Before watching Adire, I never knew what to expect. I had started my Saturday morning with my usual weekend routine, which involved cleaning out my room, eating breakfast, going over my to-do list from the entire week, and writing down a progress report. I got so exhausted mid-way so I went straight to bed and woke up by 2 pm to missed calls from my friends. We have a small tradition of just randomly catching up via calls, video chats, and gisting for long hours on Saturdays. During one of my calls with my friend, she randomly screamed “You need to see Adire” I said Adire? Confused if it was the regular fabric or something else. She followed up by telling me that it was an interesting Nigerian movie on Netflix starring Kehinde Bankole, Yvonne Jegede, and some of my favorites.
(Be warned. Spoilers ahead )
That was enough reason for me to go straight into watching “Adire”. The movie Adire on Netflix opens with a chilling scene showing a club setting and two scary-looking men having a conversation about something that similarly revolves around money laundering. I was still trying to settle into the movie when it moved to the scene with Kehinde Bankole (Adire) behind her sewing machine. At first sight of her, I was sold out; you see, there are some film actors you get to see and you suddenly feel happy. That’s how I feel whenever I see her. She’s an incredibly talented actress, and I want to see her in more movies.
Back to our review, from the minute I saw Kehinde Bankole, I was sold. The entire movie follows the story of “Adire” played by (Kehinde Bankole) a beautiful and enchanting woman who breaks free from the claws of her exploitative Boss called “Captain”. It shows the dark and exploitative side of sex work and how much women are taken advantage of and abused behind the scenes by pimps who keep them hostage. Adire gets her freedom by tactically stealing from him and running far away to a new community in “Oyo state”.
This is demonstrated by her open monologue declaring her freedom with these lines-
“This is the first day to the rest of my life”
“They say a bird in the bush with a broken wing is better than a pet in her cage”
“I am not a pet”
From this point we witness her, settling into the community, becoming the center of attraction and we witness different men falling over her. “Adire” was beautiful, a bold and elegant woman and she did know how to make head turns. From here we are taken into a church setting, which lays a very important foundation and background for how the entire movie unfolds. The church is filled with women from the local community, the pastor’s wife who is introduced as a stoic and very judgmental woman from the very first scene. We also catch a glimpse of the pastor’s wife’s “handbag” as he will be fondly described as the movie progresses. A young man spends his whole life following the pastor’s wife around and doubles as her assistant.
A significant theme from this movie is the importance of supporting teenage mothers. In the opening church scene, we are introduced to a pregnant young girl, ostracized from the church and suspended because of her teenage pregnancy. We are also introduced to scenes of the pastor’s wife castigating her and calling her a sinner. Later in this movie, we get to see the tragic end of this young girl.
We get further introduced to every woman of the church folk the major supporting character being “Yvonne Jegede’s character “Shalewa” and her constantly drunk and humorous husband she constantly has to cuddle and take care of because she did love him.
‘Adire’ takes center stage as the story unfolds further, rumours about her spread very rapidly around the community because of how much the men in the community got excited with her ethereal beauty and presence. Her style of dressing and the interest she garnered from men in the community raises gossip among the church women, as she is referred to as the
In a fit to reclaim the attention of their husband, the women hold an emergency meeting and go through ideas that involve them confronting her and warning her to stay away from their husbands. None of the women dare to confront “Adire” except the character ”Shalewa” played by “Yvonne Jegede. Adire was believed to be living in a “hunted house” so nobody wanted to Be the scapegoat to go there. After the confrontation, Adire ends up becoming friends with her and gives her a set of her designed “magic bras/lingerie”. This spices up her marriage and leaves a noticeable glow on her.
Other women flock to Adire’s house to get their own set of “Magic bras” which leads to a blossoming friendship between “Adire” and the women who first saw her as a competition. This gave us a set of empowering quotes from Adire”
“A woman’s breasts are her weapons “-Adire
“Anybody that is evil and telling you to dress like this is doing the Lord’s work”-Tobi
“You may be called, wife, mother, but never forget to see yourself as a babe”
The remaining part of the movie takes us through different interactions and plot developments, Adire has an honest admirer and a man who genuinely cares and loves her. And the travails Adire had to face from backlash and her past coming back to hunt her.
We will rate Adire a Solid 8/10 because of how the story develops, the character development, and the plot. We noticed some loopholes in the backstory of some of the characters. We would have loved to see the backstory to the boy referred to as the ‘’pastor’s wife’s handbag’ What would make a young man so devoted to her? Why would he go to the extent of wanting to kill ‘Adire’ by burning her house with fire? How did he become such a religious extremist? We have many unresolved questions like this. Aside from this, Adire was a fun and easy watch, perfect for a night out with the girls, friends, and family.
Some of the characters brought life into the movie. Specifically Adire’- Played by Kehinde Bankole
‘Shalewa’ -Played by Yvonne Jegede, ‘Folashade’-played by Funlola Aofiyebi, and every other character not mentioned. It was a 10/10 performance by the actors.
Let’s explore the theme of the entire movie-
- Female sexual exploitation– Young women from the ages of 2 and upwards have been subjected to all manner of abuse and exploitation, in the movie we get to see that Adire was taken at a very young age, groomed, and exploited till she fought and got her freedom. We must collectively do everything possible to make sure that there’s no place for sexual predators in our society, and that victims of sexual abuse get the necessary support they need and deserve
- Never underestimate the power of a good bra – this might seem like a deeply unserious theme but it’s one of the most important themes from the movie. We see a drastic change in affection between the husbands and their wives after using Adire’s magic bras and lingerie.
“A woman’s breasts are her weapons
“Anybody that is evil and telling you to dress like this is doing the Lord’s work”-Tobi
Power of a good bra.
you heard right!
- It takes a community to raise a child
One of the most touching themes from this movie is how we are shown the teenage girl from the church who was ostracized because of her pregnancy. We are shown how awful it is when we judge and cast away young ladies who have experienced life differently at a young age and what we should do instead. Instead of preaching and emphasizing the consequences of immorality and abstinence maybe the message should be shifted to safe sex and the importance of using protection. To avoid unwanted pregnancies. And even though it happens, it is our collective responsibility to look out for the young ones.
When the pastor’s daughter found out she was pregnant, her first instinct was to hide it away from my parents and all the adults in her life because no safety was provided. Adire provided a safe space for her to open up and she encouraged her through it.
- The church should be a place that nurtures and builds – On Religion and Hypocrisy
The church should be a place that encourages and supports individuals irrespective of their backgrounds and past. The pastor’s wife played devil’s advocate and took it into her hands to castigate and judge people she perceived as sinners. Which takes away from the message of the church. Adire made many efforts to become a part of the church committee.
- Fight for the life you want, no matter the cost – Adire’s life was a complete testament to this. She fought so hard for the life she wanted not minding the fact that she could get hurt in the process. From running away from her former life, starting a new one, and embracing a new community. We see how she explores this theme throughout her life.
- The theme of female friendships– another important theme we note from this is how strong the women’s community was. It is important to have female friendships, the kind of support and love they offer is second to none. Adire supported her friend and pushed her to start her baking business, the women’s community collectively stood by Adire when she was judged by the pastor’s wife.
- Your life belongs to you not to any man- you are a hot babe, act like one
- Remain a happening Babe for life! You must do everything possible to remain a hot babe for life.
- We need more Big sisters
To end this review, this movie had very beautiful Images and gave us quotes for days! If you would like us to do more movie reviews, drop a comment and send us a message on our Instagram handle.
Don’t forget to build the kind of life you enjoy!
love- OLC team