy-bow blouse will linger in the minds of the audience. As for Otedola, we guess that she secured the lead role because she is multilingual and of course, for star-power.” However, she gives a decent performance for her acting debut. “Citation” also turned out a good tourism campaign for Cape Verde and Senegal. The beaches are certainly enticing!

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the eyes of the Nigerian viewer.