Title of the series: blood sisters
Operating time: Average of 50 minutes per episode
Directors: Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang
Creator: Temidayo Makanjuola
Cast: Ini Dima-Okojie, Nancy Isime, Ramsey Nouah, Kate Henshaw, Gabriel Afolayan, Uche Jombo, Kehinde Bankole, Daniel Etim Effiong, Wale Ojo and Deyemi Okanlawon.
Release date: May 5, 2022
From the streaming platform that gave Nigerians movies like ‘Man of God’, ‘Chief Daddy’ and King of Boys, comes an original crime thriller series that captured the hearts of many Nigerians, Blood Sisters.
In partnership with Ebonylife films, Netflix released its first Nigerian limited series on May 5. Several hours after its release, viewers took to various social media platforms to applaud the efforts of the cast and crew, along with the show’s hashtags and trending characters. on Twitter.
Blood Sisters primarily tells the story of two best friends, Sarah and Kemi, who become fugitives after murdering a man. They find themselves on the run from the law and the ruthless family of their victim.
Fulfilling the demands of “what it takes to be a blockbuster,” it’s no surprise the series has become a national sensation. However, as with other films, this four-part limited series has some shortcomings.
If you think opening ‘King of Boys’ is enough to send shivers down your spine, then ‘Blood Sisters’ will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. We are introduced to two young women digging into the ground and suddenly pushing a wrapped body into the hole.
A flashback brings us to the two ladies, Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime), talking about Sarah’s marriage to Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon) and appreciating the bond between them. Meanwhile, Kola’s older brother, Femi (Gabriel Afolayan), tells his wife, Yinka (Kehinde Bankole), that he has found an assassin to kill his brother at the wedding.
Fresh from his board meeting, Kola arrives at the rehearsal dinner and sees Sarah. He gets angry when Sarah’s ex-boyfriend Kenny (Ibrahim Suleiman) shows up, causing a stir. In an attempt to apologize, a remorseful Sarah is punched in the stomach by Kola.
The next scene shows Sarah and Kola’s family at the dinner table, and it’s obvious that Kola’s family, especially her mother (Kate Henshaw), hates Sarah and her family for being poor. After dinner, Sarah tells Kemi and her mother about Kola’s abuse. As Kemi asks her to stop the marriage, her mother orders her to tolerate it as the financial well-being of the family is at stake.
Kola manages to defeat the hitman sent to assassinate her at the engagement party. Sarah, upon reflection, changed her mind about marriage. This doesn’t sit well with Kola, so he strangles him but is interrupted when Kemi shoots him, causing his death.
The opening scene becomes evident as the two ladies desperately search for ways to cover up their crime.
Following Kola’s disappearance, her family is worried. While his drug-addicted sister, Timeyin (Genoveva Umeh), blames their brother for killing him, his mother is optimistic that he has come to his senses and is taking a break. Meanwhile, the ladies have a problem when a photographer has incriminating photos.
Due to his impossible blackmail, they resort to killing him. Kola’s body is later found and a search begins for the girls.
To evade the police, the girls run away, facing different challenges thrown their way. With Kenny’s help, the girls plan to flee to another country, but their plans are cut short when he dies at the hands of an organ trafficker.
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Kemi suffers a serious injury from their encounter with the organ trafficker, so the girls travel to her grandmother’s town for help. While there, they were arrested by the police and taken to an abandoned warehouse by Kola’s uncle, Uncle B (Ramsey Nouah).
Kola’s mother, seeking revenge, asks Femi to kill the girls. Seeing her hesitation, Timeyin offers to do the job, but she shoots Uncle B instead of attacking the girls.
The film ends on a cliffhanger with Timeyin pointing a gun at her mother’s head.
It would be a crime not to appreciate the stellar acting performances of the entire cast. The chemistry between Nancy Isime and Ini-Dinma was astounding as they portrayed what true friendship entails. Kate Henshaw also does a great job playing the hostile and mean mother, who delivers some very savage lines. And there’s breakout star Genoveva Umeh, who plays a convincing drug addict sent to rehab who doesn’t know a mother’s love.
Other cast members like Deyemi Okanlawon, Ramsey Nouah, Kehinde Bankole and Gabriel Afolayan also did a great job in their respective roles.
The cinematography is also top-notch as the production team manages to capture stunning locations that represent Nigeria. From the most demanding areas to places like Makoko, the series offers a realistic picture of the country.
The costumes worn by the characters also stood out, with the designer opting to create standout pieces that, to some degree, reflect the characters’ identities.
There is also the commendable exploration of themes like physical violence and manslaughter, which remain contentious issues in society.
Through storytelling, the producers shed light on the victims of abuse from the perspective of Sarah and Kola’s ex-girlfriend.
Themes like friendship, the importance of family, class, and the quest for power were recurring throughout the series.
Lastly, the stunts weren’t something one would expect from a Nollywood movie. They were professionally performed and kept me on the edge of my seat.
- Dialogues and delivery: While many dialogues were good, some were unnecessarily direct. And for those who were good, the delivery method felt unnatural, making it unconvincing.
- Unnecessary scenes: video editors, take note: not all locations should be included in the final cut. There are quite a few scenes that don’t contribute to the plot development. All they did was make up for lost time.
- Cameos: While it’s fun for audiences to see their favorite celebrities suddenly appear during a scene, it becomes obnoxious when they don’t deliver a single line properly.
- Camera movements: In episode 3, I noticed that the camera was shaking. At first I felt it was a mistake, but I was flabbergasted when it kept happening. It made me wonder if I was watching a single-camera show.
8/10. Blood Sisters revisits the way African stories are portrayed and promises to take viewers on a thrilling experience.
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