Early 2019 was another season for Nigerians to choose between a rock and hard place. This dispiriting reality of a between-two-fires political situation is given a contrastive and intriguing twist in the Ishaya Bako-directed movie, 4th Republic. On a whole, the movie creates a glimpse of what the country’s political landscape, in all its crudeness and filth, would look like with a smart, willful, and determined female figure going neck-to-neck with clichéd political players.
The ambition of this female character, Mabel King, to acquire the gubernatorial seat of the fictional ‘Confluence State’ is the orbit around which the entire plot revolves. Mabel (Kate Henshaw) plays on the strength of a vibrant campaign team and her goodwill to try to match Governor Idris Sani (Sani Mu’azu)’s political experience and incumbency advantage in a contest that’s fought on many grounds – legal, mental, and financial. She is hell bent on claiming a democratic win that would spell the start of a political revolution in the Republic, as a loss would nip the hopes for change in the bud.
One of the exciting features of the movie on paper is the prospect of Ishaya Bako directing a Bem Pever and Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju joint project. These prolific names are associated with brilliance. The team score high on the scale of excellence with 4th Republic. Ishaya Bako pulls off the ace game of laying out reflective scenes in between events without breaking the rhythm of the movie and sustaining the air of suspense in the room for the entire 120minutes. The amount of detail captured in the scenes underscore the class of the camerawork of the movie and the dynamics of the Nigerian political scene is captured in the movie with minimum exaggeration.