NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 135

A C R ITICAL R EADI NG OF PHONE SWAP ( 2012 )
TITLE OF MOVIE
Phone Swap – 2012
PRODUCER / DIRECTOR
Kunle Afolayan
STARRING
Wale Ojo ,
Nse Ikpe Etim , Joke Silva , Chika Okpala , Hafiz Oyetoro , Lydia Forson , and Ada Ameh
RUNNING TIME
110 minutes
SCRIPT
Kemi Adesoye
MARKETER
Golden Effects
Pictures
132
Seven years later , Femi still feels a strong attraction for Mona , who , on the contrary , tries to match-make Femi with her friend Linda ( Funlola Aofiyebi ). Lara ( Tosin Sido ), the sister to Femi , now stays with Sola ’ s family where the figurine begins to give strange signs . Mona investigates the myth of Araromire and becomes frightened that the sudden wealth , health and peace of her family are not unconnected to the seven years of Araromire ’ s good gifts . Fearing danger in the years to come , she tries everything possible to destroy and annihilate the effigy .
She orders Lara to throw it away , but it returns back to the house . In an attempt to throw it into the lagoon herself , she loses her pregnancy . Events lead to tragedy as Sola begins to cheat on his wife Mona , his son Junior ( Tobe Oboli ) dies , Femi ’ s asthma returns , and he goes home to find his father who is a sculptor dead inside his workshop . Also , both men lose their jobs and realize that the figurine could be responsible for all of these . In a double plot narration , depressed Mona sends out Femi ’ s sister but discovers similar effigies as the figurine inside her box . The picture is now clearer to Mona , who concludes that Lara has been responsible for the strange returns of the figurine . Under compulsion , Lara confesses that her brother Femi has been controlling and compelling her to return the statues each time it was thrown out . Femi and Sola now in the forest of Araromire return the figurine , and over-ambitious Femi
murders Sola by hitting him with a log of wood . He returns to Lagos alone and divulges to Linda all that he has done , including his orchestrated Araromire good luck and bad luck coincidences . He did all of these to get rid of Sola , so he can end up with his heartthrob , Mona . He eventually kills Linda , and in the end , a Rapid Response Squad declares Femi dead . The film ends with the intriguing question , what do you believe ?
This psychological thriller , made with a huge sum of n60 million , shot Kunle Afolayan into the limelight . It quickly became a box office hit sooner than critics of Nollywood imagined . The film was first released at the 2009 Rotterdam International Film Festival and received wide critical acclaim . It got ten nominations and won five awards at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards . The movie became such a huge success that it gave birth to a 445-page book entitled , Auteuring Nollywood : Critical Perspectives on the Figurine . The book is the first in the history of Nigerian cinema to be devoted to the work of a single Nigerian film director , and it contains essays which explore the thematic focus and cinematic style employed in The Figurine . The book ’ s ‘ foreword ’ is by Professor Jonathan Haynes of the Long Island University , ‘ afterword ’ on “ Neo-Nollywood and its Other ” by Onookome Okome , and edited by Adeshina Afolayan .
The film revolves around the double plot narration of Akin ( Wale Ojo ), a corporate executive , and Mary Onyejekwe ( Nse Ikpe Etim ), a gorgeous seamstress who works at Alexis . Akin , who has an eye for the position of the ceo of his present company , has big plans that can reposition the company to greater heights . He plans to unveil this secret at the company ’ s retreat , but there is a secondary threat : his immediate boss has vowed to get rid of him by not letting him have the access to the venue of the meeting . Optimistic Akin strongly believes that boss ’ s evil plans will be foiled , as he entrusts his Personal Assistant ( pa ) Alex ( Hafiz Oyetoro ) to find and leak the venue to him . Mary on the flip side of the plot is saddened with a series of issues : a broken heart , an overweight sister , Cynthia ( Ada Amah ), who is a police officer and who has an attitude problem in her marriage . The latest of these is that Cynthia is nowhere to be found after grabbing her husband ’ s manhood , and her father ( Chika Okpala ) insists that Mary , against all odds , must attend the summoned family meeting with the in-laws . Her boss initially disapproves but later changes her mind and permits her to see to the issue within a limited time frame on the condition that she will work on a high profile client ’ s outfit while away . Akin ’ s retreat venue has been revealed to him by his pa ; the retreat is slated to be held in Abuja , and Akin , as well as Mary , hurry down to the airport . Akin , now at the airport , books an Abuja-bound flight while nervous Mary gravely bumps into him .