I promised to respond to all comments on the newly released film ARUGBA. A half-year resolution to get me back to committed regular blogging.
The first is Yinka Bakare's which I am reproducing as follows;
Uncle TK,U deserve to be commended for your wonderful creativity and inestimable ingenuity in giving our long-lost cultural diversity a better face lift in this world of rare sense-imposing cinematography. As an advocate of culture and public analyst, I had pre-savoured your new movie 'ARUGBA' ever before it stormed the cinema market. Counting on your past efforts in this arena as well as your strong connections with other learned professionals in the field of arts and culture,I had not thought for once an icon of cultural value like u would settle for average. More power to your elbow!
Now,I only did not watch ARUGBA with rapt attention but also penciled down all the inherent lessons the story seeks to teach. My questions: is ARUGBA in parts or series? Apart from the political,cultural and educational lessons with the well tailored " ACTING AND ENACTMENT" in the movie, what other lessons are to be learnt there?
TK, I got a repetition of concert eliciting, classroom teaching and all round built philosophy about students as was in the case of the likes of "CAMPUS QUEEN AND THUNDERBOLT".That U are one of the wonderful producers in the Nigerian movies context is no more news. The test of time tells it all! TUNDE, My candid advice is that u should try put heads together with other theatrical cohort in perfecting your script to attain a far-reaching meaningful end. Sincerely, i am not favourably disposed towards the end of your long-awaited, much-enjoyed publicity and presumably award-winning story "ARUGBA"
Returning to Arugba's end sequence, I wish to emphasise that it is not for the shortage of writers but a deliberation which I claim all responsibility. I hate putting heads together in forging a workable screenplay because I detest writing or film making by committee/s which inevitably results in loss of focus. There is no one perfect ending, a thousand perhaps. This particular one can be digested as follows.
After the resolution where Adejare temporarily abdicates the throne by offering to jet out to foreign land to spend some of his fortunes and providing an alternate ruler, we return to Adetutu and Makinwa strolling hand to hand in near privacy because unknown to the duo, another contender lurks in the shrubs. The sequence is in fact, a combination of devices and justifiably multi layered. Firstly, I needed a closing glee in the nostalgic and in tribute to the standard Yoruba Theatre tradition having introduced an opening glee as the dream sequence at the beginning of the film. Secondly, fourteen days after the procession to the Osun river climaxing the annual Oshogbo festival, the procession is repeated and named IKESE R'ODO. For the Arugba, the principal celebrant, this is only a social ceremony. Well-attired and without any bowl to carry and accompanied by drummers and gaily dressed crowd, she leads the procession again. The practice in reality and from my research is that the Arugba after her last assignment is rushed off to marriage suggesting that a woman's purpose in life is no more than the role of a human incubator. Gbonjubola, the Arugba that I studied is now married with four children. In my previous documentary, she simply states that after her term she will do business but in the scripted version, Adetutu expresses her desire to start an N.G.O catering for the interest of women and children in response to Makinwa's anxiety about the outcome of their relationship. Here we have an ambitious young woman, although with cultural commitment but already a role model and a proponent of women empowerment. The third aspect is the apparition of the river goddess brief appearance which examines the popular myth that on the day of the festival the goddess appeared physically. Nowadays, the general consensus is that a curious 'white man' who attempted to photograph the mother is responsible for her justifiable anger and refusal to ever appear. Her apparition, right or wrong in the scripted one is important at least to lend strength to the documentation.
I guessed right that our audiences would request for a second or part three but I do not claim for once that Arugba is a masterpiece, it is nothing more than a cultural and social document, open for others who care to take it further.
Your comments are welcome.