19 years after, Aki and Pawpaw fail to ‘grow up’

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Movie Title: Aki and pawpaw Remake

Original : Aki na Ukwa (2002)

Lead Cast: Chinedu Ikedieze, Osita Iheme, Toyin Abraham, Beverly Osu, Stan Nze, Uti Nwachukwu, Amaechi Muonagor, Charles Inojie, Hanks Anuku.

Writers: Stephen Boyo and Ozioma Ogbaji

Directors: Chris Odeh, Mimi Bartel and Agozie Agwu

Producers: Charles Okpaleke, Moses Babatope, Kene Okwuosa, and Craig Shurn

Release date: December 12, 2021

19 years ago, diminutive actors, Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze, were thrust into the limelight after they landed their breakout movie roles in ‘Aki na Ukwa’.

The instant success of the film ensured that they became overnight celebrities.

The then 25-year-old Ikedieze, played the role of Aki, while Iheme, who was 20 at the time, played Pawpaw.

Following the film’s success, the actors continued to star as brothers maintaining the stage names Aki and Pawpaw.

19 years after, the best friends have reprised their roles in the remake of the classic Nollywood movie, ‘Aki and Pawpaw’.

Many years later, they remain an iconic part of our history and have found their way into Nigerian pop culture through several memes and popular mannerisms.

Plot

The movie turned out to be a sequel of the original version, but this time around, Aki and Pawpaw, have relocated to the city, Lagos, where their uncle, Uche, lived.

Uncle Uche took Aki and Pawpaw to work at his neighbour’s bar, a decision Mama Nkri lived to regret, as the two brothers brought nothing but trouble.

Aki and Pawpaw are no strangers to trouble all in a bid to survey the hustles of the city. But it seems as though every move they made landed them in a fresh stalk of difficulty.

Aki, Toyin Abraham, Warri Pikin and Stan Eze in Aki and Pawpaw

On the other hand, there is Pankshan, a social media influencer with an oversized ego, who is in the habit of making life difficult for his staff, especially Samata, his assistant. Samantha was already fed up with her boss when she ran into Aki and Pawpaw.

Unfortunately for Aki and Pawpaw, they fell victims to fraud- a ‘baptism’ everyone new to Lagos must experience.

The troublesome brothers stole their employer’s money and added their entire savings to invest into purchasing some sort of chemical that converts papers to money.

Luck ran out of Aki and Pawpaw, as what they felt would be a life-changing opportunity ended them in tears and regrets.

The chemicals they purchased from a self-acclaimed Indian man were ineffective.

They had lost their money and were not paid at the end of the month. It was already Christmas, and they wanted to travel for Christmas to Enugu to meet their father.

However, Aki and Pawpaw were already friends with Samantha, who was milking content from the hilarious brothers and posting them on her Instagram page, while she gave the duo peanuts.

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Aki and Pawpaw accidentally stumbled into fame, as their praise song for Samantha went viral. Would they be able to manage fame and brotherhood?

Aki and Pawpaw

The actors approached the role with the same comic synergy that is reminiscent of Aki and Pawpaw of yesteryear. It’s like the actors came with an upgrade in everything.

As the film progresses, at some point, the viewer might actually forget that they are watching a film and might even mistake the comic duo to be brothers because of the relatable features they share.

But, in reality, they are really not. While 39-year-old Pawpaw hails from Imo State, 44- year- old Aki hails from Abia State.

The duo, no doubt, still got it as they never lost their comical gestures and antics just like old-time, only that this time around, they bring some modern swag and vibe into the picture.

THEMES

The movie, though hilarious, teaches pertinent moral lessons and is highly thematic.

The movie portrayed the eastern Nigeria culture, and the sense of brotherhood. Samantha, Aki, and Pawpaw became closer as friends when they all discovered that they were all from ‘ the same place’, otherwise known as ‘Nwafor’.

Also, it portrayed the culture of people, especially Igbos, travelling to their village for Christmas. Aki and Pawpaw travelled for Christmas when they discovered that they were popular even in the village for their Samatha praise.

When they discovered how Samantha was defrauding them of their content, they took her to their kinsmen. Kinsmen were very popular in most veteran Nollywood movies, they were known as the ‘elders’.

Further, when the duo had gained fame but suffered misunderstanding, attempts were made by the family to reunite the group.

The movie described social media as ‘social medium’, Pakshan was very famous and had numerous followers but was in for a competition when Aki and pawpaw broke the ‘social medium’.

The movie exposed the power of social media and how it has brought a lot of people to the limelight. It also highlights the competitions that exist in the social media sphere. The quest for fame, and the intoxicating power of social media.

PROPS

Unlike the first movie, the remake is produced with better equipment, brilliant cinematography, and a top-notch soundtrack.

Uti Nwachukwu in Aki and Pawpaw sequel

The storyline of the movie is very relatable to contemporary society, with the characters doing what they know how to do best, with a touch of modernity.

Shortcomings

The movie is not just hilarious and sarcastic but very predictable towards the end.

While the writers would argue that it is a comic movie that requires little or no suspense, laughter or comedy alone isn’t enough to keep the audience glued for nearly two hours.

Also, the much-anticipated movie failed to explicitly explore the reality of the characters after nearly two decades after.

The actors did a decent job in instilling suspense and adding shades of comedy to the film, but following the absence of some realistic scenes, the producers almost fall short of making this one a delightful watch.

If 19 years ago Aki and Pawpaw were just notorious kids in the village, in this sequel, we didn’t expect them to be cast as adolescents. One thing this sequel lacks is continuity. In filmaking, continuity is the principle of making sure that all details in a film or TV show are consistent from shot to shot and from scene to scene. But in this case, from the original to the sequel, or the remake, as the producers describe this.

The producers failed to reflect the reality of Aki and Pawpaw, who are now in their 40s in this sequel.

The taste of the average Nollywood fan has evolved through the years, more so over the years, several Aki and Pawpaw wannabes have emerged and they could very well have been cast in the movie.

Aki and Pawpaw, on the other hand, can be cast as their parents, etc.

It would have made a whole lot of sense if this sequel begins with Aki and Pawpaw as parents who have to contend with the antics of their children.

Rating

8/10

The movie was near perfect save for the continuity goofs

Conclusion

Beyond evolving nostalgic feelings, Aki and Pawpaw is one movie families can enjoy this yuletide and beyond.

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