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24th July



24th July

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

24th July (Nigerian Movie Review) ~ 2010
Story – Hyacinth Onwuka
Screenplay – Okey Zubelo Okoh
Director – Okey Zubelo Okoh
Producer – Hyacinth Onwuka

Starring:
Yemi Blaq – Ben
Nse Ikpi Etim – Nora
Uche Jombo – Julie
John Dumelo – Joe
Uche Elendu – Agatha
Ali Nuhu – Tony
Jim Lawson Maduike – Uraka
Uche Ebere – Ifeoma
Gaddiel Onwudiwe – Ben’s Dad
Collette Nkem Orji – Rita
Eve Esin – Janet
Sir Kennedy Kalu – Steve
Escort G Kamar – Doctor
Kingsley Nnaji – Obinna
Micheal Godson – Tami

Themes:
Mortality
Spirit World
Emotional Conflict

My Rating – 42%

Ben (Yemi Blaq) and Nora (Nse Ikpi Etim) meet by chance on the roadside. Nora is being verbally abused by a driver after she cannot pay him, claiming that she has lost her purse. Ben sees a lady in distress and comes to her rescue, paying the driver so that he can go away. They swap numbers and very quickly the two are an item and in love. Nora is contemplating marrying Ben, when the status quo is knocked out of kilter. Her ex fiancée resurfaces begging for forgiveness and a chance to right his wrongs. Not only is he begging for a chance but so it her best friend’s brother Tony. What is a girl to do?

For Nora the painful memory of being jilted on her wedding day weighs heavily on her mind but once her ex fiancée Joe, played by John Dumelo offers up his explanations as to why he jilted her, she can’t help but to accept that circumstances out of his control caused that situation. Is it possible that she can be in love with two men?

*************SPOILERS*************

John Dumelo looks like he has put on a bit of weight. I’m glad to see that he looks good with it, unlike others who shall remain nameless. The hot chocolate is not melting at all. His role was minor and did not make too much of an impression so no comment on his acting.
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Believability
The love connection – romance storyline between Nora and Ben was not properly developed. One minute we see the two just meeting and Nora is not sure about Ben. All of a sudden they are madly in love. We see her professing her love for him to her friend Agatha and defending him. It’s too quick, we don’t even see it happen. There is no build up.

Two wonderful actors cast in the lead roles and the movie doesn’t even work. I can see how it could have though. Some scenes in the movie were just not believable. In one scene Ben is taking Nora and her friend Agatha out and the car breaks down. Agatha’s reaction is waaaaaay over the top. I’d blame that on the direction as opposed to Uche Elendu. She is screaming about the shame of it all and refusing to get back in the car, all over nothing. It seemed all a bit ridiculous to me. She played her role well but the character just did not fit in anywhere. Bizarre.

In another scene we see Tony (played by Nuhu) come around and Nora looks really nervous. This did not make sense to me as he was not really part of the love triangle. Yes he claimed to want to marry her but she had already categorically told him that she was not interested, so it was not like she was reciprocating so why the nervous look? In this came scene Jo and Ben also turns up and they have a big confrontation during which Nora shouts at them to leave, and they all do without even protesting. This did not ring true for me either.
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Age Miscasting Issue
I was really looking forward to an Nse and Yemi pairing as I both hold them in high regard, and after the RUBBISH that was Blue Blood I hoped for better, much much better. Alas it was not meant to be. Again Nse was cast wrongly. The chick looks at least 33. How is she going to be cast as a student AGAIN? Naaaa! Not believable at all. Even her whole demeanour has a deep maturity about it. Someone like Mona Lisa Chinda looks older as well but she can pull off younger roles better. Nse is just not working for me in these young chick roles.

Check this out; Uche Ebere was playing the role of Nse’s mother. What in the…? I’m not buying that one at all either. This age miscasting issue in Nollywood no be small thing o. Am I the only one who thinks Nse does not look like someone in their late teens or early twenties? I just don’t get why they keep on doing it. Even in Guilty Pleasures they had all Nse’s friends looking at least a whole decade younger than her. It was just strange. Do people on set not open their mouths and say something when things are so visibly wrong?
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The concluding part
Up until Part 3 the movie was not too bad, some of it was pretty unbelievable but the story maintained some sort of consistency. Part 3 (titled FINAL 24th JULY) is where it all went pitifully wrong. The story changed dramatically and there was a lot of focus on Julie, played by Uche Jombo. Again, totally BIZARRE. There needed to be linking back to the original story to keep it relevant.

Part 3 was very very boring. In fact I fell asleep twice. It was too disjointed and far removed from the original story. The story morphed into something else until the end when we see Nora come back on the scene where she rises from the dead at the hands of Ben. I found it all very ridiculous. Why was Julie so horrible to the Janet character? The movie ended and I still didn’t understand what that was all about. In fact why was Julie in the movie at all? I felt that by the end there were still untied ends.
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I would not recommend the movie. The cast were good but some people were miscast, namely Nse and Ali. The general storyline was not bad but the execution was horrible. The moral of the story is that only in a really bad time or death can you know how people will treat you or your memory. It takes Nora dying and coming to life to figure out that Ben is the right man for her. Nigeria Star Actress Nollywood Nigerian Movie Review

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Margaret Thatcher ~ 2009
Story – Prince Iyke Olisa
Screenplay – Prince Iyke Olisa, Phil Efe Bernard
Director – Prince Iyke Olisa
Producer – Prince Iyke Olisa

Starring:
Jackie Appiah – Margaret/ Immaculate
Desmond Elliot- Jude
Sylvester Madu – Ken
Livinus Nnochiri – Reverend Simon Onu
Ene Miltex Ogiri – Gift
Immmaculate Igwe – Agnes
Francis Umoh – Pastor George
Oluchukwu Nzeakor – Pastor George’s wife
Grace Ogwuche – Daisy
Uche Benjamin – Sylvia
Gloria Sarfo – Jenifer
Joy Attah – Annabel
Amanda Iwuese – Teresa
Amaka Uzoh – Ify

Themes:
Rape
Societal pressure
Morality

My Rating – 52%

Margaret is a minister’s daughter. Her parents despair over her wayward behaviour. She clubs all night and often comes home drunk. Even her boyfriend Ken doubts her integrity as he remembers the dubious circumstance under which he met her and how he was warned against her by the guy that she was with that night. He was warned that she was a thief, and it was a warning that he ignored because Margaret put on an excellent act of innocence and he assumed that the guy reporting her was drunk.

It is only when Ken’s money goes missing that he begins to wonder whether or not Margaret is the virtuous minister’s daughter that he thought her to be. She has no limits. Even with her friends she is disloyal and we see her getting caught in bed with one of her friends’ boyfriend.

*************SPOILERS*************

It is strange how the movie is subtitled in the first scene and then randomly in scenes afterwards. There seemed to be no reasoning behind it. You should either subtitle the whole thing or not at all. After all it wasn’t even in parts which were hard to hear or understand so what was the point?

Oh the irony in the name Immaculate. What a wonderful choice of a name for somebody that embodies in totality everything that is not immaculate. We do find out in the end that Immaculate behaves in the way that she does because she had been raped and never told anybody about it, so in that sense we can extend our sympathies’ to her. Her promiscuity stems from her bottled bitterness and pain as a result of the rape.
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Funny Scene
The scene where Jackie was drunk in church was hilarious. She played the part of a drunk really well and you could just imagine yourself in the congregation cringing at her behaviour. I actually like her in this type of role as opposed to her playing the downtrodden crying wench all the time.

Societal Pressure
Gift feels a desperate need to get marriage because of her age. When Jude’s interest in her wanes she believes that it is because of her refusal to visit him at his home. She is so concerned with how her spinsterhood is viewed by society to the extent that she thinks about compromising her Christian values. Her mother lends her support and encourages her to stick to her values, telling her,

“Don’t allow the pressure of your age make you compromise your stand”
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The movie ends with Jude and Margaret getting carted off to jail, as well as the director’s prayer session. Hmm what stupidness? it just didn’t seem appropriate. Maybe the hardcore Christians will like that. I don’t know! Watched the 3 and 4, not much more interesting. I’d recommend it only if you have nothing better to do. Jackie gave a good performance as did Desmond. The flow of the story was not too smooth. About halfway through a new storyline emerges and the new characters are just thrown in rather than introduced slowly. The titling may be similar but Sharon Stone this movie is not!

The Power Of Her Majesty

The Power Of Her Majesty

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

The Power of Her Majesty ~ 2009
Story – Felix Onu
Screenplay – Helen Ojukwu
Director – Evans Orji Kalu
Producer – Felix Onu

Starring:
Eucharia Anunobi – Igwe Nneomma
Chiege Alisgwe – Ugbomma
Chiwetalu Agu – Ikenna
Stan K Amadi – Okoro
Ikem Chude – Uzo
Uche Ogbodo – Akwugo
Paul Udensi – Chief/ Priest
Abraham Nwodu – Okoh
Charles Murphy – Nwokedi
Precious Kalu –
Nancy Kalu – Akwugo’s Mother
Nweze O Collins – Adindu
Helen Ojukwu – Orienma
Nwosu Chidinma – Little Nneoma
Esther Uyanna – Ogemma
Udoh Ogbonna – Akwugo’s Father
Ebele Akosa – Adanne

Themes:
Gender Roles
Tradition
Royalty
Village Life
Polyandry

My Rating – 60%

In this village tradition dictates that men stay as home, clean and cook while women tap wine, pay a groom price and carry out libations to the Gods. The men are not happy and want amendments to the traditions as they feel hard done by and know that things are not the same in other villages. There is a fear about fighting back as not only do they have the fearsome queen, Igwe Nneomma to contend with but also the wrath of the Gods. Will the men ever get what they want?

*************SPOILERS**********

Igwe Nneomma has 3 “wives.” In my opinion they should have just called them husbands. They are men after all. The movie kind of reminded me of the John Travolta film – White Man’s Burden. Neither movie is a masterpiece but contained within each movie is a very strong message about the absurdity of prejudice. Sometimes it takes for people to see themselves in a disadvantaged role (men in this case) for realisation of personal prejudices to occur.

This is the first movie I have seen involving Polyamory, which is a woman with multiple husbands as opposed to polygamy which is a man married to multiple wives. Polygamy in Nigerian movies is a very much common theme and I guess that is because it is very much something that is present in Nigerian culture, whereas Polyandry is unheard of.
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Gender Roles

I thought that it was a very nice attempt at challenging traditional gender roles by reversing them. It was an interesting concept that I’ve not come across before. I give major kudos to Felix Onu for the storyline. The movie is certainly thought provoking, however I would have found the conveyance of the message even more effective if it wasn’t so overdone, and by that I mean there should have been some adaptations to allow for the differences between men and women, as opposed to calling the men wives and Igwe Nneomma being so sexually aggressive, after all even if women were to become the more dominant sex, the testosterone/oestrogen in their bodies would remain the same.

In one scene the queen declares,

“I need a female child to succeed me,”

Wow! You never hear in a movie of a female child being desired. If you ever did hear it, it would only be because a woman has already had a ton of male children; that being said I have never even seen that scenario. In this statement we realise how devalued females are in Nigerian culture and the wider world society at large.

In another scene Igwe Nneomma demands for one of her husbands to, “come and ravish her.” In the meantime her other two husbands argue with her that it is their turn to sleep with her. It is funny because I am so used to seeing wives argue over a husband in Nollywood while the husband just seems to enjoy the bickering and in this movie we see a woman get to do the same.

In another scene we see the issue of childlessness/infertility come up. It has become so much the norm for a woman to get the blame for being able to produce children despite the fact that both a man and woman are needed for the task. In one scene a woman tells her husband,

“Ever since I have married you, you have refused to give me children… go back to your parents house. Wizard.”

This movie may make some men realise how pathetic their treatment of women is when they blame them for something like not producing babies which needs two people to be able to do effectively. It is a movie that will bring about self reflection because it can be seen just how easily the blame could be apportioned to the man as opposed to the woman.

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Uche Ogbodo’s tattoos kind of ruined it for me. The movie is set in the village and not in modern times so they should have covered up the tats.

Eucharia Anunobi was a perfect choice for the role of Her Majesty. She had the ideal demeanour, carriage and powerful presence needed that you would imagine would invoke both fear and reverence among men.

There were three minor female characters that played their roles excellently, their characters in the movie were Akunna, Udoka and another one whose name was not mentioned, but they were not credited. I was impressed and it certainly is nice to see careful casting even in minor roles as very often little attention is played to these roles, but attention to the finer details like this that can elevate a movie.
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I’d recommend the movie. I liked the village setting and it was a good effort at bringing life to an original concept, however there was some of it that I found simply boring or not thought about carefully enough. It was a bit slow in terms of being able to keep my attention, particularly towards the end of the movie where we see Chiege endlessly running through fields and singing like it was Bollywood *CRINGE* I felt like that was sheer self promotion because she is trying to get in the music arena, but that aside it was an interesting and thought provoking watch.

Heavy Heart

Heavy Heart

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Heavy Heart ~ 2009

I won’t even bother listing all the credits for this one as it is basically part 3 of SOMEWHERE IN THE HEART so the credits are listed there. In the beginning there is the ten minutes of Uche Jombo getting dressed *YAWN* In the part 2 we see flashbacks to part 1. It is a complete CON, RIP OFF and WASTE of money. DO NOT FALL VICTIM LIKE I DID!

To top it off we do not find out who Awole is, and it ends off like there is more!!! Can you freaking imagine?

***419 ALERT*** You have been warned!

Pretender

Pretender ~ 2002
Story/Screenplay – Sunday Ekegbo
Director – Chika Onu

Starring:
Tony Umez – Okechukwu
Nkiru Sylvanus – Benita
Patience Ozokwor – Mama
Fabian Adibe – Papa Oke
Rita Edochie – Mama
Emeka Ike – Matthew
Promise Odika – Somto
Stephanie Okereke – Ifeoma
Prince Nwafor – Nnamdi
Jennifer Okoli – Nkechi
Andy Ike – Supervisor

Themes:
Jealousy
Greed
Family Loyalty
Justice

My Rating – 70%

Ifeoma was living a life of bliss, engaged to be married to Okechukwu. She always got on with Benita and Somto, his brother and sister that live with him in the city. She gets on with them so well you would believe that they are her own siblings. Once Ifeoma becomes Matthews’s wife her mother’s meddling ways puts her marriage in jeopardy.

Mama persuades Ifeoma that she needs to push Benita and Somto out of her marital home for her to enjoy her husband fully. She tells Ifeoma that if she allows them to stay they will ruin her marriage. She then uses that opportunity move herself and her wayward son into Ifeoma’s home and immediately they start causing problems.

*************SPOILERS************

An oldie but a goodie, everybody played their parts well. As usual Patience Ozokor was phenomenal playing her usual wicked mama role. She has been typecast, yes but if it ain’t broke why fix it? Nkiru and Promise were on point, in fact where has Nkiru been these days? Tony Mumu played his usual role and he played it well.

I would recommend this movie. It was a predictable but enjoyable movie and there is a lesson to be learn about following your own mind and not allowing meddling family members to interfere in your affairs and sway you from what you know to be right for you. Even if you are going to make a mistake it is better that you make it of your own back. After all that is how were learn as humans and mistakes are inevitable on that learning curve.

The Messenger’s Wife

The Messenger’s Wife

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

The Messenger’s Wife ~ 2009
Story/ Screenplay – Fred Asante Kotoko
Director – Samuel Nyamekye
Producer – Christopher Owusu Ansah

Starring:
Jackie Appiah – Jacqueline
Joseph Pamfo – Chief
Ebenezer Donkor – Aygatu
Van Vicker – James
Tina Osei Owusu – Gina
Benny Agbemebiase – Mary Ann
Tony Osei Frimpong
Janet Ackon
Dora Kwateng

Themes:
Prejudice
Greed
Unemployment

My Rating – 10%

He is half the height of a regular man but is due to be wed to a normal sized girl. Her parents are causing huge problems in the relationship in that they expect for him to cater to their every financial need and want. He brings them to Kumasi to live accommodate them and still they are not satisfied. His mother knows that the girl and her family are users and is determined to get rid of her.

James is jobless and lives off his girlfriend who is working. His girlfriend’s parents are putting her under to pressure to marry and have a man lined up for her. She is determined to marry James but his unstable financial situation is not one that she can present to her parents.

*************SPOILERS*************

I found it funny how the little one’s mama called him chief.

The elders would talk in Twi (I assume) and the younger ones would reply in English. I found this strange. There was never any swap. The subtitles were annoying because someone would talk for a good minute and then you would see only two words in the subtitles so it was clear than probably half of the dialogue was getting lost in translation.

This is an absolutely useless and stupid film. The title did not relate to anything. The separate storylines and acting in itself were not bad but it seems like this film is two old movies put together and sold as a new one. The first paragraph relates to part 1 of the movie and the second to part 2. The two parts do not relate in any way at all and the characters do not overlap. It was not made in 2009 as everything in it is dated. Majid and Vivian Jill Lawrence are on the cover. I did not see them for even one second. BE WARNED! STEER CLEAR! Ghanaian Movie Review Ghollywood Nigerian Film Review