Movie review: Muri & Ko is a comedy-crime drama worth seeing

Movie review Muri & Ko

I recently had the pleasure of watching Muri & Ko, the latest film from renowned Nollywood writer-director Biodun Stephen. This comedy-crime drama stars Kunle Remi, Bisola Aiyeola, Bucci Franklin, and Femi Jacobs, and offers a captivating blend of humor, tension, and social commentary.

The story starts with Muri, played by Kunle Remi, a small-time thief who stumbles into a much larger predicament when he accidentally kidnaps an eight-year-old boy named Cole while attempting to steal a car. Muri’s primary concern is to get rid of the stolen vehicle, but with Cole in tow, his mission takes a series of unexpected turns. A rollercoaster of events ensues over a hectic 24-hour period as Muri tries to navigate this tricky situation without harming Cole.

One of the film’s standout aspects is its ability to effectively juggle different tones. It transitions smoothly between moments of high tension and bursts of comedy, often highlighting the stark differences between Muri’s rough world and Cole’s more privileged background. Despite these differences, the film beautifully explores the developing bond between Muri and Cole, emphasizing themes of unlikely friendship and redemption.

The narrative structure is compelling, largely due to the well-defined character arcs. Muri’s journey from a petty criminal to a reluctant guardian for Cole is portrayed with a depth that makes his character relatable and sympathetic. Kunle Remi delivers a nuanced performance, capturing Muri’s inner conflict and gradual transformation. He strayed perfectly away from the loverboy roles he’s known for. Similarly, the young actor playing Cole, Fiyinfoluwa Asenuga, brings a touching blend of innocence and maturity to his role, which helps bridge the gap between his and Muri’s disparate lives.

In addition to the central duo, the film also delves into the personal conflicts of Cole’s separated parents, Banji and Didi, played by Femi Jacobs and Bisola Aiyeola, respectively. Their strained relationship adds another layer of emotional complexity to the story, showing the impact of personal issues on a larger crisis. The depiction of their turmoil feels authentic and adds depth to the narrative.

A notable aspect of Muri & Ko is its clever use of social media as a narrative tool. The frantic search for the missing boy is amplified by the viral spread of information (and misinformation) online, which serves as a satirical commentary on modern society’s dependency on digital platforms. This element adds a contemporary touch to the story, making it even more relevant to today’s audience.

Supporting characters such as the nosy police chief and Muri’s sidekick, Chukwudi, bring additional layers of intrigue and humour to the film. Their interactions provide comic relief and further enrich the story. The film’s climax, set against a backdrop of intense music, sees the police closing in on Muri, creating a suspenseful and thrilling conclusion to the story.

The film’s pacing is well-managed, ensuring the audience remains engaged throughout its duration. The balance of drama and humour and the social commentary woven into the plot make Muri & Ko a multi-faceted viewing experience. The strong performances from the cast, particularly the leads, elevate the film and ensure that it resonates on an emotional level.

The film uses Yoruba and the English language. It has no unique look other than a LUT slammed on in post-production. The lighting of the night scenes is not bad but not impressive. Regardless, the movie has a story good enough to make you ignore whatever you might consider flaws.

Overall, Muri & Ko is a thoughtfully crafted film that offers more than just entertainment. It’s a redemption story, the power of unlikely friendships, and the societal divide we often overlook. With its engaging plot and well-rounded characters, it’s a film that leaves a lasting impression. I’d rate it a solid 7/10, recognizing its ability to deliver a heartfelt, socially pertinent, entertaining narrative.

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