Category Archives: S-T

Stranger on my Bed

Stranger on my Bed

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Stranger On My Bed ~ 2010
Story – Austin Obah
Screenplay – Obah Augustine
Director – Chico Ejiro
Producers – Anugo Obah, Hilda Ndidi
Booben Movie Productions

Starring:
Mercy Johnson – Felicia
Tony Umez – Samuel
Arinze Okonkwo – Dede
Ashley Nwosu – Noko
Ebube Nwagbo – Mary
Bahangura Miria (Uganda) – Madam Badmus
Babatunde Braihmoh – Johnson
Valentina Anugo Obah – Diana
Emeka Rollas – Reverend Father

Themes Explored:
Marriage
Religion
Financial Independence

My Rating – 60%

Felicia has been married to Samuel for 5 years. She is lonely and bored within the marriage and feels trapped as a resulted of her limited freedom. Once called “Sexy Feli” in school in her husband’s house she feels like a boring housewife, largely ignored. She has no one to turn to, having recently moved to a new neighbourhood where she does not know anybody.

She craves her husband’s love and attention but instead he throws money at her, as if that alone can make her happy. One day she inquires in a supermarket about a job as a saleslady and is hired. In this job she finds an escape from the humdrum of her everyday life. Her husband is vehemently opposed to her accepting the job initially but soon enough comes round to the idea. Soon enough it is not only the job that she is paying attention to but a handsome stranger from her past.

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

The beginning of the movie came like a Nigerian horror film. I was holding my head aghast, not because it was scary but because I was cursing myself for having bought the movie and didn’t think I could sit through horror. We see Felicia about to be stabbed and she is screaming and writhing. LUCKILY she wakes up and we see her in bed with her husband Samuel. The whole scene turns out to be a nightmare that she was having, probably indicative of the way she is feeling within her marriage.

The flashback scenes were well interwoven into the main body of the movie. We are slowly given information on Dede and how he came to be in Felicia’s life. Initially the awkwardness was not explained but after we learn the couple’s history the awkwardness between the two on first meeting makes perfect sense. The differences between Felicia’s relationship with her husband and with Dede are a million miles apart. With Dede her whole body language is free. She lights up in his presence, can laugh, have fun and be sill with him. With her husband it is nothing but frowns, shouting and very uncomfortable body language.
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Mercy Johnson
Mercy is a great actress. I am rarely disappointed when she is in a movie. She interprets both sides of her character perfectly. We see her as Sexy Feli the flirtatious, loud campus babe, as well as her role as a submissive downtrodden married woman. In showing her old self we see just how marriage has changed and subdued her character. There was great chemistry between Mercy Johnson and Arinze Okonkwo. It started off a gentle simmering chemistry and graduated to something deeper and stronger. I would love to see Mercy with Majid again. It could be fire and Shakira wasn’t a good enough vehicle to ignite the flames.

The scene where we find out the circumstances surrounding Felicia’s marriage to Samuel was a very emotional one. A revelation is made and if you judged Felicia harshly for cheating on her husband in this scene you will feel sympathy for her and perhaps even shed a tear too. You feel Felicia’s pain and Mercy acts out this scene, piercing sobs while her whole body trembles.

Tony Umez
Tony Umez has lost a lot of weight. This is the first time I have seen him in a movie without his shirt off and I am sure he did that purposely to show of his new physique.
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RUBBISH???
What kind of nonsense was that when Felicia used Dede’s phone to call her husband? The man beats you up and rapes you and treats you like dirt. You know that he is capable of ANYTHING and then you use you ex man’s phone to call him without even blocking the number? WHAT???

There is a scene where Felicia and Dede are working out in the gym. Well… Felicia is working out and Dede is simply assisting. She is wearing ballet pumps. WHAT??? Who on earth wears ballet pumps to go and work out in a gym? Please note, she is not dancing or doing ballet she is attempting a hardcore workout. NONSENSE!
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Role Reversal
Felicia’s relationship with Dede gives her the confidence to treat her husband in the way that he has always treated her in marriage – without regard. It is only after she has given her heart to Dede that her husband sits up and takes notice of her, but is it too late? They say you never miss a good thing until it’s gone and this is true in Samuel’s case. All of a sudden we see him pleading with his wife to go on outings with him. Before she met Dede it was always him missing appointments and her begging him to make some engagement or another.

Marriage
We are told that marriage is for better of for worst. Felicia keeps being told this. It is all very well to pass out advice like that when you are not living in an abusive nightmareish situation. I felt like when Felicia confided in Mary instead of listening to her she would simply keep telling her that she is a Christian so she must stick to her husband. So if you are a Christian you must put up with any and everything in order to stick to your vow?

Religion
Always in Nollywood is the belief expressed that the unbeliever is inherently immoral, and that my friends is BUUUUULLLLSHHHAT! It’s a total myth based in ignorance and untruth but perhaps appropriate considering the religiosity of Nigerians at large. In once scene we see a man stand up in church and say that he is living with an unbeliever that is trying to recruit him into the 419 business. Oooh what a dilemma? NOT. Why not have the guy stand up and say that he is living with unbelievers that live the most moral and worthy lives that he knows of. Now wouldn’t that present more of a dilemma?

This whole issue of church presence being linking to morality kinda irks me big time. It is a huge LIE, and they reiterate this lie in the movie by showing how Samuel changes when he stops going to church. When his church visits cease he becomes a rapist and wife batterer. Religion is used as the excuse as to why he committed these acts. The devil indeed? He chose to commit these acts. Everybody has free will as far as I am concerned.
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The End
I didn’t like the ending of this movie. I am thinking that there will be a continuation. Towards the end of the movie things took a nosedive for the worst in a big way with the disappearance of Dede. Why wasn’t Felicia surprised that he had gone missing? The way the police burst in her house to question her was just stupid. They asked a few questions and then just left, but not before threatening her. It all seemed a bit over the top. The movie does not finish and the scene being shot does not even end. I’m fed up of these movies not finishing and not being released all together. It is becoming very annoying.
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I would recommend this movie. Mercy was great in it, overall it is a good watch and we learn that men shouldn’t treat their women like asswipes because there will be another man out there that will treasure her and when she gets the queen treatment she will not be coming back to your azz. Be warned! LOL

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Sinful Game

Sinful Game

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Sinful Game ~ 2009
(Continuation called A Brother)
Story – Ifeanyi Onyeabor
Screenplay – Ifeanyi Onyeabor, John Dunu
Director – Ifeanyi Onyeabor
Producer – Pascal C Ezenwa

Starring:
Oge Okoye – Nnenna
Ini Edo – Nnenna sister
Sandra Achums – Janet
Chigozie Atuanya – Chima (Akila)
Benita Nzeribe – Phina
Larry Koldsweat – Papa J
Peter Bunor – Pastor John
Chinelo Enigwu – Joy
Jim Lawson Maduike – Nnena Father
Pope Stan U Ndu – Uzezi
David Uba – Emeka
Blessing Okonkwo – Ozioma
Linda Ojere – Diana

Themes:
Prostitution
Family
Poverty
Economic Migration

My Rating – 69%

Jeanettes mother treats their home like a whore house. Men pass in and out and it is only a matter of time before she is laying on her deathbed dying of AIDS. Her father already dead, alnd having no siblings Jeanette is no and orphan. She has no family to speak of. Despite making a promise to her mother to be a “good girl” the cycle continues and Jeanette makes big money by becoming  a prostitute in the city.

Chima is a village boy done good. He owns a shop in the village and is doing well, that is until he meets Nnena. Nnenna is his money hungry girlfriend who ends up duping him. He gives her all his money to hold and she flees with it. With nothing to lose Chima follows one of his friends to Lagos to get his hustle on in the big city. His first job is cleaning cars in traffic. This is how he meets Jeanette.

Jeanette and Akila as Chima is now called connect when he cleans her car windows in traffic. Feeling pity for him she wants to help him and gives him her card telling him he should call her should he ever need anything. They meet up and from there they become like brother and sister to the point that they refer to themselves as such. Akila fills a void in Jeanette’s life and for the first time in a long time she feels as if she has family.

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

Oge Okoye I loved as the money hungry razz village babe. I was impressed with Chigozie Atuanya too. I have only seen him in slick village roles to it was good to see his versatility and booooooy did he play local like he had never left the village. One scene between the two that had me in fits of laughter was when Chima gives Nnenna 1000 Naira instead of the 15,000 that he had promised her. She searches him from top to bottom and finds a wad of money in his back pockets and starts a big ruckus about it before counting out 15,000 and leaving. Benita Nzeribe has put on a little bit if weight and she definitely looks better for it.
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Chima! What an idiot. You have seen from the beginning that Nnena is money hungry. The girl searched your whole person for money and grabbed it. The girl even sent her sister to pretend that she was sick and needed money for medicines all to extract money from you and then you go and give her your life savings to “hold.” Mugu! He even deserved to be robbed for such stupidity.

One thing that I did not fully understand was Jeanette’s interest in Akila. I understand that she craved familial ties and he filled that void but WHY HIM and not one of the other car washers and why at that particular time in her life? What drew her him and why did she want an adopted brother as opposed to sister, mother or father? Did he remind her of someone? What was it? I ask this also because there was no obvious spark between the two on first meeting and it is important for us to see how their strong attachment formed.

Even when they are supposed to have this strong attachment it does not ring true, He doesn’t behave like a brother towards her; in fact the way he is throughout is the way he is in the beginning, like she is a stranger. There is no chemistry between Akila and Jeanette so it doesn’t even make sense to me why she is acting all emotional over the guy. Is it bad casting or was this behaviour intentional on the part of the filmmakers? Perhaps it will become obvious in part 2 why Akila is quite nonchalant towards Jeanette despite everything that she has done for him.
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The movie starts off badly in that the credits roll in different fonts and sizes. Fonts styles and sizes should be kept consistent. If the first thing a viewer sees is messed up credits it sets in your mind that if even simple credits can’t be got right then the rest of the film must be equally as shoddy. More and more we are getting less value for money. They are splitting films up into smaller and smaller parts in order to get more money from the viewer, both parts of this movie amounted to about an hour and a half and then we see the advertisement for the continuation “A Brother.” Realistically both films should have equated to 2 parts not 4 parts. We also see “Coming Soon HOMOSEXUAL FATHER, SISTERS SOUL” trailing across the bottom of the screen. It is so annoying.
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I would however recommend this movie. It was entertaining and I loved the village scenes at the beginning of the movie in particular. There is a good build up suspense throughout the movie and even though you will probably be annoyed that the movie ended as it does, when you see the preview for “A Brother” you will be dying to see what happens next. The razz village babe Nnenna is back on the scene and I’ll definitely be watching to see what drama she brings!

Silent Scandals

Silent Scandals

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Silent Scandals ~ 2009
Story/ Screenplay – Vivian Ejike
Director – Okey Benson
Producer – Vivian Ejike

Starring:
Genevieve Nnaji – Jessie
Uche Jombo – Mukky
Majid Michel – Naeto
Ebele Okaro – Helen Ubaka
Chelsea Eze – Ella
Tessy Oragwa – Tina
Peachman Akputa – Etim
Pope Stan U. Ndu – Jay Jay
Paul Frank – Richie
Isaac David – Alhaji Danladi
Oladimeji Alimi – Alhaji Aide
Ime Bishop Umoh – Akpan
Dami Solomon – Tonia

Themes:
Single Motherhood
Career
Love
Parenting

My Rating – 76%

Jessie despairs over her wayward daughter Ella. She steals, drinks, smokes and stays out all night with her boyfriend Naeto without any regard for her mother. She is uncontrollable. Her mother is at her wits end and devastated when one day she has to pick up her young daughter from a police holding cell after being caught shoplifting. This action is the deciding factor in her being sent by her mother to live in the UK to live with her father.

After Ella’s departure Naeto falls on hard times and desperate to provide for his family he takes a job as a driver on his neighbour’s recommendation. His new boss is a highly strung career orientated woman who has little time for fun. Slowly he begins to break through her steely exterior and the two become close. Little does he know that this woman who is his boss is also Ella’s mother.

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

The Good
All in all a great group of actors and actresses were selected to play the characters. No drive by performers, except for Naeto’s best friend Richie played by Paul Frank. He was teetering the line between drive by and acceptable.

I loved Majid Michel playing the Naija boy role complete with the Pidgin English. His intensity is concentrated in his eyes and he uses it well so it is understandable that he always gets roles in which love and women and the seduction of them play a large role. It is a role that he plays to perfection.

Genevieve Nnaji kills it in the scene where Naeto declares his love to her. She is stripped bare and her vulnerability exposed. She tells Naeto,

“Has it ever occurred to you that I am human…that I feel too… I may hurt sometimes”

It was an excellent performance from Genny, from the expressiveness conveyed in her eyes, to the breaking of her voice mid speech. It is the first time her character Jessie shows raw emotion. This is coming from a woman who is usually a complete killjoy. Can you imagine a woman that reprimands staff for singing Happy Birthday to her?

I liked the build up of chemistry between Majid and Genny. Just like in Emerald the chemistry was intense and electrifying. It is not immediately apparent which makes it all the more beautiful as it comes across deep and intense as we watch their bond strengthen over time. We see a real connection between the two as Naeto melts away Jessie’s steely exterior.

Naeto and Ella also had great chemistry. We see the laughter and playfulness between the two. In fact their characters actually appear to get along better than Majid and Genny’s which is often fraught with tension and hesitance. Although they both long for each other neither one knows where they stand with the other.

I thought Chelsea Eze was cast well as Ella. She was also a good actress. She looked like a teenager/young adult, and at the same time tall, slim and pretty with great bone structure so it was very believable that she was a model.

This is the first Naija movie I have seen where a chick was wearing a bikini and not a bikini over a swimming costume and some cycling shorts! Kudos on that front because it looks so fake to see someone in a swimming pool with a million layers of swimwear on, a la Juliet Ibrahim in Naked Weapon
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The build up of tension to the inevitable fall out when the love triangle is exposed is carefully engineered. By the time it got to the surprise party for Jessie that was actually being held at Naeto’s heart my heart was pounding fast, anxious and eager to see what the reactions all round would be.
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The Bad
The story was flawed for me because in order for it to work certain situations had to be engineered that did not really make sense. For instance the situation where Ella was sent to stay with her father in the UK but instead went to stay with her grandmother in Abuja was a little far fetched for me. The father would have been expecting her, so when she did not arrive would he not have been worried and contacted her mother. There is no indication that he is in on the plan so this was a glaring omission in my eyes. Wouldn’t Ella have called from the UK to say she had arrived? Wouldn’t a UK number come up on her mother’s phone?

Another of these situations was when Ella wants to stay with her grandma, “til I figure out what to do.” Yet she claimed to miss her mother so much and hadn’t seen her in a while. Wouldn’t she have wanted to rejoin her mother if this was the case? It would have made more sense to me if she said that she wanted to stay in Abuja until she finished school or because that was where the modelling jobs were. I mean what on earth was she supposed to be figuring out?

Ella when she comes back into Jessie’s life is supposed to be 20 and Jessie supposedly was pregnant when she was barely that age which would make her around 38-40 years old. I wasn’t buying it. I thought they would have fared better if Genevieve was supposed to have had Ella when she was 15/16.

I didn’t think Jessie driving to the slums where Naeto lived and ordering him to drive was very realistic. If the guy was at the point where he had had enough of her snotty attitude then her turning up and giving more of the same and his accepting it did not seem feasible to me. Or did the fact that she came to look for him give him hope that perhaps she felt something for him so he simply obeyed her command clinging onto that hope? D’ya think? Maybe?
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Sound was sometimes poor which made it difficult to comprehend what was going on all the time because the voices were too low at times. Even worse was when the voices were low and then music blasted over the top, because even if you put the volume up, the music on top only got louder too. This music over dialogue happened at a very crucial moment when Naeto was dumping Ella so it was highly disappointing not being able to clearly hear what was being said.
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Notable Scenes
I thought the scene where Ella was caught shoplifting was ridiculous. The woman in the store attempts to convince Ella that the size 10 will fit her, after Ella has emerged from the dressing room and has already stated that the dress is too big for her. The woman tells her, “Its ok, just try it on.” Huh? You saw her just come from the dressing room and she told you it is too big. Why are you saying Its OK? Noo! it is not OK.

A hilarious scene was at Jessie’s surprise birthday party when Naeto’s friends schmooze up to Jenny assuming that she is Ella’s friend. One of them throws her seductive looks while he kisses her hand. When she reveals that she is Ella’s mother her hand is dropped like a hot rock!
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The Confusion
I was confused about the relevance of the first fashion show clip we see. It was inserted randomly between scenes. It does not fit in and seems rather like overkill in the shameless plugging for Zizi Cardow. It would have made sense to save the fashion scenes to fit in for after Ella becomes a model and tie it into that storyline. This was done too but it should have been left solely for that.

During the scene where Muky tried to organise an abortion Jessie is reluctant saying,

A D and C, at my age? It’s too risky.”

What has age got to do with an abortion? Is it riskier for a 39 year old to have an abortion as opposed to a 18 year old? I don’t think so. In fact according to research teens are up to twice as likely to experience dangerous cervical lacerations during abortion compared to older women, probably because they have smaller cervixes which are more difficult to dilate or grasp with instruments. Teens are also at higher risk for post-abortion infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and endometritis because their bodies are more susceptible to infection and they are less likely than older women to follow instructions for medical care. So that statement was not based in any fact at all.

At the end of the movie we get up on the screen 30 MONTHS LATER. I had to laugh. What was that in aid of? Why not say 2 years or 2 ½ years later? Who want to be watching a movie and then doing mental arithmetic at the same time? Additionally who understand the end of this movie because I did not get it. I understood that he chose to be with neither woman but at the same time what was all the business in the car about the bomb?
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I would recommend the movie. It had a quality that felt far superior to the regular Idumota stuff you get and it was enjoyable, despite the flaws highlighted. The magic you get on screen with a Genevieve and Majid pairing is alone enough reason to watch. THUMBS UP.

Through The Fire

Through The Fire

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Through The Fire ~ 2009
(Continuation called Entanglement)
Story – Uduak Isong Oguamanam
Screenplay – Uduak Isong Oguamanam, Emem ISong, Omoni Oboli
Director – Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen

Starring:
Uche Jombo – Tega
Mercy Johnson – Chidera
Yemi Blaq – Patrick
Omoni Oboli – Gertrude
Kalu Ikeagwu – Pastor
Francis Duru – Deacon Gabriel
Desmond Elliot – Aniete
Ngozi Ezeonu – Gertrude’s mum
Rukky Sanda – Bimbola
Whoba Ogo – Esosa
Lyon Tita – Cathy
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen – Pastor Osagie

Themes :
Marriage
Spousal Rape
Societal Pressure
Family Pressure
Religion

My Rating – 73%

We see the relationships between three friends as well as their additional romantic relationships. Tega is in a marriage where being beaten and raped by her husband is a regular occurrence. He actually seems to derive pleasure from his horrific acts of violence and verbal abuse. Gertrude is about to wed a man that appears to be the perfect match on paper but that she is not actually in love with. Chidera is desperate to get married but chronically single, and has been so for 3 years. She seems only to be able to attract married men, which her friend Gertrude thinks is inevitable considering her skimpy dress.

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

Family Pressure
Family play a big role in the pressure a woman feels to get married. We see Gertrude’s mum lay the pressure on thick for her to marry Patrick, even though she can sense that her daughter has doubts about the relationship. She tells her,

“Do you remember Mrs Fela’s daughter? She is 37 and not married. Will career produce the cry of a baby?”

Children and family is a big part of African culture hence it being the central theme in many Nollywood movies. I’d love to see a movie where a woman actually stood up and said she didn’t want to have children, and even better where she was married to a man that had no desire to be a father either. Now that would be interesting. No doubt they would have had to have lived abroad for the African audience to be able to relate.

Gertrude tells her mother that she and Patrick “are not ready” to marry and her mother is adamant that that, it is not in a man’s place to be ready, it’s a woman’s place.”
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Religion
Gertrude does not even want to kiss her fiancé Patrick. He says he just wants to hold her and the woman is screaming “blood of Jesus” It seemed to be she was using the whole not wanting to have sex before marriage thing as a crutch to not be close to him at all. Isn’t it funny how she hugged Aniete with ease when she went to go and look at his new place? Religion is used in the movie as well as a justification for staying in a bad marriage. Tega does not want to divorce because of her commitment to following the tenets of Christianity.

Tega is torn and she tells Chidera,

“I know the bible says we can divorce on grounds on sexual immorality. That is why I am confused.”

She is taking the bible to literally to the extent that she is not considering her own welfare and happiness because she cannot find something relating directly to domestic violence and marriage in the bible.

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Rape
Rape is rape Marriage or no marriage. No is no. A woman should always have the right to say no to sex, regardless of whether she has previously had consensual sex with the man or not. Forced intercourse within marriage or a relationship is still rape. In Entanglement the continuation of Through the Fire we see Gertrude going through feelings of immense guilt over her rape. We also see Tega stay with her husband because he is her husband and thereforew she does not see his actions as rape.
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Societal Pressure
Societal pressure is massive especially for a woman of a certain age to get married we see this especially when Chidera confronts Gabriel about promising to marry her. She seems upset that she has been used as a plaything. Honey what did you expect? HE is your friend’s husband? How did you think he would respect you let alone wish to marry you? It is also inconceivable to me that Chidera would even want Gabriel to marry her considering the fact that she KNOWS how he has battered her friend. Is this what pressure can do to a woman? Make her so desperate that she will go to any length so becomes a MRS even if it means betraying loyalties and living a life full of abuse?

We know that she knows the full extent of the abuse because she tells Tega at one point,

“Divorce the bagga! Divorce him before he kills you.”

She is advocating divorce yet quick to jump into bed with the same man.
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Love and Friendship
Was Gertrude wrong for spending so much time with Aniete? Can men and women be platonic friends? Would her behaviour have been appropriate for a married woman? It is clear that Patrick is the wrong guy for her regardless of his credentials. We can see how uncomfortable she is around him in comparison to her comfortableness around Aniete. It is clear to the viewer that Aniete and Gertrude would be the perfect match. In fact it is frustrating watching the two of them get along so well but not come to the realisation that they are made for each other! You can imagine my joy in Entanglement when Aniete declares his love for her. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. I wanted to cheer… well until Gertrude turns him down. That then turned into wanting to slap her. Nevertheless the right result came about in the end.
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I would recommend this movie. Mercy was fire. She was razz she was flirtatious, she really shone. I thought the cast were well picked and the story flowed. Important issues were raised and explored. However in the continuation Entanglement I was disappointed that we didn’t see Tega, her husband and the pastor again. I also didn’t like the whole HIV storyline and the whole if you believe you can be delivered from HIV aspect. I found this to be quite irresponsible and disturbing. Yes faith can help you thorough moments of darkness, but leaving it to God to cure HIV and not taking any medicines or accepting that you have it? Naaa, not buying it! Despite its flaws it was enjoyable to watch. THUMBS UP!

Street President

Street President

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Street President ~ 2009
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Tchidi Chikere

Starring:
Mike Ezuruonye – Matthew
Tchidi Chikere – Spirit
Chika Ike – Nene
Jimmy B – Doug (Jimmy Y Bangura)
Ijeoma Azuka – Abel
Ed Nnasor – Mr Johnson
Collette Nkem Orji – Calista
Jospeh Mike – Doctor
Chinaza Ekpere – Rice Seller

Themes:
Passion
Karma
Sacrifice
Family
Love

My Rating – 56%

A poor local boy called Matthew; after finding out that serious money is to be made from fighting on the street enters a local competition. He wins his first fight, makes some money and gets himself a manager, Doug. Soon he becomes a feared and renowned street fighter called Street President or “Preso” as his manager calls him. Tied to the streets it is only the love of a woman that takes him out of it, but the pull is strong and though his body is out of the streets his mind is still there.

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

You know it’s a Tchidi movie when as soon as you pop the disc into the player you are assaulted by his music. First we see the video for his telephone single. You know that tune used to get on my nerves. Now I find myself singing it. I swear I know all the words! The self promotion doesn’t end there. There is a next tune and then the plugging of the album GOLD. See I know the name of it. Shameless plugging does work.
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Does Matthew not think it odd that the guy pushing himself to become his manager dashed away his current charge, a millisecond after the guy lost the fight to run after a new anonymous guy who he has only seen fight ONCE? I guess this was meant to show us that Matthew was that good a fighter. To me it was not believable and Matthew should have at least pulled him up on that, because the same way he dashed the guy that he was managing would be the same way he could dash Matthew in the event that he lost a fight in future.

Added to that how are we meant to believe that Matthew is a formidable street fighter and his physique does not even match? Nonsense! Casting correctly is essential. Acting well is one thing, but the person chosen has to really fit the role and I don’t believe Mike fit the role.

Matthew is an orphan, didn’t pass secondary school, lives in an unfinished building and is desperate for cash. Why on earth does he look so clean, well dressed and then to top it off well spoken? He did not make a believable street boy to me at all. I thought he was too much of a pretty boy for the role and even then they could have had him looking and sounding rough and local like the other street fighters we see in the movie.

So Mike falls ill with hypertension. He is a young man and supposedly fit enough to be a street fighter and he has hypertension all of a sudden – YEAH RIGHT! That would be very odd, and there is no explanation as to what would have caused a fit and healthy young man to be suffering from hypertension to the extent that he is fainting in the street and has to stop fighting.
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So many things were just unrealistic in this movie. We are given the impression that Doug truly does not like his “baby mama” as he calls her but then one day they get back together all of a sudden. I found it all so fake. When Doug would go and visit the son he was made to talk to him outside of the compound because his mother did not like him or want him in the house. She found his lifestyle abhorrent and was not in support of it.

I could believe that she started falling for him again because of the immense love he was showing towards his son, but no when she tells him that she has not stopped loving him, on one of the outside the compound visits she tells him that she wants him back because of the fact that he son loves and accepts him for who he is and so she will too. Rubbish! Why all of a sudden do you think street fighting and smoking is ok when you didn’t previously? A kid will accept his father no matter what, even if he is a killer. Since when do adults measure their actions and decisions on a kid’s?
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The time line in this movie was fugged! In part 2 Matthew stands up to his bully boss and tells him, “I’m that kid they call the Street President because I mad my name on the streets.” However we never see him winning numerous fights or making this name he is boasting about. Pretty much as soon as he started he got into the fighting game he got hypertension, fell in love with Nene and came out of the biz. Perhaps more effort should have gone into mentioning previous wins even if they were not going to be shown, so that we could get an idea of how big his reputation was before this scene.

In Part 2 Matthew and Nene break up because of his flirtations with a girl in his dance class. Even the execution of this was disappointing. Matthew had never shown signs throughout the film of being a womaniser in any way. Even when Calista approaches him in the street and is madly flirting with him he seems not to notice or be interested in her. So how on earth did he go from not even noticing her when she was throwing herself at him to practically drooling over and molesting her during an aerobics class ALL ON THE SAME DAY? This did not make sense at all.
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I liked the girl who played the orange seller in the movie. I’m assuming she is credited as the rice seller as I don’t remember any rice seller, so for now let us assume her name is Chinaza Ekpere unless Chinaza comes to come and debunk that. Her role was small but she played it well, interpreting fear without overacting it as would have been so easy. I’d like to see her in a bigger role to see what she can really do.

Collette Nkem Orji played Calista and her performance was on point. (When will the majority of credits be correct in Nollywood? They spelt this poor girl’s name wrong and I only found out the right spelling through facebook) She was that girl that everybody loves to hate; the man snatcher, the unrepentant cheat, materialistic and cocky with it. I think she has a natural comic ability. In one scene near the end of the movie she packs out of her boyfriend’s house and goes to meet Matthew, assuming that he has money and is staying in a hotel. When she finds out that he too is homeless she freaks out. He tries to calm her down,

“Money will come”

“Eh heh, money will come?” she says walking away.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going far away from this your shit life.”

Karma is indeed a bitch because she runs back to her ex boyfriend that she left for Matthew and he refuses to let her back into the compound. Instead of begging she starts abusing him. This scene had to be the funniest in the movie. She is outside with nowhere to go; bag packed and starts screaming,

“According to you, now you have dumped me. Can you dump me? Do I look like someone you can dump – rubbish!”

After all that she mumbles to herself,

“Eh God! I don fock op!”

Mike’s performance was adequate in that he did his thing but the characterisation was all wrong. Chika Ike was just there. I find her such a boring actress. She has no charisma at all. Jimmy B was good but could have been better without all the Americanisms, but then that was probably scripted so not really his fault. Tchidi did well keeping to a minor role. He actually wasn’t bad at all.
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I would say the movie is worth watching if you have nothing better to do. The story line was something different to the usual and in spite of all the things that were nonsensical it is an entertaining watch. I guess the message it was trying to put out there was that people should be accepted for who they are because some things can never been changed and even if they are it is only temporary.

Nollywood Production African Nigerian Movie Review

Sincerity

Sincerity

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Sincerity ~ 2009
Story – Stanley Ebonine
Screenplay – Ruth Kadiri
Director – Ifeanyi Ogbonna

Starring:
Oge Okoye – Joanne
Yemi Blaq – Chris
Amaechi Muonagor – Chief Ezekwe
Ruth Kadiri – Adanna
Chioma Toplis – Juliet
Angela Okorie – Becky
Collin Richards – David
Nneka Okonkwo – Precious
Nwosu Diligence – Nnachi
Chigozie Atuanya – Rowland

Themes:
Family Relationships
Dehumanisation of house help
Abortion
“Saving Face”

My Rating – 76%

Adanna is the cherished only daughter of Chief Ezekwe. Being the only girl in the midst of three boys that are studying in the US she is the apple of her father’s eye and he will do anything for her. This all changes when she falls pregnant two months before she is supposed to go to the US herself to study at the prestigious Harvard university.

Adanna goes to have an abortion at a hospital that her father built and is refused. The news gets back to her parents and all hell breaks loose in her house. They order her to take them to the house of the one who is responsible for the pregnancy and she takes them to a guy called Chris’ house.

Chris immediately denies even knowing Adanna in front of her parents as he has just recently proposed to his girlfriend Joanne and this will obviously complicate matters. Her father is very angry and leaves her there in Chris’ compound after disowning her. She has no choice but to stay there and endure the hell that she is about to be put through by Chris and his girlfriend too when she is let in on his indiscretion.

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

I don’t know how Adanna didn’t figure out that her father would know she was pregnant when she was refused the abortion. She must have suspected something was up but we never see any evidence of this. When her father comes into the house angry and screaming her name she is bounding towards him joyfully like she can’t see the man is full of rage. She is portrayed as naïve but this is beyond naivety and into the realm of stupidity.

There is a huge focus in the movie on how the pregnancy affects the parents and their good name as opposed to how the pregnancy will affect Adanna, after all she is the one that has to deal with the pregnancy and the resulting baby. This is very common in Nollywood and perhaps reflective on Nigerian society in general whereas one family member’s action reflects on the whole family. On finding out Adanna is pregnant her mother exclaims, “You have killed me!” Her father wails, “You have brought me shame!”

In the scene where Adanna sees her mother on the roadside you would think she would take that time to confide in her, after all her mother tells her that she has long forgiven her. Instead she makes it out like she and Chris are a couple and that she is only looking rough because he lost his job. Was she trying to save face to show her family she can a amount to being more than a “slut” as her father called her or was she trying to protect her mother from her father’s wrath?
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After Chris confesses his infidelity to Joanne they agree they agree that he will take her in as a house girl. Joaanne tells Adanna that she is welcome to stay as long as she likes providing that she undergoes a D& C. Why would Adanna agree to performing such when Joanne behaves in such a vile way towards her? However despite the abuse she does stay because she has nowhere else to go having been disowned.

Joanne plots on how to teach Adanna a lesson, rather than focusing on the guy that cheated on HER, This is common in Nollywood and among all women in general. It is preposterous to think that a person who did not know that you even existed and has no loyalty to you deserves punishment over a man that made promises to be faithful to you and broke that commitment. Nevertheless Joanne is soft on her man and hard on Adanna. Talking about Adanna to her friends she says,

“She cannot come to reap where she did not sow. I will show her.”

In another scene Chris goes beserk when he catches Adanna hugging a young man at his front gate. What kind of rubbish is that? It seemed like he and Joanne wanted to get rid of her so you would have thought that that would have been their perfect opportunity but instead they flog her. What is their business? I would have expected Joanne to get upset with his minding so much about another chick getting caught with a guy, but she seemed oblivious to the implications and joined in on the flogging. She should have delighted in such an incident taking place and encouraged Ada since she seemed so scared of Chris being snatched from her.
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We see how one act namely the act of Chris and Adanna having sexual intercourse can change one’s life forever. Chris exclaims, “I planned my whole life now it has been blown apart.” There is a serious message on display here which to have safe sex with casual partners as well as the warning that one must think about the consequences of ones actions before undertaking the action.

The result of that singular action is that Ada has been disowned. She is pregnant with no support from her family and being abused by the man that got her pregnant and his girlfriend. Chris has to support two women and is at risk of jeopardising the relationship with his fiancée, and also his son in the future if he continues to maltreat Adanna. Joanne has to deal with another woman and child in what would have been her marital home. The effects are devastating and wide reaching.
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I am loving Ruth Kadiri. The only other time I saw her was in Wild and Dirty which incidentally she also did the screenplay for as well as starring in. She played the inoocent, naive girl very well which was greatly helped because she does have an innocent look about her.

Amaechi Muonagor was on point. He was excellent as the strict father. My favourite scene of his was when he dumps Adanna in Chris’ compound. The dialogue, his expressions… The whole scene was very realistic.

The character development in the case of Chris was done very well. His character was complex in that is he is not an all bad person but a person that does bad things due to circumstance, and trying to keep Joanne happy. We see him gradually begin to ponder upon his actions and revaluate his behaviour.
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One major boo boo for me was a scene in part 2 when Chris is mulling over and regretting his actions towards Adanna and they have someone else doing the voice over…. Ohhh noooooo! BOOO BOO! The voice is not even similar. The accent is thick and the guy stumbles over half his words. Why couldn’t they just get Yemi to do the voiceover? Chimoooo!

Another weird thing that happened was when Oge is arguing with Chris and calls out BASTARD. The word was bleeped out Jerry Springer style. I’ve never seen that happen before and I’ve heard the word bastard in other movies. Are the censors getting strict or what?

There was a good use of music to set mood and build dramatic tension without being overbearing. We see this effective use of music to build tension in the scene where Chris finds the heavily pregnant Ada passed out after being poisoned by Joanne.
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I would recommend this movie. It was highly enjoyable and after all the trash I have been watching it was like a breath of fresh air. The picture and sound were good and even though the story wasn’t original it was executed well. I thought the cast did a great job and there were no weak links. By the end of part 2 the movie does not end and no sign of Chigozie Atuanya either so no doubt there will be a continuation. Not really a big fan of dragging out movies into so many parts, but I’ll definitely be looking out for it as this was one of the better movies of this year for me. THUMBS UP! Nollywood Production Watch Nigerian African Movies Movie Reviews Review Lagos Idumota

UPDATE

I finally got to watch parts 3 & 4. I really liked this movie and they really ended it off nicely, no open questions. Ruth Kadiri was excellent as Adanna she is definitely one to watch out for. One thing that did bug me though was when Adanna throws her boyfriend out of the house, where was that? It didn’t look like the same living room in Chris’ house and that was where she was living.

True Story

True Story

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

True Story ~ 2009
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Tchidi Chikere

Starring:
Ini Edo – Oyoo
Nkem Owoh – Papi
Chinelo Oloh – Igbemma
Gaddiel Onwudiwe – Obiako
Pat Asore – Ezinnne
Esther Ugwu – Woman
Ijeh Myke – Ojoto
Daniella Chioma Okeke – Alice
Danaliton Onyia – Biker man
Ifeanyi Ikechukwu – Agodi

Themes:
Spirits
Pregnancy
Dehumanisation of house help

My Rating – 55%

Oyoo is Papi’s pregnant wife who is forever moaning. Papi is the downtrodden husband who despite his best efforts cannot seem to make his over emotional and fussy wife happy. He puts up with her whims because she is pregnant but her whimsical behaviour soon takes a toll on him and very soon he finds happiness outside of his marital home. Happiness comes in the form of Igbemma, a house girl that he meets in the bush while looking for locusts to eat for Oyoo. Their meetings become regular and Papi stops pandering to his wife’s every whim.

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

I actually found Ini’s character Oyoo quite annoying. She was supposed to be a nagging wife, but the behaviour was beyond nagging. This was something else. She would cry that he didn’t wake her up for the sunset, request that he make a special dish, and then after he’d made it want something else instead. I would not call that nagging but mental instability. In the first scene we see her waking up Papi in the middle of the night with her incessant crying. When he asks what is wrong she tells him in a whiny voice,

“I want to eat mixed pepper soup and yam”

As soon as Papi meets Igbemma in the bush he stops pandering to Oyoo’s every whim and there is a role reversal in that she starts catering to him in the way that he was to her. Harmony lasts barely a day before Oyoo starts her whining and crying over a dream she has, and so this back and forth between Oyoo and Papi continues with Oyoo being fine one minute and then whining and crying the next.

For me Igbemma’s death should have been close to the end of the movie. I mean after she died I had no more interest in watching the movie. I did not find the “haunting” scenes particularly interesting, sad or funny. It was all just a bit underwhelming. I did not see any chemistry between Nkem and Ini, and just slight chemistry with Nkem and Chinelo. Considering the fact that he fell in love with her I would have expected to see more chemistry.

I thought that the concept was good to a degree. We learn something a human’s need to be loved and wanted. Igbemma and Papi find each other at the right time when they are both in need. On the surface the two appear to be mismatched. Igbemma is the free spirit who gets joy from the simple act of gazing into the sky and from dancing in the fields and letting the spirits move her. These things are strange to Papi but with her help he soon begins to derive joy and look forward to these simple things too. Her life as a house help where she is beaten and humiliated on a daily basis becomes pleasurable in that she is able to share these things with Papi and likewise his life too changes as he is able to escape the burden that is his wife and feel carefree, if only temporarily.
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Technically I could not fault this movie. There was nothing wrong with it that I could put my finger on, ooops! Except the sound; that was pretty awful like someone walking in front of a speaker…  but I just found it booooooring *yawn.* If the movie had stopped at any point in the first part (you know how these CD malfunctions go down? LOL) I would not have particularly cared to find out what happened. I would have happily ejected the CD and not even tried wiping it to attempt playing it again. The movie just did not evoke any emotion or reaction in me, be in laughter, sadness, surprise, horror… Just nothing.

Only towards the end of the movie did I really sit up and pay attention. This was where Papi is going to lay Igbemma to rest in her village. I enjoyed Papi’s interaction with Alice played by Damiella Chioma Okeke. It was very playful and they seemed very comfortable with each other. Those last scenes were the best bits of the whole movie. I would recommend this for people who like very slooooooooow village movies. For everyone else… give it a miss.

NB: This movie says 2009, but I suspect it’s repackaged. If anyone had any further info on that let me know! Nollywood Production Watch Nigerian African Movies Movie Reviews Review Lagos Idumota