Anikulapo, Kunle Afolayan’s tale of love turned to hatred by betrayal was released on the 30th of September, 2022 to an audience that highly anticipated the release of the Yoruba epic, and just, as usual, the Nigerian filmmaker did not disappoint with the delivery of the film.
It goes without saying that Kunle Afolayan is one of the best filmmakers in Nigeria and Africa, especially because his films are well planned out and also because of his utmost attention to detail.
Anikulapo was no different from his other portfolios of amazing movies. In fact, Anikulapo turns out to be a masterpiece with brilliant storytelling, acting, the setting, and with every other thing that makes a movie great.
In this article, we will look at the film from the standpoint of finding love in a hopeless place, that love tested by betrayal and eventually becoming hatred.
Was Saro Ever In Love?
Getting killed because of ‘a partner’ might be seen as true love by many, but in the case of Saro, we can easily conclude that he was just controlled by lust and thereby found himself in an unforeseen circumstance.
The story of Saro follows a young man who was given away at a tender age to pay the debt of his parents. It is safe to say he has seen suffering and he knows what suffering tastes like. Coming to Oyo Ile was supposed to change his trajectory, which it did. He allowed himself to be caught in the web of Awarun who only wanted pleasure but not a commitment to him. This part of the film revealed how Saro’s mind is shaped.
He was portrayed as a man who would settle for anything as long as it made him feel good, or made his life better. It showed a part of him that will do anything for a comfortable lifestyle.
Again, his willingness to settle came into play when he jumped back into Awarun’s lap in excitement because she linked him up with a big opportunity in the palace of the king of Oyo Ile. This will be his first undoing.
Going to the king’s palace changed the direction of the movie.
He met Arolake who needed saving from the miserable life she was living in the palace, and he did save her for a while but was that action out of love?
Love Turned To Hatred By Betrayal
For Arolake, we might never be able to tell if she truly loved Saro and the argument would be that you can never hurt someone you truly love no matter what they do to you, but in the end, Arolake did Saro dirty and left.
In her case, it will be the saying of ‘a woman scorned’ and she was patient enough for him to change but instead, he kept on disrespecting her.
Firstly, he raped their maid and got her pregnant, claimed it was for their own sake – made that decision on his own without having a discussion with her on it – and secondly, he went ahead to marry another wife after claiming the first was a mistake. It was worse that he did all that, but those wives started to disrespect Arolake because of the things Saro had told them about her.
She was back in the same prison she escaped in Oyo Ile. Only that in this prison, she was not her husband’s favorite.
The betrayal hit her badly when she overheard some of their workers talking about Saro asking for the king’s daughter as the price for waking the prince who just died. Her heart was shattered like everyone else would have been, and she decided to leave, but not before ruining what made him the man he was.
It was the case of “if I have to live like a miserable person for the rest of my life, you also will be miserable,” and she made sure of it.
While Arolake was the real definition of a boss lady who knows what she wanted and will get it, Saro was the greedy “what my hands cannot touch, I will draw closer with a stick.”
Overtaken By Lust
Lust is one of the things that can ruin a man so easily and the plots of Anikulapo made that very obvious.
Apart from being with Awarun in Oyo Ile, Saro was already putting things under control. He had the life he wanted as an Aso Oke weaver and he was doing well for himself until he allowed lust to derail him.
Let’s assume that was a mistake on his side, and he was lucky enough to get a second chance.
Saro got to Ojomu village and met grace there in the form of the gourd. He was given everything he wanted, but again, he allowed lust overtake him, throwing it all away, first in Arolake’s face – who saw the gourd and handed it to him because she trusted him – and also in the king’s face – who did not know him from anywhere but allowed him to stay in the village and gave him a place to live.
It was the classic case of ruining his life simply because he allowed the satisfaction of minutes to rule him, thereby pushing him to make the wrong decisions.
Anikulapo portrayed life in the ancient Yoruba kingdoms and the little failings that crippled the system. It showed the influence of power and how it makes humans arrogant, and through brilliant storytelling, it taught a simple lesson; to never put all your eggs in one basket.