The Royal Hibiscus Hotel Film: An Exhilarating But Rather Unrealistic Love Story
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel By Ebony Life Films
Today, I have decided to give you my review of the Nollywood Movie The Royal Hibiscus Hotel by Ebony Life Films as my belated valentine’s day gift to you. So before you hit the cinema this weekend in search of a great movie to watch, read this and don’t forget to share with friends.
My Review Of Nollywood Movie The Royal Hibiscus Hotel
Grand name, major publicity buzz and now The royal hibiscus movie is here, Sweeping over the cinemas but one question on most lips “is it worth the wait and hype or is all the pomp and pageantry one that’s skin deep and whose true colour has been exposed with its release? Well, read on to find out.
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is Ebony Life Films pioneer movie for 2018. This movie was written and directed by Ishaya Bako. The movie features a star-studded cast which is what we are getting accustomed to with Ebony Life films. The cast includes Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, Deyemi Okanlawon, Rachel Oniga, Jide Kosoko, Lala Akindoju, O. C. Ukeje, Ini Dima Okojie, Charles Inojie, Akah Nnani, Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Toni Tones and Bucci Franklin.
In reviewing this film, I am going to examine
- The Storyline/plot
- Costume/ set design
- Acting: casting and delivery
The Story Line Of The Royal Hibiscus Hotel
A young Nigerian Chef (Ope- Zainab Balogun) returns home from London to her family’s heirloom the Royal Hibiscus Hotel. Unknown to her and her mother (Rose – Rachel Oniga), her father (Segun- Jide Kosoko) has put the hotel up for sale. She begins a whirlwind relationship with one of the hotel’s guest after a cooking disaster only to find out he is the investor buying her family’s hotel. All hell breaks loose and she leaves back for London immediately. The movie comes to a sweet end when Mr lover boy pays her a visit in London and gives her the documents to the hotel which he bought in her name. They kiss and live happily ever after.
Did I just hear you say oh wow, do love stories like this exist? Yes! but only in fairy tales and romance novels. This movie was devoid of verisimilitude. The story was too plain and one could tell the end from the beginning( a feature we have become used to with most Nollywood movies).
The plot was lacking dramatic elements such as suspense, the conflict was not properly built up to a defining climax and the theme of love was interpreted in a lackadaisical way with no effort put to make it realistic as a Nigerian love story.
Let’s not forget the lack of character development for several characters, some who appeared once or twice but made no lasting impression with their appearances because the script didn’t give them the chance to explore their creative ingenuity.
As a romantic comedy, we know the drill, boy meets girl, they fall in love, there’s conflict and finally above all things they reunite. This movie did a great job as a romcom, making use of situations such as the “meet cute” and of course giving us an ending that elicited lots of awwwww’s and all that mushy feelings.
Dear writer, all I saw from this movie was a story written to appeal to love swooned ladies for the now and not a classic masterpiece that can stand the test of time.
I give the script a 4 over 10.
Cinematography and music
The cinematography was flawless. Picture quality was good, audio was good, transcription was without errors and their choice of music were exquisite.
I give this an 8.
Costume and set design
Dear set designer, you gave this movie all the live it needed. The vintage vibes that oozed out of the decor and not to talk about their choice of location for the hotel. We didn’t need any one to tell us that this hotel was obviously a Grand one at its prime which was probably during the British governance in Nigeria.
I am still amazed at where you guys got all that pink teddies in opeoluwa’s room. So much pink I felt like screaming Ope the pink ambassador.
Location and set design gets a whooping 9 from me.
Sadly costume gets a 5 because I didn’t see much effort put into the costumes of the characters with the exception of Rose (Rachael Oniga) whose costumes were a far cry from great choice. She was draped in so much colour and furs that I was stuck between calling her a peacock on display or an Eyo masquerade in the making.
However, whosoever picked that red dress for Ope is a genius. The dress fits her body and skin tone like bread and butter and I have only one word to describe her look…. dazzling!
Acting: Casting and Delivery
The cast of TRH was pretty good. Whosoever did the casting did a great job. I only have one question to ask, when will Ebony life give us something fresh, a new face and not a star-studded crew. It makes me wonder if they are afraid of using unknown faces because they know their story-lines are not so strong and hence need experienced actors to give it life.
Anyway, the acting was good. Zainab Balogun slayed her role as Opeoluwa; the accent, the charisma and the subtle giddiness of a teenager in love mixed with a certain level of maturity and intelligence was a beautiful way to interpret her character. And this made her one of my favorite character in this film.
Kenneth Okolie as Deji was just there for me. I enjoyed the fine boy part, I think he did an amazing job strutting around but when it comes to holding a formidable chemistry with Ope, he didn’t do a great job at it. And that’s a major determining factor considering everything happened too fast. We needed to see a crazy chemistry as consolation for why the love story was too fast and unreal. For me, a more sizzling chemistry ( the type that will make us fan ourselves cause it’s just too hot) would have made their love story believable.
O. C. Ukeje as usual gave an outstanding performance, the same with Jide kosoko and Rachel Oniga. Even though I saw that they tried to pull a spin-off of Sola Sobowale’s overly dramatic character from the wedding party but I am glad Rachel Oniga was able to strike a balance between being dramatic and being believable.
Some characters gave this film life and some were just there.
Deyemi was the villain that I couldn’t help but love because his role interpretation was just brilliant. However I felt he had too much liberty to do and undo . For someone who is working for his boss, he had too much say in the affairs. Almost as if the boss was a dummy. Well until the end when we finally saw him take action.
Lala Akindoju’s character chika was overwhelming . It was great to see her deliver a good performance but it was heartbreaking that the director didn’t know when to stop her from Coming across as Ratchet. she took her nonchalance too far as a staff and we all know such can’t really happen in reality.
I mean no disrespect to veterans but what exactly did Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs do in this movie? The answer is NOTHING!
However, I understand that they used them as symbols representing love given their history as one of Nollywood’s longest standing couple. But this was a foolish thing to do as far as I am concerned because a non-Nigerian who doesn’t know this story won’t get the drift.
What I have to say about the Directing
Finally, a lot of characters were under utilized and I dare say highly unnecessary because they neither added to nor subtracted from the story.
However, Ishaya Bako , the director showed us once again that he is a name to look out for in The Nigerian Film Industry with his successful delivery of the Nollywood Movie The Royal Hibiscus Hotel as a sweet romantic movie.
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, highly anticipated, not below expectations as a romantic comedy but is definitely nothing Quintessential.
Overall, I give this film a 6 out of 10.
Kudos to Ebony Life Films for this movie, hopefully they will get better.
Have you seen this movie? Did it meet your expectations? If not , what were you expecting from it.
Did you love this review?
This is my first movie review on this blog, I will appreciate your honest opinion on how I did.