Sista MOVIE REVIEW: Kehinde Bankole Saves Movie’s Simplicity With Excellent Performance – Shola-Adido Oladotun

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    Movie Title: Sista

    Release Date: 5 August 2022

    Director: Biodun Stephen

    Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes

    Cast: Kehinde Bankole, Deyemi Okanlawon, Bisola Aiyeola, Akintola Adeoluwa, Adediwura Adesegha, and Adedamola Adewale.

    Why do we watch movies?

    There are so many answers to this decade-old question. While entertainment suffices as a standard and good response, for some viewers, it’s a way through which they feel seen and are assured of the hope that no matter what challenges life throws in their way, things will get better.

    Through hopeful and compelling storytelling, Biodun Sephen’s Sista deviates from a typical Nollywood film.

    Although the storyline of Sista is not new on-screen as we have watched movies about a woman who gets pregnant at a young age, is forced to give up on her dreams, gets jilted by the baby’s father, raises the kids on her own, and later meets the absent father who already has a family, there is something about Sista that keeps a viewer interested in the sequence of events.

    From the exciting dialogues to Kehinde Bankole’s performance, Sista joins the Nollywood hidden gems that must-watch.

    The Tea (Plot)

    As is increasingly common with Nollywood films, we are introduced with a flashback. We see a girl drop a pregnancy bombshell on her boyfriend. They are both confused about what to do and upon informing their guardians, they are sent away from home.

    In the present, we are made to know that the girl we saw earlier is our main character, Sista. She is now a cleaner.

    The film alternates between two timelines. It is revealed through flashback that after Sista and her boyfriend, Fola, are sent out of the house, they move into Fola’s hostel to enable him to further his education. Problems arise between Sista and Fola, mainly due to Fola’s laziness and inability to be compassionate. These problems cause Afolabi to abandon Sista and his two kids, hoping for a better life.

    With all that hurt, Sista promises to give her kids the best life, so she works hard. Everything went smoothly until she got a cleaning job in a rich man’s house.

    It turns out that the man is Fola, married to Tiwalope. They both recognise each other but choose not to confront each other.

    Out of guilt, Fola confesses to Tiwalope, who tries to reconcile both parties. Based on the pleas of her children, Sista gives in.

    However, things take an aggressive turn when Fola starts showering the children with luxury items, going so far as to secure their admission into universities abroad. This angers Sista as she berates the children for readily accepting back the man who abandoned her and planning to leave her after being their sole provider through the years.

    Long story short, Afolabi and Sista are forced to make a life-changing decision.

    The Good

    When Nollywood films are criticised, it’s often for thinking small about their storylines. Sista is an expectation, as its simplicity makes the movie watchable. If Sista had added any more narration, it might have taken away from the beauty of the film.

    As mentioned, the storyline has been done before, even in old Nollywood. However, what makes Sista different is that it focuses on objectively telling the story and weirdly providing a happy ending to the parties involved.

    The Biodun Stephen-directed film also boosts good Biodun, as it was remarkable watching Sista grow from a semi-educated woman coping with betrayal to letting go of the hurt.

    The acting performances are included, as Kehinde Bankole deserves accolades. She proved to possess the range many actors lack nowadays. The switch to a heartbroken mother is remarkable. Bisola Aiyeola raises the petition for her to hold an acting masterclass or at least an accent class. She shines brightly as Tiwalope, allowing viewers to root for her.

    Lastly, Sista resonates with viewers mainly due to its exploration of abandonment in the family. It’s a film that would make a viewer feel seen and celebrate the efforts of single mothers.

    The Bad

    Sista’s dialogues are impressive but cringy and Westernised. The kids’ dialogue felt like what an American kid would say compared to characters in between poor and rich.

    The plot got dragged out a lot. The producers could have skipped the unnecessary details in Sista’s life, like the scene where she got accused of stealing, as it contributed nothing to the movie. They could have just focused on pushing events in the first half faster to give viewers more opportunities to watch the interaction between Sista and Afolabi.

    Some things could have been improved in the acting performances of a few characters. Much could have been done to make the audience root for those characters.

    Final Verdict

    8/10. Sista is a good educational film that might bring you to tears.

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