Blood Sisters: Ratings And Review (Nigerian Movie On Netflix)
Yes, I am well aware that it is almost 12:30 p.m. in Nigerian time, but I am wide awake and about to publish a review that will most likely be lengthy, so you already know how fantastic this watch was.
Please note that if you have not yet seen Blood Sisters, I am about to unapologetically ruin the anticipation for you, so if you want to save the purity of a good viewing, I recommend you quit reading now and return later.
Without further ado, here is the year in review (for me)
- Blood Sisters (film)
- Director(s): Biyi Bandele, Kenneth Gyang
- Producer(s): EbonyLife Studios (Mo Abudu), Netflix
- Kate Henshaw
- Deyemi Okanlawon
- Nancy Isime
- Ini-Dima Okojie
- Gabriel Afolayan
- Wale Ojo
- Ramsey Noah
- Uche Jombo
- Ibrahim Suleiman
- Keppy Ekpeyong
- Kehinde Bankole
- Daniel Etim-Effiong
- Genoveve Umeh
Time Limit: 4 episodes, one-hour each
After the unintentional murder of Sarah’s affluent, important, but abusive fiancee, Kola Ademola, best friends Sarah Duru (Okojie) and Kemi Sanya (Isime) go on the run (Okanlawon). Secrets are uncovered in the search for the girls, threatening the facade that the Ademola family matriarch, Uduak (Henshaw), has established over the years.
Hmm…as previously stated, this is going to be a long read because I can’t start this review without giving thanks.
First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to Mo Abudu for her outstanding efforts. I know I railed about that abomination of a film they used to kick off the year for us, but I’m here to lavish praise on this production.
The concept of this series was excellent, and whoever proposed it be made into a Limited Series must have been communing with the angels at the time, for nothing else could have done justice to it and the numerous complexities it provided. The plot had so many depths and sections that it wasn’t just a plain ‘girls kill rich guy and flee’ scenario. Subplots were introduced, such as other suspects, a shady past, a dysfunctional family, bribery, blackmail, and organ harvesting, all of which were intertwined into the main plot. Lesser writers would have mixed it all up, but credit to the story’s authors for not allowing one subplot to devour the other.
Despite the fact that Sarah Duru and Kemi Sanya played the primary roles, I believe the plotline allowed every single performer to shine while not overshadowing the story’s idea. This has some of the best scriptwriting of any Nigerian production on Netflix in the previous few years. There were quotable phrases, especially from Officer Joe ‘Chicago’ Obasanjo (Wale Ojo), and there were punchlines. They’ve done working on the script.
My next point has to be the costuming which I may have to hold for later because the casting is so amazing.
If you’re a fashion fan, I’m sure you were giddy with delight at every outift reveal, especially with Uduak Ademola (Henshaw). Every piece was a hit, and damn if Miss Henshaw didn’t wear the fabric off everything that touched her skin. I just keep seeing “couture, couture” everywhere; you can tell Netflix’s budget did not go into any cheap nonsense.
Another character whose clothing I like, despite their lack of flamboyance, was Akin (Daniel Etim-Effiong). It was all sleeveless kaftans, but they were all very age-appropriate and elegant. Yinka Ademola (Kehinde Bankole) also had some looks that will have you calling your favorite clothing store for a wardrobe refresh. Miss Bankole had the body for those fits, and every outfit was a smash.
You all know that Lekkiwood would not be Lekkiwood if the film was not shot in Lagos. We really kayak around Lagos, but where are we? We visited Lekki, Falomo, a private beach (I’m not sure if it was Oniru or Elegushi), we entered village, and of course, our favorite tourist attraction, Makoko, received a nice feature as well. We watched scenes in the Ademolas’ opulent houses, as well as the basic, spartan dwelling of the hitman Blade (Sam), a modern beach house, and the inside of a bamboo house in a picturesque village.
The budget was generously divided out in the place selections, and everything worked out well.
Then there’s cinematography. I don’t need to go into detail about how great the cinematography in this film was at this point, brethren. I never failed to perceive things clearly. The screen was crystal clear, there were plenty of views of the horizon, the lighting was incredible, I only had to see Eko bridge once and never again because there were other things to shoot, the transitions were brilliant, and the effects were flawless….but cinematography is one thing you can count on EbonyLife for.
I’d like to touch the casting now, without further ado. This one may be continued in a later post because I’d like to go into more detail about some of my favorite performances, but the casting in this film was nothing short of fantastic. Finally, we have an All-Star cast that isn’t overburdened with celebrity. You saw the main cast earlier, right? You know you can’t put together a cast like that without using magic, especially when the script is so good.
From Joke Silva to Segun Arinze, Tope Tedela, Patrick Doyle, Okey Uzoeshi, Zack Orji, Toyin Abraham, Edo Dike, and Denrele, the guest stars were all Famous Stars, and each of them delivered their lines with such smooth perfection. In fact, everyone was outstanding. For a long time, I hadn’t seen Ini-Dima deliver a performance as good as this one.
I was beginning to doubt her acting ability because she was receiving such lazy, mediocre scripts and her performances reflected that, but this time, she completely stepped up; I especially enjoyed her expressions, and she sold the whole ‘abused partner’ role to the letter, and Nancy Isime was brilliant as usual, but these two were not my favorites. I’d like to thank Deyemi Okanlawon and Ramsey Noah for their contributions to the delivery. Guys, Deyemi only appeared in the first episode, which was the only episode in which we saw him talk and interact, yet his aura lingered until the final episode.
Even when he was not on screen, I felt like I was still watching him. There was also Oga Ramsey. Leave am for Ramsey, Noah, see, una see this acting thing. He played Henchman in a way that only someone with over 400 acting credits and 20+ years of experience could, all while clad in his distinctive all-black outfit. Ramsey had little more than four sentences in the entire four episodes of the series, but we felt his every emotion.
You could tell when he was bored, angry, frustrated, or casual, and he never had to offer any language to convey his mood. It was all in his posture and mannerisms. Nonetheless, Ramsey was hardly the series’ breakout star for me, because we all know what Ramsey is capable of.
I’d want to stop writing about the characters at this point for the sake of brevity, and just say that this Limited Series was fantastic. This is the kind of foreign content Nollywood should be producing so Netflix doesn’t believe we’re a waste of money.
While the series did not completely avoid some of the tropes that Lekkiwood and Aunty Mo enjoy exploring, such as the cold, unwelcoming matriarch, the obnoxiously wealthy family marrying from a middle class family, and, of course, a flamboyant owambe party for the culture, these tropes did not get to swallow the essence of a good old drama. Everything came together to make a flawless plot, and I can confidently declare that this is the best Nollywood and Netflix partnership production ever. Instead of 1h53 minute movies that leave you unfulfilled, perhaps more projects could look into the possibilities of a Limited Series.
Watch or Throw Away- If you don’t watch this series, you’ll be sorry.
PS: I’d want to thank everyone involved in this production for doing credit to the title ‘Blood Sisters,’ since after seeing Omotola and Genevieve’s masterpiece, I would have been devastated if they damaged the title with a terrible production.
NEXT: A selection of my favorite performances.
In the meantime, have you seen the Limited Series? What are your thoughts?
So, here are some of my favorite performances from this season.
There’s something special about performers who aren’t widely known, and Wale Ojo embodies that quality every time he appears on screen. He is such a methodical performer, and his delivery is always flawless, and this production was no exception. Officer Joe ‘Chicago’ was witty, incisive, insightful, and contemplative in equal measure. Wale nailed the role of a returnee inspector, his pronunciation was amazing, and I don’t think I need to say anything about his carriage. Every time I see him on screen, I get a kick out of him. He has never given a horrible performance, which is likely due to the fact that he isn’t everywhere.
Not to be mistaken with the outstanding Miss Genevieve Nnaji, but equally skilled, this lady is unquestionably the show’s breakthrough star. She portrays Timeyin Ademola, the Ademola clan’s rebellious only daughter who struggles to overcome an addiction with little help from her family. Genoveve appears inebriated for the most part, but the situations in which she is lucid are always incredibly intense. She gives a convincing performance as a disturbed young woman searching for acceptance from a mother who never recognizes the good in her. Genoveve’s portrayal is deserving of high praise because this character is not for everyone. She shone among talented veterans such as Miss Henshaw, Ramsey Noah, and Gabriel Afolayan. We never saw her give up; she gave it her all in every scene, and I sincerely hope she receives all the praise and honors she deserves for such a performance.
We sometimes take people for granted because we’ve seen them give 100 percent over the years, but Blood Sisters reminded us that old Nollywood stars are still miles ahead of what’s available now in terms of professionalism, and Miss Henshaw was at the forefront of that charge. Kate is no stranger to portraying a forceful, ambitious lady, but she really kills it in this role. In Timeyin (Umeh) and Femi, she showed a wonderful blend of impassioned for the one son she did love deeply and dismissive, if not outright harsh, to the others she didn’t care about (Afolayan). Her adulation and borderline worship of Kola (Okanlawon), the chosen child, is such a contrast to the scorn her two other children face. It’s no surprise that Timeyin is driven insane by it all.
Gabriel Afolayan and Kehinde Bankole
I wish I could separate Gabriel Afolayan and Kehinde Bankole’s performances, but this series requires them to work together. I’m not sure what their contract says, but I hope Gabriel Afolayan and Kehinde have plans to use their on-screen chemistry off-screen, because in all honesty, not since the days of Ramsey Noah and Genevieve Nnaji, and Rita Dominic and Jim Iyke, have I seen another pair with as much on-screen chemistry as Gabriel and Kehinde.
While Femi (Afolayan) is more feeble-minded, his wife, Yinka (Bankole), is as ferocious as his mother and willing to get her hands dirty. This couple spends a lot of time arranging Femi’s ascension to the Ademola throne, as well as other wicked machinations, and sealing it with some intense coitus. They worked so well together that I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch them with anyone else in the future. This was a formidable duo. And this couple once again shown why they are so highly regarded in Nollywood.
Uche Jombo, who portrayed an Igbo mother and contributed at least 70% of the Igbo dialogue, and Ibrahim Suleiman, who played Kenny Nioku, the jilted boyfriend who comes through in Sarah’s (Okojie) time of need, deserve special mention. These performances were fantastic.
Do you have any personal favorites?