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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Crossroads, a romantic film that fails to impress

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Movie Title: Crossroads

Language: Yoruba and English

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Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes

Release date: 2024

Streaming platform: Prime Video

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Producer: Aisha Lawal

Director: Tope Adebayo, Adebayo Tijani

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Cast: Aisha Lawal, Lateef Adedimeji, Deyemi Okanlawon, Bimbo Manuel, Femi Adebayo, Adebayo Salami, Yvonne Jegede, Bukunmi Adeaga-Ilori, Yekini Ibrahim, Wumi Toriola, Obim Adebimpe Omooba, Boma Martins Akpore, Seyi Awolowo, Rotimi Salami, Damilare E Wilson, Temitope Iledo Topright, Mustapha Abidemi, Igbenabor Marylyn Odiwo, Martins Ogbebor.

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As they say, love happens in mysterious ways and life is unpredictable. When we think we have it all figured out, destiny keeps us on our toes.

‘Cross Roads’ portrays how unpredictable life can be; In the midst of all the dramas, your dreams can still be achieved.

Aisha Lawal’s film centers on Eriola, a university student in the 90s who finds herself involved in an affair with a cultist, Oyekan. She eventually falls in love with Oyekan and chooses a cultist instead of a responsible graduate who loves her.

Plot

The film begins with some students performing on stage. Eriola is seen on stage playing the drum and dancing with passion. As the performance became interesting, some cultists interrupted, causing fear among the students.

Eriola is a medical student but is interested in theater art. His father, however, does not support him. He wants her to focus on medicine.

Her friends visit her at her father’s house and discuss the incident during the theater performance. They don’t know that Eriola’s father is listening to her conversation. Eriola’s father warns her about her and tells her that there is no room for theater in her house. He also instructed her to go to school from her house and return at 7 p.m.

Faced with danger, Eriola’s defiance boldly emerges when she and her friends encounter a cult gang on their way to class. While others approach the situation cautiously, she confronts them head-on, fearlessly standing her ground, even daring to slap the gang leader.

Meanwhile, tensions rise within the school when Oyekan’s squad attacks another cult group in class, attracting unwanted attention from the police. Caught in the crossfire, Eriola finds herself unknowingly entangled when Oyekan seeks refuge in her room during a police raid. Trapped by circumstance, she becomes an unwitting accomplice to the chaos and faces consequences she could never have foreseen.

In the midst of all these problems, Eriola faces a heartbreaking betrayal from the only person she should be able to trust: her father. Despite the passionate pleas of her sister Pipeola and her loyal friends, Eriola finds herself abandoned in her darkest hour. There is a glimmer of hope when Oladunmi’s father, whose daughter is a friend of Eriola, visits her father after she returns from prison to plead on her behalf. But her fleeting moment of comfort is shattered when her father cruelly throws her into the night, exposing her to danger.

A twist of fate leaves Eriola with no choice but to live with Oyekan, the cultist she once faced and got into trouble for. Despite her difficult beginnings, their bond deepens as Oyekan strives to build a better future. He works as a supervisor in a construction materials company and begins to provide internal services.

The team that Oyekan attacked in 1987 is after his life. Since they can’t catch him, they decide to kill someone dear to him. They follow Eriola to her house to kill her, but she is lucky to see them and hides somewhere. Oyekan, after this incident, tells Eriola her childhood story and how she followed in her father’s footsteps, which made him wayward.

Oyekan sees Eriola with Fela

Eriola is embarrassed when Fela, her boyfriend who traveled abroad to study, visits her at Oyekan’s house. Fela is willing to fight for her love despite knowing that she is pregnant with Oyekan. The two men fight for her love.

Eriola is kidnapped by some cultists because of Oyekan. Oyekan confronts Fela with a gun because he believes Fela kidnapped his wife. Fela cries and begs him not to shoot as he is innocent. The two men team up to rescue Eriola. Years later, Eriola fulfills her dream of graduating and her father apologizes for her mistakes.

Character analysis

Bimbo Manuel, Eriola’s father, is portrayed as a disciplinarian, a characteristic seen in many fathers in the 1990s. He refuses to take her daughter to school, claiming that it is her car and that she should study hard and get hers.

He arrests his staff for eating three of his poultry eggs that were broken and spoiled and calls it theft. When her daughter is arrested for being an accomplice to a cultist, he denies her and abandons her. He seemed to value her chickens more than his daughters. Knowing that those broken eggs could spoil, he still punished his workers for taking them. We could compare his daughter Eriola with broken eggs. Why didn’t he forgive her when she was broken and getting worse? As soon as there was a crack, he left his daughter devoured by his actions.

Eriola in custody of a cult gang

Aisha Lawal plays the main character, Eriola. Her performance highlights the essence of the 19th century plot. Eriola’s destiny changes when she helps Oyekan.

Deyemi Okanlawon, a fabulous actor, did not bring to life the character of Oyekan, the leader of a cult group at the university. Okanlawon is a great actor, but in this movie his performance is not convincing enough, since he is a cultist and a lover.

Adedimeji Lateef plays Fela, the second boy who, in the film, must fight for Eriola’s love. The love between Fela and Eriola does not feel natural because they have no emotional connection.

movie analysis

This film, which should depict a rivalry between two men competing for Eriola’s affections, should convey this central theme effectively.

Instead of a compelling competition for Eriola’s love, the interactions between the men seem devoid of genuine emotion or action.

Surprisingly, the narrative focused more on 19th-century father figures who adhered to rigid disciplinary methods and were emotionally distant and strict in raising children. This is portrayed through Eriola, Pipe, her younger sister and her father.

Certain scenes seem unjustifiable and do not contribute significantly to the plot, such as Oyekan’s encounter with a random woman, which exposes her nakedness without adding substance to the narrative. The scene shows a lady’s bare chest while she is intimate with Oyekan, which is unnecessary for the development of the plot. It would have been acceptable if such intimacy had occurred between Oyekan and Eriola.

The film lacks depth, resulting in a flat emotional resonance. Both the romantic and action sequences suffer from poor performance and editing.

Furthermore, despite the talent of the cast, their performances do not match their respective roles.

The film needed to deliver a compelling story or evoke genuine emotional responses. It fails to be a compelling romance or an engaging action film, leaving us disconnected from the narrative.

It’s a brilliant film that the filmmaker could have done better. ‘Crossroads’ is now streaming on Prime Video.

READ ALSO: MOVIE REVIEW: Momiwa: A compelling human interest story with loose ends

Verdict

5/10

Watch the movie trailer here

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