Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Mortal Pain ~ 2009
Story/ Screenplay – Norbert Ajaegbu
Director – Uzee Madubogwu
Patience Ozokwor – Mrs Lawson
Tonto Dikeh – Joanne
Remmy Ohajianya – Chief Lawson
Macdonald Oti – Frank
Patrick Nnamani – Senator Segun
Adanma Oguike – Deborah
Alloy Jideofor – John Sanni
Prince Patrick – Brazil
Nwuba Okwudili – Reverend Father
Uche Iheme – Gateman
TONY NOT CREDITED
My Rating – 56%
After Joanne is raped by armed robbers her cousin Deborah, who is like a sister to her makes moves on her boyfriend Tony at the encouragement of her mother, Joanne’s aunt. At first Tony is pining for Joanne, visiting and calling her constantly, that is until Joanne’s mother tells him the story of the robbery. Not only does she tell him about the rape but also the abortion that Joanne had on the doctor’s advice, leaving out the bit about the doctor’s advising it and making up a lie about a ruptured womb in the process. Unable to see himself without children of his own he stops chasing Joanne and soon starts dating her cousin. Mama is joyous about it but Deborah’s father is disgusted and disappointed that Tony could move so quickly onto his daughter after dating Joanne for years. The lies that Mama has told Tony to secure his interest in her daughter is not the only scheming that she has been involved in.
Deborah appeared to be the loyal sisterly cousin. You know that your cousin has been raped and has sacrificed the love that she has for her boyfriend because she feels so worthless and that she does not deserve him and you are there perambulating with the engagement ring that HER MAN gave you. Nonsense! Tony was supposed to be a good loyal man, but he sure moved onto her cousin with ease and without consideration. It could be said that perhaps he wanted to make her jealous and punish her for pushing him away, but at the same time he would sometimes be concerned as to whether or not Joanne was in the house and not wanting her to see them together. I think they should have made him either want to flaunt it in her face or want to hide the relationship from her. One or the other, but not both at the same time.
The character development was somewhat poor. Mama connives with her lover to send armed robbers to her house to retrieve her husband’s 30,000 dollars that is hidden in his wardrobe. In the process they rape her niece and even though it is not part of the plan and she claims to be very angry she still has time to discuss her share of the money as well as paying the robbers 200,000 Naira. Nonsense! You either be angry properly or don’t be angry at all and simply dismiss the rape as an occupational hazard.
The rape scene that takes place is sooooooo fake. We don’t need to see explicit details but it would make sense that you at least pretend to take your trousers off before penetration. It looks totally unconvincing when we can see your trousers are still on, you leap on the woman and in one second she is howling in pain. If you cannot even show the guy unbuckling his belt it is best you don’t show any part of the scene and just refer to it afterwards in the dialogue.
Joanne gets pregnant after the rape. This is soooooo predictable. Why in Nollywood does every rape result in pregnancy? Yes we all know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy, the operative word being CAN and not WILL, but at the same time every act of intercourse does not result in such.
It was heartwarming to see a male treating rape sensitively in a movie. Joanne’s uncle does not blame her for the rape because he knows it was not of her own making. He does not treat her as a leper, but on the contrary supports the decisions that she makes accompanying her to her doctor’s appointments and offering advice and a listening ear. Mama on the other hand behaves like a raving lunatic despite the fact that the rape is all her fault. She tells Joanne,
“You must abort this baby. I will not have an armed robber in the house.”
At the end there is a scene where Tony gives a monologue about not knowing that Joanne was “a victim of rape and robbery,” yet at the beginning of the movie we watch a conversation that Joanne has with him about the robbery. These two scenes are contradictory and this is the result of poor scripting. There is another scene at the end that highlights the discrepancies in the script too. Joanne and Tony are reconciling and talking about what has happened and she says to him about Deborah, “I begged her not to take you away from me.” Er hello honey you might have thought it, but you surely did NOT say it. Yes towards the end it was obvious she was upset about the union but she did endorse it verbally many times.
RESEARCH IS KEY
When one is dealing with medical conditions it does not take much to research a condition, refer to it by name and refer to the REAL symptoms. Making up an affliction and then making up the symptoms on the spot and never referring to it by name looks shoddy. We are told that the reason that Joanne needs to have an abortion is because of a “bacteria infection affecting the formation of foetuses.” BE SPECIFIC. What is this infection called? It must have a name. The symptoms are, “headaches and bleeding.” Next the doctor tells Joanne,
“If we allow you carry this child you will end up giving birth to a deformed child or worst still a child with a hole in the heart.”
Nollywood has a long way to go. Which one is this “bacteria infection” causing headaches, bleeding, deformity and a hole in the heart, all predicted without a scan? And how would any doctor say with certainty that the infection would DEFINITELY cause a deformity? She just got pregnant so no hole in the heart was seen in the foetus, it was all just mumbo jumbo being spouted.
One thing I’m noticing with alot of these Nolly movies this year especially is that what would have been two disks in a one part movie a couple of years ago are now two part movies. You pay for two parts yet it is not like the parts can be watched separately. They are not even pretending anymore and are writing Disk One and Disk Two on the covers so you don’t get shocked when the fist disk just cuts off and tells you to insert the next without credits or anything.
Despite the shortcomings I would recommend the movie. It wasn’t great but it was certainly watchable. Tonto did her crying thang. Mama G did her evil Mama thang and Deborah’s brother provided some comic relief. Sometimes his jokes were cringe worthy and at the wrong times but all the same made me laugh some of the time!