Story – Tchidi Chikere
Screenplay – Tchidi Chikere/ Genevieve Nnaji
Director – Tchidi Chikere
Genevieve Nnaji – Olivia
Yul Edochie – Geoffrey
Tchidi Chikere – David
Ali Nuhu – Okon
Nana Ama Agyeman McBrown – Comfort
Livinus Nnochiri – Obi
Chiejina Ephraim – Samson
Lotachi Johnson Oloto – Barbie
Romeo. I. Romeo – Dr Thomas
Nike Anyado – Jonathan
Ndidi Okafor – Romina
Wulford Ajayi – Charles
Mary Umoh – Irene
Jennifer Ekwu – Nancy
Sara Yakuba – Prisca
Oma Olean – Bar Joe
Ilaya Precious Fejiro – Nurse
Victor Ede – Gateman
MY RATING – 78%
“Please sit down, you know that I hate it when you stand around looking like servants”
“But Madam, that’s what we are.”
The film opens with Olivia, the madam of the house presenting her four servants with a pay off check of 6 million naira. We learn that since her mother, who employed the servants died she has been alone with only the servants in the house.
We also learn that she has sickle cell anaemia and may be soon to die, hence the reason for the pay off to the house staff. Olivia claims to want to do “something else” with her life, not feeling fulfilled with her current state.
The servants accept the cheques and then approach her concerned, not knowing what to do with such an extraordinary amount of money. It is as if their positions had them resigned to a life of servitude. Olivia even tells them,
“Do you guys want to die as servants, don’t you aspire to do anything better with your lives.”
Olivia plans to go away to live a more simple “normal” life having being raised in a wealthy family. She asks her boyfriend Geoffrey to go along with her, and he agrees. She departs almost immediately, leaving the servants distressed and in tears. It is a touching moment and shows us that love and humanity amongst humans knows now social class.
Olivia is humble and does not treat people differently because of status or what they have. We see this again when she hails a taxi in the road to go and pick up Geoffrey to start their new life together. When she gets out of the taxi to go and get Geoffrey she leaves her luggage in the car. The driver David asks her if she would like to take her luggage with her to which she replies no. He then tells her,
“but people are not supposed to leave taxi drivers with their luggages.”
To which she simply states,
“that is my biggest fault. I’m too trusting.”
When Olivia goes to get Geoffrey she is told that he has “travelled” effectively abandoning her, leaving only a note. She is shaken and tells the taxi driver to take her “anywhere.” Meanwhile we find out that Geoffrey did not in fact go anywhere and was actually inside the house simply avoiding Olivia. His reasoning being that he did not want to “gamble with his future” by being with a “sick and dying girl.”
Olivia makes the journey alone and checks into a hotel before going to Lugbe settlement, a poor community a whole world away from what she is used to. She passes by a woman called Comfort’s house where she sees a notice requesting a governess for her daughter Barbie. She is interviewed on the spot and acquires the job despite her inexperience. Olivia, Comfort and Barbie connect on sight and so begins Olivia’s new life.
1) Why, midway through part one a pink blurry dot about the size of a fingertip appears on the bottom centre of the screen. It stays for about a minute and then reappears on and off throughout the rest of part one and part two. Does anyone watch these movies for errors before putting them out? It was clear to me it was a problem on the lens of ONE certain camera as only certain outside shots were affected.
2) Why when at David’s house was Barbie the little girl wearing some HIGH HEELS? That child couldn’t have been more than 8!
3) Why was there an epilogue at the end of part 1 telling the viewer what happened next when there was a part 2? That got me confused! We are told in the epilogue that Comfort found out that Olivia was in fact the benefactor, however when part 2 comes along Olivia arranges for Geoffrey’s friend Okon to pose as the benefactor so that epilogue was NONSENSICAL! I’m assuming it was going to be one part and then minds wee changed. Who knows? All I do know is that I found that very very messy.
4) (This is actually a how!) How many flippin plane crashes happen in Nigeria? We learn that Olivia’s mother died in a plane crash. I have lost count of the times I have seen this as a cause of death in Nollywood!
Overall I enjoyed the film. It was beautiful in its simplicity. We learn how one persons kindness and humility can touch a person for a lifetime, despite only being connected for a short time. Despite its flaws it was emotionally charged and almost moved me to tears on more than one occasion. Genevieve played her role beautifully, and the title was most definitely appropriate. I would have scored it higher if not for the epilogue shenanigan.