The Shepherd

The Shepherd

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

The Shepherd (2008)
Story/ Screenplay – Sylvester Madu
Director – Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Starring:
Jim Iyke – Raymond
Tonto Dikeh – Gina
Mercy Johnson – Jessica
Majid Michel/Michael – David
Ngozi Ezeonu – Raymond’s mother
Biola Ige – Anita
Emeka Okoye – Musa
Benson Okonkwo – Actor
Kenneth Modo – Photo Journalist
Junior Pope – Sammy

Themes:
Domestic Violence
Abortion
Drug Abuse

My Rating: 35%

Gina believes that she has met her prince charming, a film director. It seems like her dreams are about to come true, as not only does he make her a huge movie star but he marries her too. Little does she know that her Prince Charming is a brutal maniac that is about to make her life a living hell.

Jim Iyke plays his usual bad boy with a swagger wannabe American. He has just come from studying at New York Film School and wants to elevate Nollywood above it’s “mediocrity.” As is customary when coming from America one must have no manners, swear freely in front of your mother, abuse drugs and think themselves above everybody else. *sarcasm intended* His mother does not care for the movie business and is more concerned with him settling down with a nice girl.

Gina meets Raymond at the diner where she works. He steps in to defend her when a customer who refused to pay his bill slaps her. He then advises her to come and audition for a movie. He sees that she has great potential, casts her and nurtures her into a full-fledged star. At the same time he also declares his love for her and proposes.

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

It seems like Raymond has fallen in love with Gina but it soon becomes apparent that his concern lays more with her money making potential than anything else. Gina gives Raymond all her wages and starts getting beaten up by him too.

She falls pregnant twice and is forced into an abortion the first time.

Raymond tells his wife on hearing about her pregnancy,

“Abort it… there is no space for all that.”

He then tries to convince her to have an abortion by telling her,

“It’s called family planning. It’s no big deal. Every girl, an average of every girl that’s African… Fuck it, the whole world the ages of 11-25 has committed abortion and if they say no, let them come and meet me… Just open your legs, five minutes and it is over.”

The second pregnancy he beats out of her and the third she manages to keep by running to her mother in laws house until she gives birth.

 
DRUG ABUSE
Mercy Johnson appears in part 2 as a seductress Jessica in a club toilet. She and Jim unite over their fondness for coke. It seemed strange how the drug abuse was only made note of in the middle of part 2. Again the depiction of cocaine users was ridiculous. We see Jessica snorting coke haphazardly of the bonnet of her car and the powder smeared all over her face. Likewise we see Raymond in a toilet and he starts groaning as if he is high before the cocaine has even hit his bloodstream. NONSENSE. There is powder all over his face and jacket. Now what cokehead is going to be wasting all that powder?

If Nollywood producers want to portray drug abuse then they need to do research. If actors want to be credible then they too should do research. I mean how hard is it to find out how people take coke and how it makes them react? I’m sure this kind of thing can even be found on YouTube, even watch a Hollywood movie to find out. The whole drug thing was just so ridiculous and comical.

The dialogue was wack a lot of the time. They had Raymond dropping Jessica home after the night at the club and both of them telling one another, “I love you.” One word. NON-SENSE.

Majid Michael barely appears in this movie, so I don’t even know why he was on the front cover with a gun to his head. That never happened in the movie (unless there is a continuation) His performance as David, one of Gina’s best friends was as good as it could be in this flop of a film. He was convincing in that it seemed that he really cared about Gina and they had a deep connection in their non verbal body language.

His wife on the other hand was another story. Anita played by Biola Ige was just dreadful. This was the first time I have seen her in a movie and hopefully the last. She was just wooden and bore no emotion. She was supposed to be Gina’s best friend and it just didn’t translate. There was no connection between her and Gina or her and her husband. OH and what was that FAKE TATTOO doing scratched across the top of her breasts? It looked awfully tacky. She was pretty though and kinda looked like Jackie Appiah in certain shots.

Tonto Dikeh and Ngozi Ezeonu, who played Raymond’s mother were the standouts in this horrible movie. Tonto nailed her scenes for most part and played her part as the battered wife well, especially the crying scenes which she pulled off effortlessly. She appeared to be chunkier than she normally is and actually looked pregnant to me. Ngozi’s performance was flawless considering what she was working with. I normally like Jim but I have seen this character too many times now and I don’t think it was done particularly well this time.

Overall I would not recommend this film as the storyline wasn’t properly thought out. The characters were not well developed and the orchestral music they kept playing over dialogue was annoying and overbearing. This continued throughout the film! At one point in the beginning they had two lots of music overlapping each other AND dialogue. The story did not end either. All the ends were left open, not much made sense and the scene depicted on the front cover did not even happen which leads me to believe there must be more, which of course I will NOT be watching.

Another annoying point to add is that Mercy Johnson was not even listed in the credits of part 1 or 2. Half the names in the credits are prefixed with the letter E, for what reason I don’t know and the font was hella hard to read!

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20 responses to “The Shepherd

  1. NF, you sound seriously frustrated with this movie. I am also tired of the American depiction/stereotype. I think Tonto is really a good actress, I have seen what you see, I watched a movie with her recently I think she might be gaining some weight, or it could be the angle of the camera.

  2. nollywoodforever

    Yeah it was pretty bad… not awful but just bad enough… LOL

    Whenever guys come back from america they are wearing baggy jeans, saying “nigga” and “motherfucker” every minute and acting like they lost their gatdamn minds… sometimes it is supposed to be comedy and sometimes I feel like it is meant to show people who think americans behave like that, that they really don’t and they overdo it to point out the ridiculousness of stereotypes, but then sometimes like this time it seems like this depiction comes about so often that someone must be thinking this is how people that go to America come back… I mean is that all black mericans are known for?

    RE: tonto… I thought my TV was stretching her but then there was a bit where she was coming out of the pools and her boobs were huge, her stomach was very potruded and even her arms were chunky.

  3. well i guess this film must be wack. i agree with you nigerians dont know how to potray a bad boy scene. they ar mostly good with all these traditional settings. i guess they should do more research before shooting a movie. personally i havent seen the movie but i sure wont watch it now.

  4. nollywoodforever

    Research is key… unless you are dealing with people who have NO CLUE of the subject matter which can never be assureD!

  5. nonso ekene okonkwo

    well i have read all the critcs got to say. They’re doing a great job of it. If a work of art is not criticised there won’t be progress, infact there is this academic saying that no work is perfect. Keep it up why we try to improve on our art. Nonso Ekene Okonkwo: Director “The Shephered”

  6. nollywoodforever

    Nothing is perfect… and in striving for perfection there can only be improvement! I hope the criticism here is constructive and that I will be saying better things about your future work!

  7. I watched this film yesterday and I wanted to give Mercy a lovely one hander right across her lovely bumps. We know your directors are lazy so why dont you do yourself a favour and research your role before you take a job. There are so many high class cocaine snorters on Lagos island and I am sure they would have been glad to be your guinea pigs …

    oops did not realize… Did Nonso use the word ART? I am impressed… Have you ever witnessed a person snort cocaine? If you have not, have you ever read up on it anywhere? Do you know the effects of snorting cocaine so that you can effectively direct an actor.

    These actors are effectively directing themselves and the extent of their chracterization ends where their experiences and exposure end. You Nonso are charged with getting them to the next level. ART INDEED….

    No bladdy fears Nollyforever, you will get everyones attention pretty soon

  8. Someone on that set must have known how cocaine snorting goes… which leads me to believe perhaps they just rely on the ignorance of everyone else… I just don’t get it because it is not the first film I’ve seen with such a portrayal…Oh and did you finish the film Cheta? What would your rating be?

  9. I did not finish the film. Jim Iyke played the same tune and I was not ready to punish myself watching all the way through. Tonto Dikeh could become good if she can first understand the meaning of the words she says.

    This movie was very uninspiring and unworthy of a rating. Majid Michel had very little to do but the little he had, he delivered. Until people like Nonso learn that they must deliver a film within the first 10 or 15 minutes, there will be no hope for Nollywood.

  10. nollywoodforever

    My dear I don’t blame you, but some of it was so cringeworthy that it was actually comedic!

  11. Nollywood forever, thank you! THANK YOU!
    You are so right.
    Cheta thumbs up, and really no bladdy fears.

    while i sat through the punishment of this movie (and believe me, i went to a corner and sat and cried like a baby after watching this hot bloody mess)

    Majid played a bigger role in the “sequel” which is called Dream Maker.
    and that part was even worse.
    i cringed throughout that part.
    when will these people create a strong woman character who is not a ball bustin’ man-eating character.

  12. I just came across your blog and i love it!! Your critique is so true and on point..it’s almost like you’re voicing out what’s on everybody’s mind..The movie in question, was a joke to me. The story was pointless and boring and the acting (im reffering to jim iyke’s) was so cliche and poor.
    Unlike you though, i didnt punish myself by watching the whole thing through. The part 1 was enough torture already
    i’ll definitely be back.

  13. nollywoodforever

    Thank you TM and Fashinga for coming by and participating…

    Jim Iyke has just become one big cliche, he must think those constant americanisms sound cool.

  14. You’re really to this film 35% because it was a total waste of time watching this film. If you haven’t watched this film before you’re extremely lucky.

  15. nollywoodforever

    Really what J.akn? I didn’t get what you were trying to say.

  16. after seeing this film sometime ago, i vowed never to watch another Jim Iyke film again (although I would recommend Holy City). It’s the same feeling I got after watching one too many Aki and PawPaw films, some time ago. Despite the failure of the movie, I thought Dike was great as usual (yeah she’s a bit over the top with her acting, but passionate, nonetheless)

  17. “The Shepperd/Dreamaker” I feel your pain girl! I was disappointed with this movie too!
    I mean it was written by Sylvester Madu, he’s not a writter, he’s only an actor. He also wrote “Steal the Bride” starring OLu Jacobs, Himself, Tonto Dikeh, Van Vicker and many more.
    Mercy Johnson’s stupid dance scene at the club just pissed me off. What was the sense of that??
    Jim Iyke in the toilet and outside the club with Mercy Johnson…pointless…simply waste of time.
    I was hoping for the best so I sat through the part 3&4 (Dreamaker) and it was just brutal.
    What’s up with the title change after 1&2???? Why must be it be called The Dreamaker???

    • Wow you made it to the dreammaker… I couldn’t even do that to myself! LOL The name changes are confusing because how are you meant to know what the movie has changed its name to if they do not tell you unless you are a psychic? Its highly annoying because alot of these spilt up parts cannot stand alone as a movie. You have to usually watch all of it for sense to be made.

  18. Yeah…I did because of my love for Jim Iyke and Tonto, and Majid….I really wanted to know how it will end.
    Well both Jim Iyke and Mercy Johnson died in the end and guess what Majid was there with Tonto all through the end.

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