Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Ilochi Olisaemeka
Jim Iyke – Haruna
Oge Okoye – Angela
Mike Ezuruonye – Chibuzor
Emeka Amakeze – Ndubuisi
Biola Ige – Nneka
Chiendu Oga – Johnson
Oyin Omar – Ibrahim
Oniah Francis – Papa Haruna
Prince Nwafor – Eze
Malechi Chukwudebe – Mark Zero
Jonathan Gana Gana – Chief
Chidi Chijioke – Boss
Augustine Okeke – Ichie
Elochukwu Obinna – Landlord
Emmanuel Obi – Abubakar
Queency Asogwa – Abu’s wife
Chinedu Odinachi – Driver
Gabriel Obi – Vendor
My Rating: 81%
Angela is betrothed to Chibuzor, however Haruna’s constant presence around Angela becomes a burning issue with Chibuzor. The relationship between the two is innocent. Haruna was friends with both Angela and her friend Nneka in secondary school; however a prank gone wrong ended in Haruna getting expelled from secondary school. He goes from and excellent student with a promising future from a wealthy background to a school drop out serving suya in a restaurant to fund his future studies. It is a turnaround indeed.
Feeling extreme culpability for the state of Haruna’s present lowliness Angela and Nneka join heads to make amends for their past actions, lavishing Haruna with gifts and attention in a bid to assuage guilt. In a fit of jealousy Chibuzor warns Haruna to stay away from Angela and so the battle begins. The stakes ever so more clearly defined as Haruna is a Muslim and Angela is a Christian. The backdrop is 2006 and religious war is taking place in the North where Muslims are killing Christians. In the East where the story takes place reprisal attacks begin.
Jim Iyke plays Haruna a Muslim, I assume he is meant to be Hausa, but the realness of the character is lost by the fact that he is an obvious Igbo and wearing robes and injecting “Walahi” into every other sentence while rocking a strong igbotic accent does not do much to convince the viewer that he is in fact a Hausa or a Muslim at all. The film would have been better served to get a true Hausa to play this role or at least some one who could roll with the accent convincingly. Apart from this flaw he played his role well with the understatement that such a character needed.
I think the girl that played Nneka was Biola Ige, (please correct me if I am wrong) the same girl that was appalling in The Shepherd. I can’t be 100% sure as a surname was not attributed to her in the credits. Anyhow if you were expecting any growth… DON’T she was just as bad in this movie. Thankfully she did not feature enough to spoil the whole thing.
Emeka Amakeze is brilliant as Haruna’s Christian friend and sidekick. He convincingly shows shock and bewilderment and we feel it deeply as a man is killed in front of him. After the killing he walks whilst mulling over the series of events that have taken place before him. He breaks down crying showing a subtle display of emotions that is more heartfelt that the dramatic overstated play of emotions that so often characterises Nollywood films.
This scene is the turning point in the movie and the point at which one begins to truly question the sense in killing in the name of religion. We see in Ndubuisi’s display of emotion that all men are essentially the same regardless of religion. We all have the same feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. We see men who were once as close as brothers and who played football together on a pitch, where they stood equally and where there were no differences forcefully divided by religion and occurrences that happened far away from them.
In the end the police are the heroes. This made me chuckle. I wondered how true to life this scenario could be? Call me cynical but I just could not see that happening myself.
I would definitely recommend this movie. The soundtrack was on point, melancholy and very similar to the mosque call and so tied in perfectly with the tone of the movie. My only gripe would be that sometimes dialogue was sometimes too low and could not be heard. This was always at crucial moments, and you know at crucial moments you don’t want to be rewinding and fiddling with the volume button!
The cast in general were a great bunch and worked well together. The movie was enjoyable to watch and had a bold and powerful message. We are all one regardless of religious affiliation/non affiliation or superficial labels that have been placed on us, often by birth. It emphasises the pointlessness in religious warfare, and the hypocrisy involved. There is a nice twist and at the end justice is served, and loyalty takes precedence over blind and discriminate faith.