Elesin Oba is a Nollywood movie recently released on Netflix. This is a movie based on a real event that happened in 1946.
In Yoruba tradition, when a king dies, his favorite dog, horse, and rider must accompany him to the afterlife. In this film, we are introduced to the Oyo Empire where they are all ready to say goodbye to Elesin, the Rider. He will perform a ritual suicide that night, like all his ancestors, and accompany the king to the afterlife. Without much difficulty, Elesin accepts his faith and is ready to enjoy his last day but is distracted by a series of events. This film not only conveys this story, but also conveys many other concepts and messages.
This movie turned out to be good overall even though it was adapted from a screenplay. Whether it’s the dialogues or the outfits, the film has tried to maintain or stay in touch with Yoruba traditions. The directors have, to a large extent, managed to bring a real historical event to the screen. As mentioned earlier, the film shows us different aspects, one being the cultural difference between Nigerians and English people. The film highlights the acceptance and questioning of certain rituals followed in society.
The film has a rich approach and made the movie captivating and distinctive. The music was also a central part of this film, and we can classify Elesin Oba as a musical drama. The film shows us how the colonial power tried to interfere in this suicidal ritual and tried to put an end to it.
The movie, while portraying a historical drama with a pretty serious concept, doesn’t give you any sort of supernatural or thriller vibe, and one of the main drawbacks of the movie is that it seems to be repetitive. Elesin and her role in this whole storyline are repeatedly reminded that it can be a bit tiring to watch over and over again. Elesin Oba forgot to use certain characters effectively. Some of the characters had the potential to get more stories or layers, but were left out focusing only on the main characters. Nevertheless, the movie tried to convey what it wanted and succeeded.
Even though Elesin Oba has some shortcomings, he did not forget to show us the themes of colonialism and cultural differences. This movie might end up being something selectively likable for its concepts or plot, but it should definitely be given a try if you’re looking for something different. It certainly has several levels that a mature audience can enjoy.