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A Naija Christmas 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
A Naija Christmas makes its way to Netflix in the final month of 2021, arguably the most appropriate Nollywood release of the year since the splurge of romantic comedies that came in the middle of February. This Netflix original is Kunle Afolayan’s third directed feature length film of the year, and his second with the streaming platform, after Swallow at the start of October.
A Naija Christmas stars Efa Iwara, Abayomi Alvin, and Kunle Remi as a trio of Agu brothers, trying to deal with pressure from their mother (played by the late Rachel Oniga), and, with motivation, make absurd promises towards taking steps to becoming married by the yuletide season. And it’s a credit to this movie that we find the trio, as siblings, not just believable, but quite fun as well. The typical sibling mimicry and the typical sibling squabble with the typical sibling reconciliation, it’s all there.
Not that this movie only features that quartet, mind, even though it pretty much centres on that family. A Naija Christmas also features Linda Osifo, Segilola Ogidan, Lateef Adedimeji, Ade Laoye, and Mercy Johnson, as well as Uzoamaka Aniunoh.
This is a movie that brings with itself something of the end-of-year spirit. The togetherness, the absurdity, the parties, you name it. At times, it feels undercooked, and it feels like the movie is struggling for conviction with its Christmas feel, but if the genuineness and richness is questionable, the visibility isn’t.
And that sense of yuletide speaks for the entirety of what A Naija Christmas is aiming for, which is nothing much. This movie obviously opts for light-heartedness, a laidback sense of self, and a relaxed mantra to it all. You could almost say A Naija Christmas isn’t so much a Christmas movie as it is someone watching a Christmas movie.
There also seems to be an awareness with this movie that if the fun stops, everything else would, that if we’re left to scratch beyond the surface, we might not find anything to hold. So, it tries to keep the fun going, any moment that might reek of realness has to be tempered with humour, or made to be humorous, and again, via the lead trio, it translates that. However, the issue is how A Naija Christmas has a lot of setups, in terms of the humour, but underuses them. Sometimes, it uses its direction and storytelling technique to fuel and channel the humour; and yet, sometimes it doesn’t, even when it should.
A Naija Christmas is by no means a great story, but the filming technique does kind of undermine what should have been a better film. The combination of being a Christmas film, and one that espouses romance, handed it a lot of material out there; and the flaw isn’t that it doesn’t use them; it’s that it finds itself with opportunities to. For all the talk of how movies can sometimes be a touch too predictable, it’s ironic that A Naija Christmas misses by not quite being cliched enough, especially with the dialogue and character interaction.
A Naija Christmas is laidback, chill, and works its way past ‘guilty pleasure’ and very much into ‘comfort food’ territory. It’s more of a movie you enjoy than examine. But while, as it showed from the off, this was never going to be a masterpiece, it could have done more to cement itself as something of a yuletide staple.