After my adventures in Bollywood a couple of weeks ago, I was curious to explore output from other big film industries around the world. I knew Bollywood was the biggest film industry in the world, but I was expecting maybe China or Hollywood to not be far behind. It turns out I was very wrong, and in fact, the country with the second biggest output of films in the world is actually Nigeria, otherwise known as Nollywood.
The Nigerian film industry began with gusto in 1992 after the straight-to-video release of Living in Bondage sold more than 1 million copies. With an annual output of around 1500 – 2000 films, Nollywood has more than double the amount of films per year than Hollywood. I find this so interesting: almost everyone has heard of Bollywood and Hollywood, but Nigerian film gets little attention on the wider scale. Out of curiosity, I decided to watch one of the biggest-grossing Nollywood films, The Wedding Party, to find out if it was any good.
It’s a simple set-up: a wedding morning, competing parents, a troublesome mother-in-law, a mischievous best man, and a big secret that could ruin the whole thing. The film was fun, mainly due to the over-the-top storyline and acting, something I’ve learned can be quite common in Nollywood. Even in its dramatic moments, I found myself smiling, mainly due to the hammy acting on offer, but there were also some genuinely funny scenes in there that earned a giggle from me. Overall, the film was crazy, fun, and not that good – the acting was a little too OTT for me. But, everybody involved looked like they were having a great time, which is always nice to see.
I know the largest-grossing films aren’t necessarily the best ones, merely the most popular, and I can definitely see why The Wedding Party did so well at the box office – the story is familiar, following well-known wedding stereotypes which I’m sure everybody can relate to in one way or another. Although I won’t be rushing to see The Wedding Planner 2 (the biggest Nollywood film to date), I wouldn’t rule out watching another Nollywood film in the future. With an output so large, there must be some hidden gems in there somewhere!