Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Missing Child ~ 2009
Story, Screenplay, Direction – Ilochi Olisaemeka
Patience Ozokwor – Owakwe
Mike Ezuruonye – Detective
Tonto Dikeh – Jane
Emeka Amakeze – Nnamdi
Juliet Ibrahim – Princess Rose
Halima Abubakar – Amara
Chukwuma Uchegbu – Emeka
Biola Ige – Adamma
Mary Igwe – Juliet
Favour Chimobi – Chioma
Ujunwa Asuzu – Chinyere
My Rating – 42 %
Jane is desperate to have a baby and believes that if she acts like she is already with child she will “take in.” She buys baby clothes and in her room she has a dolly in a cradle that she rocks on a daily basis as if it is a real child. Even her husband is so used to the charade that he plays along with her. Will Jane ever get the baby she so craves?
In Jane’s obsession to have a baby we see her on the streets reprimanding a woman for shouting at and smacking her child. If a child is not being treated how she deems fit she will make it be known. She swoops in on the boy that is being punished by his mother and screams at his mother that she should show the child a “little care and respect.”
Some things in the movie are not made clear to the viewer. We are introduced to Mike’s character but I got through to the end of part one and really didn’t know what his purpose in the movie was at all. We are shown text messages and secret packages, but the whole thing drags on for too long without any explanation as to his role.
By part 2 I can deduce that there is some child snatching going on as is evident when Nurse Amara goes to give a beggar on the street money and the beggar metamorphosises into some kids that chant at her, “we don’t want your money. We want to see our mummy.” She freaks out and takes to her heels, so I take it from this that she is telling people that their babies have died and is selling them on.
Assassins are paid to kill girls that end up keeping their babies. I was wondering how that would work and why suspicions wouldn’t have been aroused. Why did the assassin let Julie go and give her a fat stack of money too? He didn’t seem to know her. We can gather that he felt sorry for her, but what was so special about her in particular? This area should have been explored in slightly more detail. I couldn’t figure out if Owakwe was in on Julie going missing or if the surprise on her face is all an act?
Even when Biola Ige acts out crying she has a dead look in her eyes. She was marginally better than in Darkest Link, in terms of she wasn’t overacting as much but truthfully speaking that is nothing to go by. I am still amazed that this girl keeps getting cast and YES I will keep saying it till she gets to stepping or significantly improves her game.
Halima Abubakar plays the role of the mentally tortured nurse very well. You will believe that she is nurse Amara haunted by these children to the point that she confesses all. It is a role that I have seen her in before though. For those who have seen Wild and Dirty you will remember the character that she played in that movie too became haunted to the point that she took to excessive drinking to block it out.
Patience plays Owakwe a baby stealer that poses as a kindly woman that “rescues” lost pregnant girls for the streets providing them with support and accommodation. I thought it slightly odd that none of the pregnant girls in the house became suspicious when girls kept on coming back to the house without their babies.
Tonto Dikeh excelled in this role. It was one that gave her an opportunity to act out a range of different emotions and expressions. Desperations seeped heavily from every pore of her being. I thought the pair up with Emeka Amakeze could have been better, although he played his role (as well as he could) the character felt very one dimensional against Tonto’s more developed character.
Work needed to be done on these pregnant stomachs. Some of them were not even rounded, but instead just lumpy material shoved up girls’ tops. In one scene a girl is walking and the lump is moving around desperately trying to fall out of her top with each step that she takes.
What was the point of Juliet’s character Princess Rose? In one scene we see her rolling around on a bed wearing a mini skirt and tank top. Detective Mike comes in and tells her, “let me get you something better to wear.” This guy’s something better to wear is a thin short white dress, which we then see her wearing on a hospital bed. In which era does this make sense?
While we are on the subject of dress let me ask, why is a nurse wearing stiletto heels? This is pure madness! I have never been to a hospital and seen a nurse in stilettos. This is where research comes into play where common sense and logical reasoning has been lost. A nurse is helping to save lives not parading the catwalk at a Christian Lacroix show. Stiletto heels are not appropriate for a nurse to wear to work. Nurses wear covered, flat, slip resistance shoes. It is details like this that take away from the realism of a movie.
There was a very nice twist at the end of the movie. I will not give it away, but if you watch it you will see. I did, however wonder what was the relevance for us to see the detective eating out, picking up chicks, rolling on the bed with Princess Rose? It is like the detective storyline was just thrown in there as an afterthought. Even the pregnancy at the end of the movie, I wondered; why was that thrown in there? How did that relate to anything?
At the end of the movie there is a scene where Halima addresses Mike, “Yes Doctor” when he asks her for the story about the goings-on at the hospital. I assume this was a mistake but mistakes like this need to be reshot because these mistakes become distracting. ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS VITAL! Sound was somewhat poor. Very often we hear loud music playing over dialogue, which simply means you have to higher the volume and strain to hear or miss out bits. It was quite annoying along with the sound cutting in an out at times.
I would not recommend this movie as ultimately the execution was poor, parts of the story were over confusing and attention to detail was lacking in a big way. There were however some very good performances from the cast. I loved the whole concept of the phantom pregnancy as it was something different to the run of the mill stories you often get, Kudos for the attempt at exploring this not widely talked about phenomenon