Director : Ishaya Bako
Producer : Mo Abudu
Starring : Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, Deyemi Okanlawon, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Jide Kosoko and Rachel Oniga
Genre : Romance/Drama
Release Date : February 9, 2018
Music Director : Cobhams Asuquo
Awesome-O-Metre : 6.5/10
REVUE OF THE ROYAL HIBISCUS HOTEL
No questions as to why this movie was released during the Valentine season! This is a real chick flick through and through. It however possesses enough heart to be appealing to a more masculine audience.
Zainab Balogun stars as Ope Adeniyi, A London Chef who, disillusioned by her failure to fulfil her ambitions, returns to Nigeria to lift the fortunes of her family business – The Royal Hibiscus Hotel. Unknown to her, her father (Jide Kosoko) is concluding plans to sell the hotel to multimillionaire heartthrob Deji (Kenneth Okolie) and his obnoxious partner Martin (Deyemi Okanlawon). She also has to contend with the matchmaking efforts of her mother (Rachel Oniga) and reject the advances of an old flame (O. C. Ukeje).
The storyline is clichéd as most romances tend to be, and there is practically no suspense. This left the job of holding the attention of the audience to the comedic efforts of Kemi Akindoju (Chika), Jide Kosoko, Rachel Oniga, and to a lesser extent Charles Inojie (Chef) and Ini Dima-Okojie (Joyce). Zainab and Kenneth however displayed some good chemistry – with all the awkwardness and silliness that is associated with falling in love.
I must commend Zainab particularly, as she displayed some naturalness in the kitchen showing that she had put in effort to research the role. After seeing movies like Chef and Burnt, I had to look out for this. I was pleasantly surprised at the location of the hotel, as in the course of my professional life I have been at that building quite a number of times, and recall thinking it would be a good setting for a colonial movie! The music was really great (I confess – to me, Cobhams Asuquo can do no wrong) and displayed a sufficient smattering of the Nigerian music scene. Also, apart from a few dips, the pace of the movie was quite consistent.
On the down side, I expected to see more of stellar duo Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs. I also felt that the resolution of the movie suggested a bit of materialism on the part of Ope, and Deji was a bit too nice and good so as to make him somewhat unreal (after you watch the movie, I would like to know if the pair of Deji and Martin reminded you of Pretty Woman).
In all, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel was a pretty good attempt to give life to a tiring storyline. You will get a few laughs, and may even get misty eyed and a fuzzy feeling in your stomach if you are the sentimental type. So click HERE to purchase your cheap movie tickets to see The Royal Hibiscus Hotel and don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter and Facebook or in the comment section below to tell me what you think about The Royal Hibiscus Hotel
Have a great weekend!
Review by Noel Orji (@noelorji)