Premiering on November 15, 2023, Praise Party unfolds as a thought-provoking cinematic creation from Nigerian-Canadian writer and producer Anuli Ajagu.
The film is a brainchild of Brampton Productions and RevAnuli Inc., and while the film delivers a gratifying ending, it manages to linger in our minds, prompting contemplation on people’s interaction with one another in society.
The film boasts an ensemble cast that includes acclaimed actors such as Kunle Remi, Anuli Ajagu, Bridget Chigbufue, Hadiza Abubakar, Ebere Bayray McNwizu, Keppy Ekpenyong, Bayray Nwizu, Tina Mba, Sola Fosudo, Chioma Nwosu, Arinze Okonkwo, and many others.
Set in Nigeria, the storyline orbits around Tobe Thompson played by Kunle Remi, unveiling his narcissistic tendencies toward his wife Zara Thompson played by Ebere Bayray McNwizu. Zara suffers profound emotional abuse and societal stigmatization stemming from the challenges of marital breakdown and infertility.
In a compelling narrative, the film courageously brings to the forefront the genuine struggles faced by numerous African families—a reality often kept concealed.
A courageous exploration of unresolved childhood trauma, privilege, and injustice, Praise Party boldly shines a light on the emotional abuse and societal stigmatization endured by Zara in her marriage.
The characters, skillfully portrayed by the cast, masterfully embody their roles, navigating through a spectrum of emotions with authenticity. The costume team aptly captures the essence of each character, while the well-chosen set locations contribute to the overall narrative coherence.
However, a minor critique emerges in the portrayal of the friendship between Zara and Lotanna’s wife, which appears somewhat forced and overly assertive. She came on a little too strong, she pretty much threw her hands in for an introductory handshake, and located and visited Zara in her parent’s house without even seeking appropriate consent first.
Although Zara gave in and later attended her group therapy, the friendship came on too strong. Despite this, the film maintains its grip on a compelling storyline that delves into profound societal lessons.
Cinematographically, Praise Party impresses with its adept capture of various angles, immersing the audience into the character’s world.
The use of colors, lighting, and framing adds an authentic layer to each scene, enhancing the overall visual storytelling experience.
Above all, Praise Party stands as a faith-based film addressing critical societal issues, particularly the themes of emotional abuse and trauma.
It underscores the importance of community, professional help, and therapeutic avenues for self-discovery, courage, and forgiveness.
From us at Kemi Filani it’s an 8/10 for Praise Party.