“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti,” directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, is a cinematic masterpiece that brings the remarkable life of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti to the silver screen. With brilliant storytelling, unique characters, and impeccable craftsmanship, this biopic is nothing short of a blockbuster.
Cast of the Movie
The film’s exceptional cast, featuring luminaries like Joke Silva, Kehinde Bankole, Ibrahim Suleiman, Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Adebayo Salami, Keppy Ekpeyoung, Adunni Ade, Omowunmi Dada, Patrick Diabuah, and many others, delivers groundbreaking performances that enthral the audience from start to finish.
One of the special highlights of this biopic is the inclusion of Funmi’s grandchildren in the cast, with Dotun Ransome-Kuti and Kunle Ransome-Kuti portraying their fathers, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and Fela Kuti, respectively. Yeni Kuti, Femi Kuti, and his son Made Kuti, also make memorable appearances, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative.
The film elegantly chronicles the life of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, portrayed brilliantly by Kehinde Bankole and Joke Silva. From her pioneering days as the first female student at Abeokuta Grammar School to her marriage to Israel Ransome-Kuti, played by Ibrahim Suleiman, the movie paints a vivid picture of her tireless activism against oppression. It masterfully juxtaposes her activism with her roles as a wife and mother, revealing the indomitable spirit of a woman who changed the course of history.
Costume and Language Use
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a trailblazer in many aspects, and the film does justice to her legacy. It beautifully recreates the era with its costumes, which transport the audience back to the time when these events unfolded. The use of both Yoruba and English languages adds depth to the storytelling, capturing the cultural and historical nuances of Abeokuta at that time.
Thematic Preoccupation of the Movie
One of the film’s standout achievements is its depiction of female power and feminism as underlying themes. It showcases the strength that arises when women unite to fight injustice, emphasizing the power of unity among women. Moreover, it portrays women as powerful beings capable of achieving incredible feats when they set their minds to it—much like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti herself.
The movie also delves into the influence of colonial powers and corruption within traditional rule during that era. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and her women challenge both the chiefs and the government, highlighting the systematic pauperization of the masses.
At its core, the film is a testament to the power of love and support. It illustrates how a woman can thrive and tirelessly pursue a better system for the masses with the unwavering love and support of her husband.
Cinematography in Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti
The cinematography effectively complements the movie,, enhancing the storytelling by visually conveying the emotions, struggles, and triumphs of the characters. It captures the essence of the time period which is the early 20th Century, from the lush landscapes of Abeokuta to the bustling streets and interiors of the era, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the historical context.
The film’s lighting and composition are skillfully employed to create mood and atmosphere. Whether it’s the warm, intimate lighting during personal moments or the stark contrast and shadows in scenes of tension and conflict, the cinematography enhances the emotional impact of each scene in RFK.
Attention was paid to historical accuracy in recreating the visual aesthetics of the period. The costumes, set design, and overall visual style of the movie transport viewers to the early 20th century providing a sense of authenticity that adds depth to the storytelling.
I particularly like how the characters are highlighted, their expressions, and body language, allowing viewers to connect with their experiences on a deeper level. Close-ups, medium shots, and wide shots are used strategically to emphasize character dynamics and development.
From its compelling storyline and well-developed characters to its stunning cinematography and thematic depth, “Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” is a triumph of cinematic storytelling. Bolanle Austen-Peters has masterfully crafted a film that deserves praise.
Conclusively, I will say”Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” earns a solid 8.5/10 rating. It is not just a biopic; it is a tribute to a remarkable woman and a thought-provoking exploration of feminism, unity, and the relentless pursuit of justice. This film is a must-see for anyone who appreciates outstanding storytelling and powerful performances.