What’s bread got to do with “Breaded life”? — Peju Akande
Cast: Bimbo Ademoye, Tina Mba, Timini Egbuson, Bisola Aiyeola, Funny Bone, Mc Lively, Lateef Adedimeji
Year of Release: 2021
Breaded Life is about dreams.
Some dreams become nightmares that people want to wake up from but there are others that you want to wake up and catch the dream in real time and so it is with the characters in this movie.
He is the only son of wealthy parents; set to inherit mind boggling wealth once he hits his 30s. He is educated, well, as they say, “been to school,” even though he never truly finished school. He is not resourceful, not ambitious, not exactly the son who will take over his parents’ businesses. He just wants to party through life and spend the rest of his life idling away and never working.
She on the other hand is hardworking, poor, uneducated, ambitious and streetwise. She is the Proverbs 31 woman, (if you like that type) who wakes up at the crack of dawn to go about her business of selling bread. Yes, bread as in Agege bread, not even the refined type of bread that would fetch a decent wage. But she is diligent, she is resourceful and creative with her business. Poor as she is, she manages to build some kind of life and discipline around her trade.
Then these two odd balls meet but this is no Cinderella story…
If you are looking for a rags to riches story, no, make that a Cinderella kind of story, where a poor beautiful girl meets a rich handsome Prince Charming, you will be disappointed because a Breaded Life defies the usual girl meets boy and they lived happily ever after story. It is not even the sleeping beauty kind of story.
Breaded Life is real, it is funny, it is odd and yet so relatable, the kind of story that will make you wonder how the writer/director came about this kind of weird but true story?
Why is it weird?
Just imagine, how could a bread seller, an agege bread seller for that matter get involved with the son of the rich and powerful? How did they meet?
You could say, in her dreams and you will be right; he meets her in his dreams and his dreams become the reality through which we see Breaded life.
The movie begins with a mother and son convo, establishing right from get go that Sunmi is a spoiled brat whose exasperated mother is looking for a way to get him off his lazy butt. After an altercation between mother and son, she declares him “a boy from hell” and wonders aloud, “… how did I get it so wrong with him?”
That’s your usual African mother rhetoric; but Sunmi is a rotten 25 years old who tells his mother, “Mummy, don’t give yourself a migraine, what do you want? Are you looking for something, are you bored? What do you want?” Before casually asking…”what if I wasn’t destined to work?”
Well, Mother demands of him a plan and Sunmi’s plan is ingenious; he plans to wait until he turns 32 years old to access his trust fund and live off it without working for the rest of his life!
His mother then leaves him to his plans but her words will come to haunt him, “Let me see how you will survive without all these luxuries.”
Then the gods spit in his face and in a twist of the bizarre, Sunmi is arrested as a thief in his mother’s house; he is treated like an outcast because suddenly, his mother, the nanny who raised him and loves him to bits; his friends and family all suddenly do not know who he is.
He is completely erased from family photos, from family memories, from everyone. This is the stuff of nightmares, one that will take a lifetime to wake up from.
At first, it seems his family are all in cahoots to teach him a bitter lesson but it turns out that truly, they don’t recognise him, don’t know who he is and so he ends up being on the streets. Incidentally, the only person who recognises him, knows where he lives, is a bread seller. The one person he never even gave more than a passing glance; she is the one who takes him in as he roams the streets, lost and hungry and confused. She gives him food and houses him.
Sunmi begins a new life; one fraught with struggles, hardship and poverty. Through Todowedo the bread seller, he sees the life he had been sheltered from; he learns life the hard way and begins to earn his own bread the hard way.
Hard work never killed anyone; this is the objective of the story; Sunmi needed to be taught a lesson and he learned on the streets of life.
When Todowedo asks him what he wants to do with his life, Sunmi says: “I’m going to have to find a way to survive on the streets on my own.” But Sunmi isn’t equipped for the streets, yet thanks to Todowedo, the streetwise bread seller, he soon adapts to a life he never knew existed. She is tough, she is smart, she is a no nonsense young woman who takes him by the hand and helps him navigate the rough and dingy life of the less privileged.
Breaded Life is also a story about romance, an unlikely one but to really find out the details, you need to sit down and savour the mysteries of Breaded Life; it’s a nightmare that ends well.