What happens when life wants to humble you? For our main character Sunmi, it kicks you out of your comfort zone like a common criminal. Directed by Biodun Stephen and scripted as a sequel to the 2016 rom-com Picture Perfect, “Breaded Life” depicts the cliche “wealthy-person-turned-poor-to-learn-a-lesson” theme, but from a thought-provoking angle you don’t see often.
It is noteworthy that Breaded Life was shot in just 16 days; it required lead actor Timini Egbuson to spend days with “street boys” to adopt his role fully, and actress Bimbo Ademoye to work with an Egun dialect coach, learning the language and intonation for her character from scratch. In this comedy-drama movie which runs for about two hours, we watch a young man live a carefree life until an unexpected turn of events teaches him the realities of life.
Let’s dive into the elements of the film.
The plot explores a fusion of the themes; love, character development, determination and family. This comedic-dramatic film takes its audience on a cruise through an alternate universe where the main character – irresponsible, pampered and arrogant Sunmisola – is forgotten by his family after one of his many escapades, remembered only by a hawker, Todewedo, the bread seller.
Sunmisola is in a dilemma – his family and friends no longer recognize him, leading to his rejection and homelessness. Sunmi navigates his new life in the ghetto with the help of characters like Todowede Sewedo, the Egun bread seller; Jobe, the tout (also referred to as Makanaki); and Jugunu, a bakery owner with a thuggish personality. Towards the end of this movie, the audience sees a twist that serves as a turning point in Sunmi’s life – he seems to have learnt a thing or two about life, purpose and even love.
The entire cast of Breaded Life did an applaudable job with their characters; embodying and interpreting their roles brilliantly. Breaded Life features a collection of rising stars and veterans from Nollywood. The main actors include Timini Egbuson (Sunmisola), Bimbo Ademoye (Todowede – a character that reminds us of her recent performance in the movie Selina, where she plays a role with a similar personality), Tina Mba as Sunmisola’s no-nonsense mother, Bisola Aiyeola as Aunty Agy, Bolanle Ninalowo as Jobe, Lateef Adedimeji as Jugunu and MC Lively who comically plays Iskilu the security man. We consider Bolanle Ninalowo, and Lateef Adedimeji great cast picks, as they brought a native yet scintillating perspective to the film.
Sound & Music
The sound and music in film is a non-negotiable element that sets the tone for the audience’s experience. The use of traditionally-inclined, modern, Nigerian instrumentals and songs is an ode to the realities of people who live in hoods like “Agege”, where some parts of the film were shot. The music selections are made to stir up emotions, create moods and match scenes in Breaded Life. In the final scene, Sisé (a Yoruba word which means “work”) by singer Femi Leye plays as the perfect closing soundtrack just as Sunmi confidently narrates his future career plans to his mother.
The film did a fine job of illuminating each scene with vibrance – especially in the scenes that captured the realities of people living in the slums. The aerial shots of a typical market fused with close-up shots of the traders at the market capture the essence of hardwork – a value that the main character was yet to develop at the beginning of the film. The film also featured crisp shots, great lighting and sharp colours both at day and night. There is a clear depiction of the modalities of urban and rural life – a necessary distinction used to portray the main character’s reality.
Redefining an actor into a character’s personality is an art that a chosen few in Nollywood have mastered. Thankfully, the drastic changes in costume needed to capture the realities of the main character’s struggles are aptly captured by the costumier. Sunmisola goes from wearing silk shirts and gold hoop earrings to dirty overalls and low-budget checkered shirts. Todowede takes the look of the typical bread-seller, with funny makeup, plain tees and basic Ankara pieces. The touts are also clothed appropriately, and we mostly see costumes that accurately depict what fashion in rural areas looks like.
While one might have a few reservations regarding the buildup of this story and how viewers are left to make some assumptions, suspense was definitely an element craftily used by the screenwriter, and that kept most people glued. We also observed that some scenes seemed hurried while others depicted exaggerated acting performances.
Overall, positive sentiments trail this movie, and rightfully so. With its uniquely interesting storyline, the talented cast and an unexpected twist at the end, Breaded Life makes great use of film elements to embody its story.
Have you seen Breaded Life yet? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.