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Movie Review: Citation

Hello there! Just before you go ahead and read this review. I’ll like to establish that these thoughts are solely mine. They do not in any way reflect the intention of the makers of the movie.

I must also mention that Kunle Afolayan is an amazing director and Tunde Babalola wrote a masterpiece. The storyline in Citation is perfect.

Kunle Afolayan is a man that constantly blazes the trail in the Nigerian Movie Industry. When that name is attached to a movie, you are sure to get excellence.

I remember watching October 1 about five times, if I have the opportunity to watch again, I sure will. Wondering which of Kunle Afolayan’s movies to see asides Citation? I’ll recommend The figurine, Irapada, Mokalik, Phone Swap etc.

So, Citation…

PLOT

The Nigerian Netflix film, Citation, presents a tale of the rape culture based on real events. The movie portrays a world where, due to attitudes towards gender and sexuality, rape is normalized. The tale follows Moremi, a brilliant young student who, when a hot-shot professor threatens to rape her, takes on the system.

No spoiler abeg. Go and watch it.

Firstly, I’ll like to say that despite the setting, the movie is rich with African culture and this stood out of for me in an appealing way. I love the infusion of Yoruba, the name of the characters, the choice of costume and many other things. Basically, the movie screamed Africa from beginning to the very end.

ATTRACTIONS

  • The first thing that appealed to me was the use of flashback. I love the transition from past to present. It was seamless and creative.
  • Citation discusses an issue that needs to be addressed. Sexual assault in Nigerian Universities mostly goes unattended to.
  • The narration of the movie was coherent. There was no struggle to keep up with the pace. 
  • Moremi, the main character, played by Temi Otedola appealed to me in a way that I cannot fathom. I carefully looked for a loophole and I almost didn’t see any. She wore the character. Her inactions were Moremi. I must say that Temi played the role, excellently.
  • Moremi and Koyejo had me blushing. Damn! Let’s just say I love love. And I like guys with the right words and the right attitude to back it up.
  • Also, I didn’t even realise the movie was 2 hours until I was done. It was intense. I watched in the middle of the night and I didn’t blink once.
  • All the actors brought their A-game. This stood out for me because intentional actors add beauty to movies. There were almost no loose ends at all.
  • The songs were beautiful too. I enjoyed the songs and the African feel to it.
  • Thank you for taking us to Senegal. At least, now we know that it’s not only Lagosians that have “Danfo” buses.
  • I liked that the lecturers and students discussed real International Studies issues. I have seen Nollywood movies that assume that we don’t pay attention to the things taught in the lecture halls. As an International Studies student, I could relate to the lectures and I know that there were fundamental issues raised in the classes.
  • The writer did an amazing job with the script. I could see the energy he put into research. And the dialogue? Impeccable!
  • If you’re reading this, this is the part where you give a standing ovation to Madam Ibukun Awosika. Ah! It’s plenty. She bodied the role and I love that she acted as herself. That’s some standards. It really stood out for me. A scene we’ll not forget too quickly is Ibukun Awosika’s altercation with Professor N’Dyare (Jimmy Jean-Louis).
  • Oh! And I like that we still don’t know if Gloria was sleeping with Professor N’Dyare or not.

READ ALSO: Movie Review: A Fall From Grace

RESERVATIONS

  • All those conversations in French? Some of them were unnecessary. I felt like it didn’t have to be that heavy in the movie. Blame it on the fact that I don’t understand French but I think some of it was unnecessary.
  • And Koyejo? Koyejo was too less busy for a medical student. This is not to say that Medical Students don’t have fun but he had too much time on his hands that he learnt Karate to the point of getting a black belt.
  • And that fight scene where he was fighting for his black belt? Abegi! It was unnecessary. I don’t see the relevance. And before you remind me that he taught Moremi one of the skills and that’s what she used. Anyone could have taught that in a different setting. We didn’t need a Medical student that learns Karate to do that.
  • The movie lacked suspense. I knew almost everything that was going to happen. For example, when I saw the man that helped Moremi win the case at Senegal, even though he didn’t say anything, I knew he would be an important part of the movie.
  • Also, the cast and crew of Citation have indirectly told us that only those with fat pockets get justice. What if she didn’t have the money to travel to Senegal to get answers? What of those in Universities that foundations like Ajike Foundation have never heard about?
  • Professor N’Dyare had chapped or white lips in almost every scene. A lip balm would have sufficed.
  • And what was that beret on Uzoamaka’s head in every scene? Her character was my least favourite. If she was acting as a student with Aluta spirit, that wasn’t it at all. I no feel am.
  • While I get that Moremi was portrayed as a sweet, naïve, innocent girl, I don’t understand why she followed an unknown boy to an unknown destination in Senegal. I don’t get it.
  • Now, I may need you to engage me on this; if the pant that Professor N’Dyare ripped off Moremi was not enough evidence to prove her innocence on a panel in school, tell me why a man no one knows is granted an audience and his story adds to why Moremi is proven innocent. Kindly bear in mind that Moremi’s lawyer had earlier insinuated that that pant was not enough evidence and stories from other people were not enough evidence on the panel. What changed?
  • Let me just add this one. WE DIDN’T HAVE TO SEE KUNLE AFOLAYAN IN THE MOVIE!

LESSONS LEARNT

  • African culture is beautiful. Let no one tell you otherwise.
  • Every society, school etc has a Professor N’Dyare. While we are still trying to expunge them and throw them into Hades where they belong, it important that we become sensitive and not neglect red flags. Red flags like;

– Sexual jokes and innuendos that are uncomfortable

– People that pry unnecessarily into our lives

– People that try to kiss us against our will and manipulatively apologise. 

In all, I like to believe that this movie is complete on its own. Just like every Kunle Afolayan movie, Citation is its own kind of special. 

Was it worth the hype? Errrrrr, yeah, maybe.

Should you watch it? YES!

I would rate the movie, 3/5. I enjoyed it.

Have you seen the movie? Share your thoughts in the comment section.