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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Numerous Flaws Found in Biodun Stephen’s Murder Mystery Film ‘Hotel Labamba’

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Movie name: Hotel Labamba

Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

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Director: Biodun StephenWriter: Francis Okeke

Cast: Femi Adebayo, Abdularhamon Adedimeji, Lateef Adedimeji, Pamilerin Adegoke, Bimbo Ademoye, Idowu Adeyemi, Lilian Afegbai, Janet Aiyegbusi, Karen Ajimobi, Lillian Akpanta, Arielyn Bassek, Albert Bianca Jessica Obasi, and Okey Jude

There is no doubt that Murder Mysteries aren’t easy to pull off in Nollywood; it is little wonder that ‘Hotel Labamba’ producers struggled a bit.

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With notable films like “The Figurine” (2009), “October 1” (2014), and “A Weekend to Forget” (2023) paving the way for the crime thrillers and murder mysteries genre, one would expect ‘Hotel Labamba’ to showcase advancements in storytelling and execution.

Unfortunately, the film leans more towards comedy than an actual murder mystery experience.

As is typical in murder mysteries, Hotel Labamba sets the stage with a mysterious death occurring within the confines of a hotel.

The police authorities are called upon to unravel the puzzle, identifying the murderer and uncovering the motive behind the crime.

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While the premise is promising, Hotel Labamba fails to fully embrace the intricacies and suspense that define a compelling murder mystery.

Instead, the film veers towards comedic elements, diluting the intensity and depth that the genre demands.

Despite its shortcomings, Hotel Labamba serves as a stepping stone for Nollywood’s exploration of murder mysteries. It allows future filmmakers to delve deeper into the genre and deliver narratives that keep audiences on the edge.

Plot

The movie begins with the shocking news of Ella’s (played by Lilian Afegbai) untimely demise in the Hotel Labamba.

Ella was a famous Instagram influencer on a romantic getaway with her flamboyant and controversial boyfriend, Big Berry (played by Lateef Adedimeji), who claimed to be a businessman from North Cyprus.

When Ella’s lifeless body is found, the hotel staff hold her boyfriend captive.

However, the hotel manager, Ozumba (played by Okey Jude), is desperate to maintain a facade of normalcy and avoid any negative publicity. Little does he know that the arrival of Detective Ozioma Zizi (played by Bimbo Ademoye) and her colleagues would escalate the murder than he had ever imagined.

The investigation into the death keeps the hotel on lockdown, and everyone in the hotel is suspect, including the hotel staff.

With the pressure mounting from the hotel manager to swiftly solve the case before the arrival of important guests, Zizi and her team embark on a race against time to catch the killer. Will they succeed in capturing the culprit within three days? And can the death of this influential social media star indeed be kept under wraps?

As the clock ticks and secrets unravel, the question remains: Who is the mastermind behind the murder in Hotel Labamba?

Movie Analysis

Biodun Stephen’s “Hotel Labamba” takes us on a wild ride through the comedic chaos of a hotel murder mystery.

While the film succeeds in delivering laughs and maintaining an energetic pace, it falls short in capitalising on the potential for a more exciting and compelling plot.

The plot explores different perspectives through flashbacks of an unravelling murder mystery. Unfortunately, the execution feels frivolous and needs a clear philosophical stance, diminishing its impact.

The movie asks for the suspension of logic to enjoy its gratifying entertainment content.

Hotel Labamba is supposed to be a murder mystery thriller, and the heart of any murder mystery lies in its suspects. There must be a few individuals who could plausibly be the cause of the death—whether directly (through physical violence) or indirectly (via poison, traps, etc.).

A good mystery keeps the audience guessing by introducing enough suspects, but that was not the case with Hotel Labamba, as, at a point, one could accurately imagine the culprit even before the police finished their investigation.

“Hotel Labamba” is marred by logical inconsistencies and missed details.

Haill in labamba

The subplot involving a stolen SIM card and an impostor is confusing, and the film overlooks essential aspects of the investigation. These shortcomings make it less than exemplary in the murder mystery genre.

Despite its flaws, “Hotel Labamba” delivers laughs and maintains a lively atmosphere.

It may appeal to those seeking a light-hearted, comedic take on the murder mystery genre, but for viewers expecting a more intricate and well-constructed plot, the film may leave them frustrated.

The mystery aspect of the film is well-established, with several potential suspects and hidden motives, but it was never developed.

The investigation unfolds implausible, with Detective Zizi accepting the manager’s offer to solve the case within two days.

The cinematography and editing contribute to the film’s cohesive and well-put-together production.

On the better side, the comedy is simple yet effective, and the performances never feel forced. Detectives Zizi and Yaema, in particular, stand out and leave room for a possible sequel.

However, the film misses the opportunity to construct a more respectable puzzle, considering the quality of the actors involved.

Verdict:5/10

Hotel Labamba is currently streaming on Prime Video.

Watch the trailer below:

Hotel Labamba Nollywood Movie Trailer A Biodun Stephen Film (Bimbo Ademoye, Lateef Adedimeji) (youtube.com)

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