The first five to six minutes of this film is a brilliant hook, which tells the viewer that a sexy movie is underway. The competent acting, interesting dialogue plus the unexpected twists and turns culminate in a hilarious comedy. Alexx Ekubo displays unrivalled skills, which is without doubt, his best so far as an actor while Oboli is believable as the permissive Michelle.
Omoni Oboli’s sophomore movie as a director, First Lady, is a comedy that relates the story of Michelle (Omoni Oboli) and Obama (Alexx Ekubo), (the former a prostitute and the latter her boyfriend/pimp), the lord-servant relationship between them plus Michelle’s encounter with Kelechi (Chinedu Ikedieze/Joseph Benjamin).
Oboli; who shot three films back-to-back, according to reports; should have released First Lady, a much more interesting film, before Being Mrs. Elliot; that way, she would have stepped her best foot forward. Wait a minute, who knows; she may even be reserving the best for last.
The social issues – prostitution, human trafficking, domestic violence, ritual killing and voodoo – highlighted in the film are tastefully incorporated into the plot such that the movie is not weighed down by too many activities. The diabolical parts of the movie are infused with caution in a way that they bear little or no semblance to the thousands of mysterious Nollywood movies out there.
A few errors and awkward moments appear in First Lady. The lady who tries to separate Michelle and the other prostitute is laughing as she separates them! Kelechi’s Dad’s infusion seems to be at the same level throughout the film. Michael (Udoka Oyeka) tells Michelle as he hands over a paper bag to her, “This is for you, it’s a red dress. Why didn’t she unravel the contents of the bag herself? It’s an audio-visual medium, remember. Why is the film, rendered in Pidgin English, not subtitled?
Several times, viewers hear, “Asewo no be work”. That statement, popularized by Domittila, an eponymous 1997/98 Zeb Ejiro film on the escapades of some prostitutes, should not have been a part of this film; which truly beats its own path. That statement then makes First Lady somehow sound like Domittila’s ‘child.’ In other words, though it stands on the shoulders of Domittila, First Lady does not ape the former in any way and so should not have included “Asewo no be work” in its dialogue. First Lady will fetch Oboli & Ekubo a number of nominations and awards in the coming year.