Movie Review: ‘Swallow’, is candy, bitter pill for Nigerian audience


Movie title: ‘Swallow

Gruesome on Sefi Atta’s new of the identical title

Working Time: 2hours 8minutes

Administrators: Kunle Afolayan

Writers: Sefi Atta and Kunle Afolayan

Producers: Netflix studios

Lead solid: Eniola Akinbo (Niyola), Ijeoma Grace Agu (as Rose), Deyemi Okanlanwon (as Sanwo), Eniola Badmus (as Mrs Durojaiye), Chioma Akpotha (as Mama Chidi), Kevin Ikeduba (as OC), Offiong Anthony Edet (as Johnny) and susceptible Olusegun Remi (as Mr Salako).

Date of Liberate: October 1, 2021.

For greener pastures birth air of Nigeria, the lead characters in Kunle Afolayan’s most widespread film, Swallow, are ready to threat all of it-actually, all the pieces, at the side of their lives.

The film, which is an adaptation of the screen adaptation of Sefi Atta’s third new ‘Swallow’, was shot in the city of rusty roofs, Ibadan in Oyo Say, and Lagos.

It follows the yarn of a naive bank secretary, Tolani Ajao, who, after a series of profession woes, considers her roommate’s provide to work as a drug mule in mid-1980s Lagos.

Alternatively, Tolani faces a crisis of judgment of correct and unsuitable, and as she questions her delight in morality in a repressive armed forces regime, she finds herself flung true into a drag of self-discovery.

It is the precious screenwriting credit rating for the Nigerian novelist, who co-wrote the screen adaptation with Afolayan.

Nollywood is immediate evolving from the technology of predictable storylines to dynamic and thematic narrations which is an offshoot of the astronomical talents, recordsdata, and traits in filmmaking.

Sizable film adaptations are usually tasking on checklist of they plug beyond factual screenplay. It requires additional efforts to coherently delivery the yarn (with its peculiarities) true into a film and make relative psychological proximity between the e book and the film. To this close, Afolayan deserves some accolades.

Alternatively, Afolayan, who is in the perspective of casting non-actors in lead roles of his movies, could possibly well composed, from his wealth of skills, bear in mind that these non-actors suffer sure shortfalls. Now now not a quantity of them can, truly, present the ingredients that spice or if you want, build a lawful film. Used to be swallow a candy or bitter pill for the Nigerian film audience?

Build of living

The contemporary yarn, “Swallow” by Atta tells a straightforward and enticing memoir referring to the quest for survival by younger females entangled by their unifying fight to continue to exist in a patriarchal society.

The plight of these females depicted in the characters of Tolani Ajao and Rose, her obstinate friend and roommate, is relatable and this realisation is keenly detailed adequate to withhold the readers glued to the e book.

The film, paying homage to Lagos in the 1980s, takes into cognizance the customs, the currency price, the autos in use, the discourse, and the Nigerian soccer video games aired by utilizing radio, all depicting a conventional 80s standard of living.

Location in the center of the war towards indiscipline, a hallmark of Muhammadu Buhari’s 1983-1985 armed forces executive, Tolani and her roommate Rose, two proud autonomous females, suffer injustice in a repeat to continue to exist the bureaucratic system of the bank where they work as clerk and secretary respectively.

As opposed to work, they’re residing together in a small room, at an birth compound, amongst of us from diversified ethnic teams in Nigeria. One can now not neglect the attention-grabbing characters of her neighbours like the strict and busy nurse, Mrs Durojaiye, conducted by Eniola Badmus and the brilliant Igbo housewife, Mama Chidi, conducted by Chioma Chukwuka.

Rose, uninterested with the harassment from her worn and gruesome boss, Mr Salako, resigns from her job, while Tolani replaces her as secretary. Alternatively, Rose seeks financial the back of her relative who owns a salon but was turned down. This opens her to the truth of lifestyles and survival.

Tolani on the a range of hand is optimistic as she continued along with her job, keeping in excessive adore the values her father instilled in her at a younger age. Tolani unbending to the illicit advances thrown to her by her boss and the controversial rumours being peddled round the administrative center encounters the same difficulties as Rose and is on the verge of giving up.

Turning level

Alternatively, Rose meets OC, an acclaimed ‘astronomical boy’ who showers her with items and rapidly introduces her to his source of livelihood-smuggling tablets with a gradual of female drug mules. Rose, decides to join OC in his unlawful industrial, to swallow tablets and commute abroad to evacuate them in the john for sales. Rose begins to practice and in no time beneficial properties mastery on the formula to swallow and protect the tablets in her abdomen

Rose rapidly introduces Tolani to the industrial. She is of the same opinion in the initiating build but clinging to her father’s instructions and her mother’s advice abet at Makoku (her fatherland), “Provide protection to your reputation. Don’t let lifestyles or any man dangle it away from you,” “be explain with what that you simply may need.” Tolani refrains from becoming a member of Rose on the time out.

This is where the build of living thickens and the drama we signed up for, basically begins.


The dominant languages in the film had been English, Yoruba, and pidgin English and they helped notify the tone for the film.

The conscious make use of of indigenous languages in most widespread Nollywood movies like Igbo in ‘Lionheart’, Hausa in ‘Voiceless’, and Yoruba in ‘Citation’ and ‘Swallow’ is applaudable.

The producers paid additional attention to the little small print that are hitherto unnoticed in most Nollywood movies. The notify designers deserve accolades for the notify and props. It is in actual fact no mean feat taking pictures an 80s film in the 21st-century contemporary Nigeria and bringing into truth some 1980s relics and props which gave the film a neatly off fashion of history.

Sweet bitter on checklist of it’s now not the frequent film we watch where the hero or heroine continually wins. Bitter on checklist of it’s a tragedy, candy on checklist of there are classes to study from it.


Singer Niyola, popularly is named Eniola Akinbo, struggled with the role. Having featured in music videos that require much less action, the conscious skill to impersonate and raise the personality ‘Tolani’ to lifestyles was majorly lacking.

Alternatively, the supporting lead, Ijeoma Grace Agu, who conducted the role of Rose, owned the spotlight.

The lead personality could possibly well composed shine throughout the film, but Agu’s shimmering portrayal of Rose gave the vital-mandatory ‘action’ that all of us longed for in the film. It is obedient to remark Afolayan, and most likely his solid, conducted too obedient in the film

Clearly, the director targeted too vital attention on achieving a plausible 80s surroundings but failed at delivering the vital-mandatory punch where it was mandatory especially on the climax of the film.

For event, we had been anticipating extra action towards the close of the film, especially in the plane scene where Rose died. We did now not must study how she died, it might possibly possibly dangle made extra sense if it was vividly portrayed.


‘Swallow’ is a candy and bitter pill for the Nigerian audience. It is a reminder of the travails of the frequent Nigerian seeking greener pastures abroad towards all odds and bitter on checklist of it’s a stark reminder of a time when things in actuality labored in Nigeria.

It is a lawful film price watching especially as a family. It is didactic and inviting.

Rating: 6/10

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