The most anticipated Nollywood meets Bollywood movie has finally arrived but most people are underwhelmed. Why? Well, who knows. I’ll tell you what I thought about the movie.
But first, what’s the movie about? Namaste Wahala is a rom-com that tells the story of an interracial romance between a Nigerian girl, Didi and an Indian man, Raj, and the the “wahala” that follows. It stars Ini Dima-Okojie, Ruslaan Mumtaz, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Joke Silva, Anee Icha, Osas Ighodaro and K10, amongst others. It was produced, written and directed by Hamisha Daryani Ahuja on her directorial debut, and released on Netflix on February 14, 2021.
The film had huge potential but it really flopped. This is not to say I did not enjoy it at all. I enjoyed it, mostly because I loved the chemistry between Raj and Didi and I went in with zero expectations.
Things They Got Right
The title was very catchy, a nice mixture of hugely popular Indian and Nigerian sayings — Namaste meaning “Hello” in Hindu while Wahala means “Trouble” in Yoruba/Hausa. The title was apt because we know that when Nigerians and Indians meet, it’s about to be a disaster (or so we thought).
As usual, with Nigerian films, they do a great job with an all star cast in order to sway us into watching the movie. We fall for it all the time. If RMD and Joke Silva are in it then it must be good right? They’re amazing actors who always do justice to every role!
Ruslaan Mumtaz was the perfect hunk for me. What a gorgeous Indian man. He played Indian lover boy the way the role should be played.
I love Ini Dima because she immerses herself in every single role she plays. She really becomes the character and that’s a gift. In this film she was young, passionate, sexy and very cute. Those lovey dovey puppy eyes she does — Amazing!
Osas Ighodaro was actually pretty good in this film. I almost forgot how good of an actress she is with all the recent crap she’s been involved with eg Assistant Madams.
Anee Icha is underrated — I mean those facial expressions when she was crying about Dave who broke her heart? Priceless. I need to see her in more lead roles.
I love Koye (K10). He is actually hilarious in “tweet” and in speech. I hope he gets more big time movie roles.
I found the film really hilarious. My favorite scene was the one that featured the argument between Raj’s mother and the taxi driver. That was the kind of wahala that I signed up for. The whole film was definitely corny and cringe worthy as expected.
What They Didn’t Get Right
The story fell flat. Everything was all over the place. There was way too much going on. They tried to slot in random stories like the Mr T story. Very random. Like what was MI doing in the film? Why was he there?
I understand that they were trying to give the movie an element of seriousness but how did the whole story on domestic violence tie in to the interracial romance? It was like watching two completely opposite programs at the same time.
They got the rom com bits right but not the drama bits. They could have worked on the story better.
They could have explored both the Indian and Nigerian cultures a bit more to show the similarities. It felt like it was just about the hate and there wasn’t a real eureka moment where everything came together. We didn’t see many Indians, we didn’t see much culture.
There was a lot of Namaste, but not as much Wahala as we expected. There should have been more drama. I mean when two giants meet, there should be problems everywhere. We know that Indian and Nigerian parents are cut from the same cloth, so why didn’t we see more of this?
And then there was the wedding. I was literally waiting for this scene the whole time but it was boring — nothing happened but dancing. It was at this moment, they should have done the Bollywood music video scene, not in a random scene at the beginning. I mean I enjoyed watching it but it was wrongly placed!
Nigerians do make a lot of movies with all star casts and forget about making a strong story. We can’t blame this one on a Nigerian at least, an Indian wrote it.
I know this is not the most positive review but I still really enjoyed Namaste Wahala for what it was.
I’ll rate the film 4/10.