In Ìjọ̀gbọ̀n, when four teenagers find a pouch full of diamonds, their lives are threatened and their friendship is tested. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
Ranti, Oby, and Jaminu live in Oyo-Oke, a small town in Nigeria. One day, they find a bag with a pouch full of diamonds in it. The three of them decide to keep this a secret, but the town’s prince, who is the fourth member of their group, soon finds out about their discovery.
The children take four diamonds from the pouch and sell them to a smuggler named Chief Owonifaari. They use the money to buy expensive clothes and phones, but Jaminu makes them keep everything, including the pouch, at their hideout because he does not want to draw suspicion.
The diamonds belong to a woman named Chidera. The man who stole them from her is caught and killed, but the diamonds are still nowhere to be found. Chidera then sends her men to the town to find the diamonds.
What the children do not know is that Chidera’s men are not the only dangerous people who are looking for these diamonds. Will the children get to use the diamonds to fulfill their dreams, or will this treasure and the danger that it brings tear their group apart?
Ebiesuwa Oluwaseyi, who plays Ranti, goes unnoticed in the first part of the film, but in the second part, when he gets the opportunity to showcase his talent, he gives a convincing performance.
Kayode Ojuolape plays Jaminu, and he does manage to play the part of the undeclared leader of the group. He asserts himself in a way that leaves no doubt about why Jaminu’s friends follow his advice without questioning him.
Ruby Akubueze’s performance lacks nuance, but the final scene shows that she is capable of giving a better performance. Finally, Fawaz Aina plays the part of a goofy child well, even though he does not get much screen time.
The teenagers in the film, excluding the prince, are smart characters who know how to play their cards right. In fact, they are much smarter than the adults. Although they indulge in a shopping spree with childlike delight, they also know that they need to keep their newfound treasure a secret.
However, like the adults, they get corrupted. The diamonds come as a blessing for the poor children who dream of a better life, but then they start changing and becoming more like adults. The final choice is between childhood innocence and a better life, and it is not an easy choice.
There are times when the actions of adults provide comic relief. While the children are sensible, the adults are reduced to idiocy. If nothing else, Ranti’s parents’s religious fervor will make the audience chuckle.
The film shows how Oby’s life is different from the lives of her male friends. The difference is depicted subtly, but it is enough to show that gender roles start influencing people’s lives at a very young age.
The film’s ending is full of surprises. It successfully makes the audience believe that the story will end in a certain way, only to give a very unexpected ending.
The film fails to depict the children as best friends, even though it is very important for the story. Their bond does not seem special, and they only come across as casual friends. This also renders the film’s message somewhat weak.
During the final conflict, the children have to face dangerous people. It should have been thrilling, but as the scene kept shifting to the parents’ search, the film failed to build the tension that was needed.
Ìjọ̀gbọ̀n is a film that tries to teach a lesson to children as well as adults. While the children’s adventure is still enjoyable, the film fails to leave the intended impact.
Director: Kunle Afolayan
Date Created: 2023-10-13 19:22
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