The Arbitration tells the story of Gbenga (O.C Ukeje) and his former employee Dara (Adesua Etomi) who had an affair, after the affair ended and Dara leaves the company, she sues Gbenga and accuses him of rape and then an arbitration panel is constituted to find out the truth. The movie boasts of a great cast consisting of O.C Ukeje , Adesua Etomi, Somkele Inyamah, Ireti Doyle, Sola Fosudo and Lota Chukwu E and Gregory Ojefua.
The movie opens with a series of montages and a ‘there are three sides to every story’ caption which will be better understood before the closing credits of the movie. The Arbitration is a legal drama of about 100 minutes that has so many artistic and aesthetic values and aside the story or the plot, the movie in all ramification proved that a group of wonderful actors and very good editing could enchant the audience to sit that long viewing long sessions of serious dialogue, plenty expressions and a little action.
The movie tries to address ‘what rape actually constitutes’ and also educate Nigerians on what an arbitration in contrast to a law court entails. Ireti Doyle (Funlayo Johnson) stole the show in this production with her expressions, diction and grace, Adesua Etomi (Dara) and O.C Ukeje (Gbenga) had a great chemistry as though it was made in heaven; very natural and believable all along. Somkhele Inyamah (Omawunmi Horsefall) who played the inexperienced lawyer also came out in flying colours been that this will count as her first major film to the larger audience, the acting in general was very well put together and believable.
Niyi Akinmolayan (Make a Move, Out of Luck) has actually shown how much of a great director he is with the progression in his movies’ craft potential over time, more like a director that attempts to learn new things and get better with every movie he works on. The soundtracks required an album of its own because it was actually one of the elements that made the movie tick, each well suited and giving life to every scene. The audience can easily tell that a lot of attention was given to the soundtracks and sound editing and anthill studios will surely get all that credit.
VISUALLY, THE ARBITRATION WAS BEAUTIFUL AND THE SOUNDTRACKS, EVEN BETTER
The story was fresh: not quite like anything explored before in Nollywood. ‘The arbitration’ format of judging cases is something many Nigerians are unaware of and ‘the arbitration’ did a good job on the story telling. The pace was fast enough and kicked off from the start. The fact that the screenplay deals a lot with the information technology industry especially and law makes it a tad bit difficult for the everyday viewer to digest but the flow of the story makes it totally impossible to fall asleep or take a bow from the theatre though greater attention was given to the IT aspects of the script compared to the legal side of things: many lawyers will agree.
The highest credit will definitely go to Victoria Akujobi, AMVCA winner for ‘Reflections’ who also did the video editing, this will get nods from Awards next year definitely because at the end of the day, the transitioning and the flow of the montages in the flash backs aside the good performances brought to the table was what did make the audience enjoy the entire movie.