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“Beast of Two Worlds”: The Tale of a Beast Trapped in a Socio-cultural Cage

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beast of two worlds

The thing about Beast of Two Worlds is that, while promising and innovative, it ultimately delivers a familiar storyline. From a Yoruba socio-cultural perspective, the film is compelling, but its appeal remains confined to a Yoruba audience. This specificity renders it a niche film, not necessarily for everyone.

The film brings to light various socio-cultural problems and beliefs that, surprisingly, persist in Yoruba society despite ongoing literacy and efforts to debunk them. It attempts to recreate a historical era, successfully capturing the essence of these issues.

However, Beast of Two Worlds struggles to maintain the pace and authenticity of its time due to several issues, which will be explored further in this article.

Let’s get straight in. And, no spoilers.

Beast of Two Worlds

Directed by: Adebayo Tijani, Odunlade Adekola
Produced by: Eniola Ajao
Genre: Drama
Released on: March 29, 2024 (Cinemas)
Language: Yoruba


The central narrative of Beast of Two Worlds revolves around a desperate king facing the threat of banishment after his three wives fail to produce a male heir. In a bid to secure his legacy. Now, we’ll deliberately stop here.

It’s worth noting that whoever was responsible for uploading the film on Prime Video, maybe, the filmmakers themselves, inadvertently revealed a crucial plot point, diminishing the suspense and intrigue. Despite this misstep, the narrative unfolds in familiar territory.

The tale of a man resorting to desperate measures to secure a male successor is a well-trodden path in Yoruba Nollywood storytelling. The only deviation here is that the protagonist is a king in search of an heir. This narrative is not groundbreaking but rather a cultural reflection deeply ingrained in many African and Nigerian traditions, which place significant importance on male successors.

While the theme may lack novelty, it remains a compelling subject to explore, given its enduring relevance and the societal values it mirrors.


The film unfolds in a linear progression, moving seamlessly from one event to the next. However, as we approach the climax and denouement, the narrative resorts to flashbacks to reveal the full scope of the plot. While not inherently flawed, this approach is a conventional technique in Yoruba cinema to maintain suspense.

Despite employing these devices, the film falls short of fostering a sense of engagement or investment from the audience. When the flashbacks finally uncover the hidden elements, they do so without offering any clues for the audience to piece together the mystery.

The narrative does not build a coherent thread linking the events to a character’s actions, merely presenting the information without persuading the viewer. This lack of engagement leaves the audience uninvested in the unfolding drama.

Additionally, certain plotlines remain unresolved. For instance, Lateef Adedimeji’s character abruptly exits the story, and when his wife, portrayed by Juliana Olayode, addresses his disappearance, the dialogue inadvertently highlights continuity issues within the story. These gaps detract from the overall cohesion and impact of the narrative.

Technical Aspects

The opening narration of Beast of Two Worlds was commendable and well-written. However, it was delivered in English, which detracted from the authenticity and cultural immersion that a Yoruba narration would have provided. As the first impression of the film, a Yoruba narration could have set a more appropriate tone.

Innovatively, the filmmakers complemented the narration with animation created through artificial intelligence. While experimenting with new technologies in filmmaking is commendable and can lead to creative breakthroughs, this choice somewhat undermined the film’s historical authenticity.

The AI-generated imagery, while visually intriguing, clashed with the period setting the film aimed to portray. The film begins with a folkloric tale, which inherently allows for a degree of fantastical elements. However, the obvious use of AI detracted from the believability and immersive quality of the story.

Moving on to the costumes, the film’s portrayal of the “beast of both worlds” fell short. The costume design failed to convincingly transform the beast, instead resembling a human clad in antelope attire, reminiscent of stage drama costumes. For a film striving for authenticity, this was a significant oversight. The costume design should have been more meticulously crafted to enhance the credibility of the beast.

Better still, the portrayal of the beast could have served as an opportunity for the filmmakers to introduce a groundbreaking development in Nollywood filmmaking. Imagine the impact of a realistically depicted beast, whether through practical effects or believable CGI.

Finally, a recurring issue in Yoruba productions is the use of the soundtrack to narrate the story. In this film, the soundtrack revealed plot points, diminishing the element of suspense. This approach detracts from the audience’s ability to experience the unfolding narrative organically and predictably.


Sola Sobowale delivers a standout performance, showcasing her exceptional acting prowess and effectively embodying her character’s demands within the film. Her portrayal is a testament to her skill and presence on screen.

Odunlade Adekola, known for his similar roles in films like King of Thieves and Orisa, brings his signature blend of authority and vulnerability to his portrayal of the king in Ajakaju: Beast of Both Worlds.

Performances from Lateef Adedimeji and Femi Adebayo, while notable, differ in impact. Adedimeji’s character provides moments of comedic relief but lacks depth and relevance beyond this role. His sudden disappearance from the narrative leaves his potential unfulfilled, missing an opportunity for further character development.

On the other hand, Femi Adebayo’s character serves a specific purpose integral to the story, fulfilling expectations set by the narrative.

Eniola Ajao‘s performance, while adequate, is hampered by a character whose actions remain unquestioned and unexplored. The repercussions of her character’s decisions are glossed over, detracting from her overall impact and making her portrayal less compelling.

Final Thoughts

Initially, one might consider that the filmmakers faced challenges beyond creative decisions, such as limited resources and financing common in Nollywood. However, it appears that ample financial resources were available to potentially elevate the film’s execution. And still, the film fell short of fully realizing its ambitious potential.

Furthermore, it seems that there’s a prevalent tendency among Nigerians to settle for mediocrity in film production. As long as a film is deemed passable, it often suffices, regardless of missed opportunities for innovation and excellence.

Beast of Two Worlds exemplifies this phenomenon, where the film fails to capitalize on crucial opportunities to distinguish itself. Instead, it culminates in a presentation reminiscent of stage drama rather than a cinematic breakthrough.

This inclination toward mediocrity in Nigerian cinema can be viewed as a broader cultural issue. Despite its potential for evolution and advancement, Nigerian filmmaking frequently finds itself constrained within familiar tropes and conventional narratives. This cultural “cage” limits the exploration of bold, new ideas and inhibits the pursuit of excellence that could propel Nigerian cinema onto the global stage.


Hence, Beast of Two Worlds predominantly resonates with a specific demographic, as it remains confined within familiar cultural and narrative boundaries. It’s undeniably not a film suited for universal appeal.

However, if you appreciate films like King of Thieves, Orisa, and Jagun Jagun” which similarly explore robust characters within traditional settings, then this film may align with your interests.

Rating: 1/5

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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