NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 134

A C R ITICAL R EADI NG OF THE FIGURINE ( 2009 )
TITLE OF MOVIE
The Figurine ( Araromire ) – 2009 .
PRODUCER / DIRECTOR
Kunle Afolayan l
Graphic Poster for The Figurine © figurinemovie . com
STARRING
Kunle Afolayan ,
Ramsey Noah , Tosin Sido , Omoni Oboli , and Funlola Aofiyebi .
RUNNING TIME
120 minutes
SCRIPT
Kemi Adesoye
MARKETER
Golden Effects
Pictures
Academy Awards and experienced tremendous success in the Nigerian movie theatres . His most recent movie , October 1 ( 2014 ) gulped $ 2-milion to make . He features in many of his movies , such as Phone Swap , The Figurine and October 1 . He has also starred in Farayola ( 2009 ), Onitemi ( 2007 ), Ejiwere ( 2006 ), and Ti Alabaku ( 2009 ).
His first film was Irapada ( 2005 ), but it took The Figurine ( 2009 ) for Kunle Afolayan to be placed in the rank of high profiled filmmakers in Nigeria . Now , with October 1 ( 2014 ), Kunle Afolayan has become the most talked about auteur in the Nigerian film industry . This project took him two years to complete : pre-production six months , shooting took 2 months , and post-production spanned eight months ( Afolayan , 2014 ). Hailed as the Martin Scorsese of Lagos ( Nigeria ) by The New York Times ’ Andrew Rice , Kunle Afolayan hopes to take Nollywood into a new world of filmmaking : the new Nollywood where quality will surpass quantity ( Rice , 2012 ).
The Figurine ( 2009 ) opens in 1908 with a prologue of the ancient myth about the goddess of Araromire . According to the old folktale narrated by the popular Yoruba afro-beat musician Lagbaja , when the goddess Araromire wanted to come down to the earth , she asked her chief priest to bring her forth from the bark of the cursed tree . When worshippers from the village came and touched her , Araromire granted them wealth , prosperity and sound health . Their land became fertile , their cows were the fattest , their rivers flowed , and their children prospered . But all these benefits would last for only seven years ; then destruction , plaque , misery and death befell them . The villagers began to wonder what kind of goddess strikes her own priest . They destroyed her by burning down the cursed tree , and supernatural forces sent down rains , which poured , poured and poured on the night the goddess Araromire and her wickedness became no more .
The remaining part of the film reveals the city of Lagos in 2001 with an aerial / bird ’ s eye view shot detailing the busy environment of the cosmopolitan Nigerian city . Femi ( Ramsey Nouah ), whose father ( David J . Oserwe ) has been very sick , is posted to Araromire for his mandatory one year National Youth Service Corp — nysc . Sola ( Kunle Afolayan ), his friend who has no nysc discharge certificate yet , after just recently graduating from the university , attends a job interview and realizes that without the certificate , finding a job would be impossible . As a result , Sola consults with the Dean of his Faculty on how to get his clearance
for nysc . The Dean remembers Sola as a rash student who hasn ’ t passed so much in character but becomes interested in his case , after he is told that Sola has been posted to Araromire . The Dean enlightens Sola on the name of the village and the good fortunes the goddess brings , but the disinterested Sola leaves the office courteously without listening to the other part of the story , the part of Araromire ’ s seven years of doom and gloom .
Femi , who is at the motor park about to board a vehicle for camp , meets his close friend and long time crush , Mona ( Omoni Oboli ), who has coincidentally been posted to the same village with Sola and Femi . Sola , in his usual irresponsible manner is the last to arrive at the nysc orientation camp . Now inside the camp , Sola and Femi on an endurance trek hear a recurring strange and sharp sound in the forest . The curious duo decide to trace the source of the sound and eventually end up in an ancient mud house where Sola finds the figurine Araromire and goes with it . As events begin to twist , Mona informs Femi that their friend Sola has proposed to her and that she is already pregnant for him . Heartbroken Femi tries to no avail to dissuade Sola from moving in with Mona and ends up touching the idol of Araromire , after Sola opens up about stealing the effigy . They all return back home with strange changes of fortunes : Femi ’ s father who was down with cancer has mysteriously been healed ; Femi is miraculously sent on a special overseas training ; and Sola secures a good job and marries Mona .
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