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This compelling drama is another masterpiece by Director Kunle Afolayan. Its premise is based on the rampant issue of sexual misconduct on Nigerian campuses.
It tells a compelling story of sexual harassment and abuse of power by a lecturer and tendency of institutions to protect them. According to Netflix, it is based on a true-life story though it’s source is not stated.
Moremi (Temi Otedola) is a standout student during her Master’s degree program that accuses her popular professor of international repute, Professor N’Dyare (Jimmy Jean-Louis). The movie scenes mostly flicker between Moremi’s School Senate hearing and the events leading up to the trial procedures.
The Cinematographer did an excellent job; his use of angles to enhance the aesthetics of the locations don’t go unnoticed. Also, praise has to be given to the Art director for the choice of surroundings for the movie. From the University campus to the scenes in Senegal and Cape Verde, it appeals to the eyes and gives a contemporary Pan-African feel not seen enough in the African movie industry.
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CITATION has its fair share of plot twists and it uses them aptly to link scenes together. Also, the plot is clear and precise from the beginning. This is appreciated especially with what the story is about. It portrays the Professor as rightly guilty from the onset and establishes that gradually throughout the movie.
The movie is about 151 minutes long and yes, it could be shorter. The pace of the movie at times slows to a crawl and its largely because of the stiff dialogues. Some scenes like the performance by Seun Kuti was unnecessarily long as well as the karate scene that looked ‘untidy’.
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It failed to give momentum to the critical sequences like when she had a look at N’Daye’s old Peugeot. On a positive note, it nailed the tempo of the party/gathering scenes which all had the necessary vibrance or calmness when need be. It also had a smoothness in transition from present-day scenes to her flashbacks.
It had opportunities to be more emotionally complex but always failed to deliver on its promise, not by any fault of the actors though. Temi Otedola gives a sincere performance despite her character being scantily written and not having opportunities to connect with the audience except the sexual harassment premise.
Jimmy Jean-Louis portrayed the manipulative and charming wolf-in-sheep clothing extremely well. The supporting cast performed their roles well. All in all, the actors performed well despite their restrictions, due to their stiff dialogues.
In conclusion, the movie has a solid plot and is a good watch as it shines a light on an important issue in our society. I give a 6.5/10.