Fam, did I love the Namaste Wahala movie? Yes! BUT, what is a cheesy movie? Eeeer, also yes! Cheese yen po gan, so much cheddar and pepper jack, plus mozzarella and cream cheese. I’m talking “fine boy bumps into fine girl while running on the beach” type of cheesy, as space has finished on the wide ocean shore, abi? But issokay, not every time kishaun kishaun action movies. Sometimes, relax and watch a nice feel good movie with (mostly) good acting. As long as you set your expectations and don’t try to make too much sense of the unrealism of the script, then you’ll enjoy a lovely romantic movie.
From the Netflix movie trailer, I expected a good dose of Nollywood and Bollywood mixed together – drama, laughter, and even more drama wrapped up with romance, good music, and dancing. I got most of that quite alright, but I just wanted a tidbit more umph. Granted, the trailer prepped us that it will be your typical “boy and girl are in love, but they are from different cultures, and parents don’t approve,” type of movie. Still, I kept my fingers crossed so tight that there would be folds and layers of unexpected turns in the storyline.
Here are 5 things I loved about Namaste Wahala
1. It was for the culture(s), people! There’s just something beautiful about seeing different cultures interact together. It’s like having samosas and mango lassi with jollof rice, instead of a cheese sandwich. Can you just feel the burst of flavor already? Speaking of flavor, who else was digging the food menu during the wedding at the end of the movie, like Gbegiri Dal Makhni, Jollof Briyani, Aloo puffpuff… It was a subtle reminder that our cultures may be different, yet they are still so similar. Someone, please take me to an Indo-Nigerian wedding right now!
2. Good comedy. Laughter is good medicine for the soul, peeps, and I got sprinkles of that throughout the movie. Broda Shagi killed it as the taxi driver. He was just pure comedy! I probably laughed a little harder than I should have at that airport scene, and I got quite a few giggles from Koye Kekere Ekun as Raj’s roommate, too.
3. Our favorite actors. The movie has Richard Mofe-Damijo and Joke Silva, our never aging
Zaddy grandpa and grandma; and of course Ini Dima-Okojie, our very own slay queen of life played the main character, Didi. Oh the beauty that Ini is!! We also had fine boy Ruslaan Mumtaz as Raj, and Sujata Segal as Meera.
4. Cinematography. It was beautiful and high quality. O nilz gan. The movie was shot in the beautiful and rich parts of Lagos that make you forget the many problems of Nigeria. Don’t let me get started down that path, so we meuuve.
5. Two of the biggest wedding industries. Name two cultures whose weddings are extra.com? Yep, Nigeria and India. I mean, the Greeks’ weddings are big and fat, and the crazy rich Singaporean Asians go overboard too, but we already have a movie for each of those. So, needless to say, I was ready for Nollywood and Bollywood to bring it on with this movie! We didn’t quite get the grand, over-the-top wedding I expected, but I’ll take what we got because I smiled A LOT watching all the
cheese dancing. Like I always say, experience is all that matters; it trumps glitz, glam, and glitters any day. If Raj and Didi were happy, so was I.
Overall, I just loved that it was a pure and pleasant movie… no “boy like girl, boy cheat on girl” stuff we’re all tired of. What I probably liked the best is that while trying to entertain us and present two beautiful cultures, they didn’t do that at the sacrifice of integrity, unlike the Chief Daddy movie that had all shades of wrong written over it. I know it was cliché much, but the movie got a big yes for me with Didi winning the assault case and her dad losing his big contract. These subtle messages of integrity matter.
As someone who has been caught in the whole “parents don’t want you to marry so and so,” what I would say is that time has a way of working things out. Notice how Didi went from being perceived as a Nigerian girl who’s culture was strange and foreign, to being a kind hearted woman who cared about others and fought for their justice.
Overall, I will rate the movie a 7/10 just because they could have totally killed it by adding depth and realism to the storyline. I mean, for Pete’s sake, Raj’s mom didn’t call before getting on a whole eloplane all the way from India. Do people even still do that ish in 2021?? And what was that conversation with Raj’s cousin and his mom? I must have rolled my eyes back and forth so much that my eyeballs were screaming for help. So, that’s where Namste Wahala lost 3 points in my books. Otherwise, it was a pleasant movie with overall good acting, beautiful wardrobe and cinematography, and a good comedy.
Thank you, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja, for producing this movie and showing us a unique world as an Indian living in Nigeria.
Have you watched the Namaste Wahala on Netflix? What did you think? Am I setting the standards too low for Nollywood?