Blood Sisters 2022 Netflix Movie Review
While Blood Sisters is a bit melodramatic, it has the potential to be an interesting thriller that goes into the evolution of gender roles vs tradition in Nigeria.
Blood sisters, a thrilling limited series of 4 episodes that dropped on Netflix today, May 5, 2022, was so damn good that it can almost not be faulted except for the way it ended but we forgive them.
Blood sisters were suspense-filled, unpredictable, and told an excellent story in a very enjoyable experience. We dare say it is the sweetest Nollywood release so far. Twist upon twist, we literally had to pause at intervals to take in the different emotions and goosebumps it threw at us
We also loved that it had genuinely funny scenes and conversations that weren’t forced.
The four-part series was created by Temidayo Makanjuola and directed by Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang.
Blood Sisters follows the lives of best friends, Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie), and Kemi (Nancy Isime) who become fugitives after Sarah’s abusive fiancé, Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon) disappears mysteriously just before the wedding ceremony.
It features top movie stars including Ramsey Nouah, Kate Henshaw, Segun Arinze, Uche Jombo, Keppy Ekpeyong, Etim Effiong, Wale Ojo, Toke Makinwa, Ibrahim Suleiman and Nancy Isime, Ini Dima-Okojie, and Deyemi Okanlawon.
Some top actors like Zack Orji, Toyin Abraham, and Joke Silva also made cameo appearances.
As highly expected of Ebony Life Films, the production was great, with beautiful costumes, and very good actors; all the characters owned and embodied the roles including the breakout star, Genoveva Umeh who played Timeyin, Gurl was fire, especially in the last scene.
The blood sisters, Nancy Isime and Ini Dima-Okojie made it easy for the viewers to feel their bond, their pain and the few moments of joy they had; get ready to shed some tears if you are an emotional movie viewer like us.
And the supervillain we didn’t see coming, Kate Henshaw, words aren’t enough! Ps, we don’t know if it’s just us but it felt awkward having a mother kiss her son on the lips and she did it twice before the engagement ceremony.
Worthy of mention as well is the crazy duo, Kehinde Bankole and Gabriel Afolayan; at first, we felt their chemistry wasn’t it but as the story progressed, one couldn’t help but love them for their craziness.
What about Ramsey Nouah, the handsome and straight-faced Uncle B, who will draw you in with his facial expression, hitman bodyguard vibes, and impeccable acting for the first few hours without a word.
In Blood Sisters, attention was paid to every detail, there was no drag or unnecessary scenes, and it wasn’t star-studded for nothing!
From the first episode, Blood Sisters dives straight into the drama. And what could be more dramatic than a marriage ceremony with a mother-of-the-groom who despises her would-be in-laws (think The Wedding Party), a recovering addict who makes an over-the-top entrance and is very happy to discuss rehab over an engagement dinner, a bride and groom that may very well kill each other before they ever make it to the palm wine carrying ceremony, and a ridiculously obvious assassin lurking around with the “strongest” possible face and attacking a hotel worker just for the sake of it?
At the earliest opportunity, the series spotlights all the elements that will move the show along, from Sarah’s abuse at the hands of Kola, to the Adebola family — as dysfunctional as some of television’s most famous wealthy families (just think Hollywood’s Succession). With imperfect but mostly consistent pacing, the show keeps moving along, buoyed majorly by the suspense of whether Sarah and Kemi will indeed get away with killing the golden boy of such a powerful family. In the process, delicate topics such as domestic violence and abuse, familial rivalry, and systemic corruption all come into play with adequate heaviness, rather than as mere plot points, without overshadowing the central plot, or the drama for that matter. But the drama is almost always laid on a little too thick. Facial expressions are just “too extra” a lot of the time, and dialogues and actions are so overly dramatic that they are often unbelievable. Yet, this melodramatic approach is a Nollywood staple that is sure to lock in local audiences, and it keeps the show interesting and very entertaining for almost four hours that go by considerably swiftly.
Blood Sisters works with a screenplay that is better than most of what Nollywood has produced in recent times. The screenplay actually uses its characters in a manner that furthers the central plot and gives the starry cast roles that they can shine in. But using its characters well is different from writing them well. It is in the latter aspect that the screenplay falls short. Between the characters that make up the Adebayo family, and other secondary characters that always seem to have untold stories waiting to jump out (the character of Inspector Joe is one notable example), many of the characters are either underdeveloped or inconsistent. Furthermore, character motivations are revealed majorly through dialogue, if at all, and they rarely leave any impact deep enough to make such characters relatable.
It certainly helps that the series is blessed with many capable industry heavyweights to help fill the gaps left by the screenplay (albeit inadequately). In fact, Blood Sisters is so star-studded that industry veterans like Bimbo Manuel, Zack Orji, and Joke Silva are enlisted to play even the minutest of characters. At least, most of the acting is wonderful to watch. Isime is almost always so natural in her roles that it seems like she’s really just being herself, and it works here as it has worked in several other films. Dima-Okojie commits to being the whinier and less confident of the friends, and where other actors don extra-serious faces as if they would otherwise be unable to convey the seriousness of their roles, Dima-Okojie stands out for how she wears emotions without ever being excessively expressive. And, apart from the off-putting scowl which Kate Henshaw-Nuttall permanently wears, her magnetic performance is the only thing that saves the one-dimensional and completely unlikeable character that is Uduak, the matriarch of the Adebayo family.
However, the strongest performances of the series are put on by Ramsey Nouah, Kehinde Bankole and Genoveva Umeh. Umeh is simply delightful as Timeyin, the conflicted Adebayo daughter with a history of addiction. Bankole takes a relaxed and subtle approach to villainy that works remarkably well in her role as Olayinka, the scheming wife of Femi (Gabriel Afolayan), the eldest Adebayo son. And Nouah, playing Uncle B, is little more than a glorified bodyguard in this series, but the actor commands such a powerful presence in every scene that he appears, even though he hardly speaks in those scenes (in fact, Nouah doesn’t speak at all for the first two episodes).
It would be remiss to not acknowledge the production design and the overall aesthetics of the series. Between the excellent location choices, the set decors, the costume, and just about every other visual element, the world created onscreen is quite engaging in a way that feels genuine without trying too hard.
But if the world of the film feels genuine, there are parts of the storytelling that do not, like a kitchen chase scene that is straight out of Hollywood’s playbook, and a police inspector character — with an inconsistent American accent — that is likely inspired by some detective from some Hollywood flick (although the incomplete American backstory given to said character helps justify his methods, and, I must mention, I so enjoyed watching Wale Ojo in that role that I would happily watch him play the exact role in a well-scripted whodunit).
In my opinion, Blood Sisters is one of the best shows out there. It’s well written, beautifully shot, and incredibly acted by an ensemble cast of talented actors from Nigeria. This is a dark, sexy, suspenseful drama with a heavy dose of danger and intrigue. The plot is complex and enthralling. It’s full of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end. There are secrets and lies, secrets within secrets and lies within lies that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
Blood Sisters is streaming on Netflix.
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