Movie Review: King of Thieves (Agesinkólé)

Like most people, I watched Nigerian movies growing up. Again, like many people, I stopped watching them somewhere along the line. You can’t blame me, though. They have numerous flaws, from the acting to the cinematography to the plots – most Nollywood movies are not very pleasant, short and simple!

Nevertheless, I’ll be the first person to admit they’ve upped their game. They are still mostly not my scene, but I can sit through some of them now.

King of Thieves (Agesinkole) is one such movie. I had seen the poster many times but was not interested in seeing it. The poster was too “shiny.” Plus, I get the vibe that it’ll be shitty when a seemingly traditional movie has an English title. Besides, I’ve been to the cinema to see several Nigerian movies, and boy, were they a waste of money and time?!

So, believe me when I say there was absolutely no motivation to see it.

Then came a day, I went to the cinema with a friend who said she wanted to watch King of Thieves. And as the nice person that I am, I agreed. Surprise surprise! I enjoyed it.

Don’t get me wrong – the storyline is pure and utter sh*t. It is about a prince who suffered betrayal from people he trusted, which results in his beheading. Because of the injustice, he comes back to terrorize the townspeople. This prince is so powerful he singlehandedly conquers all the principalities and powers in the village……. at the same time.

Nevertheless, it was enjoyable sh*t.

For one, its ensemble cast delivered, from Femi Adebayo and Odunlade Adekola to Ibrahim Chatta, Lateef Adedimeji, and Toyin Abraham. I especially loved Ibrahim Chatta and Lateef Adedimeji’s performances. Also, seeing Adebayo Salami in a movie warmed my heart. He was responsible for many a memorable childhood experience.

Secondly, the cinematography was top-notch. If there is anything that Nollywood has really, really improved on over the years, it is the cinematography and it was on display in this movie. The camera angles and shots were divine as they lend themselves to memorably telling the sh*tty story.

Third, I absolutely loved the costumes and location. While I have no idea what the typical Yoruba village looked like in ancient times, I certainly found King of Thieves’ portrayal dignified and believable. From the depiction of the palace to the setting of the market scene, I thought they did a fantastic job.

So, why do I think the storyline is sh*t? For one, Agesinkole was a prince beloved by his people. While he was the victim of a betrayal, it was not the townspeople that betrayed him. So, his motivation for causing the furor he caused was dead on arrival, at least to me. There are other things, but that is the major grouse I have with the movie.

In all, while this movie is not perfect, it is a very enjoyable watch, and its good parts more than make up for the bad parts.

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