The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is a Romantic Comedy Written and directed by Ishaya Bako. The movie features Zainab Balogun, Rachel Oniga, Jide Kosoko, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Ini Dima Okojie, Joke Silva, Olu Jacobs and OC Ukeje.
The Royal Hibiscus Hotel is based in a small town and tells the story of a run-down hotel owned by an old couple, Segun (Jide Kosoko) ad Rose (Rachel Oniga). Their daughter, Ope (Zainab Balogun) is frustrated with her chef job in London and decides to travel to Lagos to test the waters. Of course, her parents are elated to have her back albeit for different reasons. Ope has big plans for the old hotel while her father has other plans.
Deji (Kenneth Okolie), a businessman who falls in love with Ope and does everything to woo her with the approval of her parents. However, he is hiding a secret which Ope later finds out and causes serious complications for both of them.
The film continues as Ope finds a way to deal with The secret from her boyfriend and her parents. Then, a subtle but sweet ending caps the story.
OC Ukeje’s role was absolutely unnecessary. He appeared, disappeared and we forgot about him. The story could have happened without him.
Rachel Oniga and Jide Kosoke brought the funny and their experience showed through. However, for a movie that’s supposed to be romantically funny, there were very few laughs in the screen room.
Zainab Balogun’s portrayal of betrayal and vulnerability was top notch. She’s a good actress, I hope though, that the habit of repeated mannerisms in all her roles will be pointed out to her and curbed. Ope and Deji oozed chemistry and they were a nice pair to watch.
Location: The movie was shot in a small town in Nigeria and in London. However, we saw large views of Eko Hotels and the Lekki Ikoyi link bridge. I mean..give the viewers some credit that we can put 1 and 2 together.
I feel the script was rushed and not properly thought through. The reason Ope and Deji got back together in the final scene was as unrealistic as you can imagine. It could have turned out better if the storytellers stretched their imaginations a little bit more.
I am a romantic but I’m over romantic movies that still look like Mills and Boons. Ridiculous reasons for fighting and more ridiculous conditions for getting back together. If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’ll like The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.