Darasen Richards and Adetokunbo Odubawo (DJ Tee) collaborate to produce The Antique, set in the ancient Bini (Benin) Kingdom; where a young lady Ukinebo (Oge Indiana) is chosen to redeem her people by embarking on a mission, where men have failed and never returned home alive.
The stories from the ancient Bini Kingdom are usually very intriguing – The Child (WoleOjo, Joke Silva, Alex Usifo-Omiagbo) and Invasion 1897: The Deposing of Oba Ovarhehem. Whereas the other two have heroes, TheAntique explores the world through a heroine, whose is faced with an arduous task of reinstating a stolen artifact.
The costume designer does a great job with the choice of fabrics and patterns for the cast of the film. The cast do a riveting job with their roles: the three young men who accompany the lady on her quest – Osato, Osaze and Osahon – give their all in interpreting their roles. Gabriel Afolayan who plays Uyi, as usual, does not disappoint. SeunAkindele is another dependable actor,whose star has only begun to shine. It is not every time that one sees three different films featuring a particular actor in three days and not get bored. He brings something fresh to each role.
Kiki Omeili portrays the sexy widow, seductress and schemer to the admiration of the audience. Olu Jacobs, Bimbo Akintola and Ricardo Agbo make cameo appearances, but are ever reliable. The lanky witch doctor/chief priest has unusual looks, which is a departure from many of those seen in Nollywood films; he looks and sounds real.
The comedian, Akpororo, brings comic relief from time to time. Here, he acts as Uriri, a coward who fights battles with his loud mouth. In one scene, he tells Uyi: ‘Whatever is capable of chasing you with these beards is also capable of chasing me.’ So, does he mean that bearded men are invincible? When Uyi tells Uriri that he (Uyi) is the one pursuing the people, who took away his love interest, Uriri asks him, ‘If you are the one chasing, then why are you running?’ … as if someone pursuing something is expected to walk leisurely.
The scene where Ukinebo had planned to escape at dawn only to open the door and see the men, waiting to take her away, introduces a twist to the story as one had assumed she will escape and the search for her will either yield fruits or result in sanctions against her father.
Are the chiefs senseless? They finish talking with an obviously drunk blacksmith and his apprentice meets them a few minutes later to say that his boss has agreed to their request. Couldn’t they suspect that the boy was lying? The whole scenario plays out like the biblical Elisha-Gehazi story.
The deity is shown as one that metes out instant judgment. Why does it spare the widow and the witch doctor for so long? Uki says, ‘I am UkineboEnumaIgbinedion. I have pursued, overtook and recovered all.’ It should have been ‘… overtaken …’The artifact she brought back looks too new on the outside. Did she wash it before presenting it to the king?
Uki understands the formalities for the tradition, but does not know that her companions are eunuchs, how? If she learned the rituals from stories her folks told her, why did the stories leave out the kind of men, who accompany the chosen one? Folklore and traditional storytelling do notreally conceal any details. We do not see her taking instructions from the chief priest and so cannot assume he taught her the rituals. So, how did she learn what to say and when to break the egg?
The Antique ends sloppily. How did the white man and the guard pull the wool over the curator’s (Tee A’s) eyes in his own office and in his own presence just because he is making a phone call? That scene doesn’t work! Indeed, that development is too hard to swallow.