The Arbitration tells the story of Gbenga and his employee Dara who had an affair. After the affair ended and Dara left the company, she sued Gbenga and accused him of rape. An Arbitration panel was constituted to find out the truth.
The Arbitration, was written by Chinaza Onuzo.
It was directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and features O.C Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Ireti Doyle, Beverly Naya.
Despite its official synopsis, the movie isn’t one that addresses a rape case with the aim of having a winner or loser.
The movie is supposed to be centered around a young CEO man and a lady who work with a software company, interwoven in a story of love and rape which called for an arbitration, BUT it deviated from the typical female rape story to unravel the mystery behind a young CEO who was about to lose his company over a rape allegation by Dara ( Adesua Etomi) who was his most brilliant and productive worker and mistress.
The Arbitration is the fall out of a final sexual encounter between Dara Olujobi (Etomi) and Gbenga Sanni (Ukeje,)- one single, the other very married – two former colleagues and lovers.
She alleges rape, alleging that she was coerced into dropping her pants against her will in order to keep her entitlements after their professional and personal relationship fell apart. In his defence, he insists that the encounter was no different from the countless others before; mutually consented.
The complete film tells a slightly different story though.
The movie kicks off introducing Gbenga as a rich billionaire who can afford the best lawyer to get him out of a rape lawsuit, except there isn’t a judge, but an arbitrator (Sola Fosudo).
Then there is the confident lawyer Omawumi Horsfall (Somkele) and the overconfident lawyer, Funlayo Johnson (Ireti Doyle).
There is also the claimant Dara Olujobi, who was supposedly raped by her married boss and ex lover, and forced to give up her shares worth millions, after their affair ended.
“The Arbitration” is a movie that requires the viewers utmost attention as it uses the flashback technique to take viewers through the various accounts – get distracted, and get confused.
However, despite the film’s screenplay moving back and forth on a round table in a room with an arbitrator presiding over the proceedings, it is still easy to connect with the characters and their various emotions, thanks to the brilliant director, Niyi!
Also the background music/sound track was everything.
From Brymo’s “Femi” to Annie Lennox’s “I Put a Spell on You,” the film’s music is quintessential, and moves in a manner conforming with the film’s story and narrative.
Now to the amazing cast.
Sola Fosudo as the arbitrator does an amazing job, Ireti Doyle handles her character as a no-nonsense professional lawyer with perfection and class.
OC Ukeje excels in playing his character Gbenga Sanni with utmost conviction and confidence. Adesua Etomi as Dara Olujobi brings in the complete Etomi quotient to the film and acts her part very well. Somkele also nails her role as Omawumi Horsefall.
Not to mention the chemistry between (Adesua Etomi) Dara and Gbenga (OC Ukeje), oh wow, they are so cute together.
However, the movie’s official jargon and legalese was a little too much. A viewer that is not in the “advertising” world will find it hard to understand some of the technical words they used in some of the dialogues in the movie.
Overall, it is an interesting, brilliantly scripted and watchable Nollywood movie, which focuses on a hardworking young woman fighting to get back everything she worked and labored for.
To be honest, I found the movie interesting and thrilling and this would have been my conclusion “The Arbitration” offers a fresh and original story scripted by Chinaza Onuzo, and it is a must watch” until it was brought to my attention that the movie was a copy and paste version of a 2013 Indian movie, Inkaar and I carried out my investigation, saw it and confirmed it!
Inkaar is the love story of Maya Luthra (Chitrangada Singh) and Rahul Verma (Arjun Rampal) set against the backdrop of sexual harassment. When misunderstandings are created between the two lovers Maya and her mentor Rahul, she files a case of sexual harassment against him.
A committee is set up by the advertising agency they work in to investigate their case and find out the truth. Rahul denies that he ever had any such intentions to sexually harass Maya, but she insists that he makes her feel insecure and unsafe in her own office.
The committee is unable to reach a clear conclusion as they do not know who to believe. The climax of the film brings an unexpected twist to the story, and in a final confrontation the two protagonists’ love emerges victorious.