Directed by Kunle Afolayon, Netflix brings us a familiar themed spin-off tinged with the all too known sex for grades scandal of the West-African university system. Citation is a movie bringing to light the story of a student in a cat and mouse game with a lecturer. what started off as a simple and honest scenario got derailed and veered extremely off course into something totally unexpected. From the sizzling French conversations to sexual assault, legal drama, heated scenes of tension, I could say we are looking at a low key Fifty Shades of Grey here only there’s no paper to sign an agreement, just ruthless haunting by a manipulative and seemingly unforgiving predator.
This would be the young actress’s debut into the TV industry and probably, though shaky things got off on the right footing. Citation is more than just a scandalous movie there’s rich portrayal of culture, history and the familiar ‘African promotion’ tinge.
When professor Lucien waltz into the lecture room his warm and fizzy persona is enthralling. A young, innocent and bright student quite unlike a close rather of the rails friend of hers, serious about academia and maybe a quest for something more is engaged in an intellectual feat with the professor. It’s a beautiful thing to behold the aura of Moremi and her inquisitive and daring nature as she tinkers on the edge of what would call ‘confinement’ portrayed as shy and calm she goes on to break these restraints to morph into a figure of strength and a source of curiosity from close friends and maybe a little disappointment from a few at the initial stages. Exchange of words leads to innocent friendship which if we admit if we take our eyes off a bit from the entire precepts of the movie was very romantic, i for one couldn’t get enough of the low and mesmerizing fluent french.
At the behest of a boyfriend whose role was rather dimmed, she agrees to go on a ‘field trip’ to Dakar on which the professor would be present.
This is where the chess game begins, in beaches and soft wind, dusty roads and blissful evenings the scandal between Professor Lucien and Moremi begins to Morph. The Professor changed, really quickly, we were not even warned or given a clue of this. There’s the seemingly lost roles of mixed characters and the quite overly dramatic scenes like The Professor’s ex acquaintance walking into the river and lazy lapping of some rather unnecessary scenes, yet Moremi stands out like a beacon through out the whole movie, her persona literally shadowing every short coming.
We are made known, the ongoing senate hearing and the amazing performance by Joke Silva who not only plays a legal role but offers moral support to Moremi in her plight. The deposition starts on the right footing, a little bit emotional and slightly less legal, it also sheds light on the corruption of the university legal system to bring justice to assaulted students and matters in general. The Deposition runs almost the full course of the movie catching the ‘electricity’ in the room, the manipulative character of the accused and silent bitterness in the accuser of being on the wrong side of a corrupt and unforgiving system.
Citation is a story of a student on the ropes trying to fight a brutal predator but aside from that, it’s also a movie showing beautiful character, heart and rich African culture, two stars off for a little laxity and mixed roles, three for superb, great characters and outstanding.