Tag Archives: Abraham Nwodu

The Power Of Her Majesty

The Power Of Her Majesty

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

The Power of Her Majesty ~ 2009
Story – Felix Onu
Screenplay – Helen Ojukwu
Director – Evans Orji Kalu
Producer – Felix Onu

Starring:
Eucharia Anunobi – Igwe Nneomma
Chiege Alisgwe – Ugbomma
Chiwetalu Agu – Ikenna
Stan K Amadi – Okoro
Ikem Chude – Uzo
Uche Ogbodo – Akwugo
Paul Udensi – Chief/ Priest
Abraham Nwodu – Okoh
Charles Murphy – Nwokedi
Precious Kalu –
Nancy Kalu – Akwugo’s Mother
Nweze O Collins – Adindu
Helen Ojukwu – Orienma
Nwosu Chidinma – Little Nneoma
Esther Uyanna – Ogemma
Udoh Ogbonna – Akwugo’s Father
Ebele Akosa – Adanne

Themes:
Gender Roles
Tradition
Royalty
Village Life
Polyandry

My Rating – 60%

In this village tradition dictates that men stay as home, clean and cook while women tap wine, pay a groom price and carry out libations to the Gods. The men are not happy and want amendments to the traditions as they feel hard done by and know that things are not the same in other villages. There is a fear about fighting back as not only do they have the fearsome queen, Igwe Nneomma to contend with but also the wrath of the Gods. Will the men ever get what they want?

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

Igwe Nneomma has 3 “wives.” In my opinion they should have just called them husbands. They are men after all. The movie kind of reminded me of the John Travolta film – White Man’s Burden. Neither movie is a masterpiece but contained within each movie is a very strong message about the absurdity of prejudice. Sometimes it takes for people to see themselves in a disadvantaged role (men in this case) for realisation of personal prejudices to occur.

This is the first movie I have seen involving Polyamory, which is a woman with multiple husbands as opposed to polygamy which is a man married to multiple wives. Polygamy in Nigerian movies is a very much common theme and I guess that is because it is very much something that is present in Nigerian culture, whereas Polyandry is unheard of.
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Gender Roles

I thought that it was a very nice attempt at challenging traditional gender roles by reversing them. It was an interesting concept that I’ve not come across before. I give major kudos to Felix Onu for the storyline. The movie is certainly thought provoking, however I would have found the conveyance of the message even more effective if it wasn’t so overdone, and by that I mean there should have been some adaptations to allow for the differences between men and women, as opposed to calling the men wives and Igwe Nneomma being so sexually aggressive, after all even if women were to become the more dominant sex, the testosterone/oestrogen in their bodies would remain the same.

In one scene the queen declares,

“I need a female child to succeed me,”

Wow! You never hear in a movie of a female child being desired. If you ever did hear it, it would only be because a woman has already had a ton of male children; that being said I have never even seen that scenario. In this statement we realise how devalued females are in Nigerian culture and the wider world society at large.

In another scene Igwe Nneomma demands for one of her husbands to, “come and ravish her.” In the meantime her other two husbands argue with her that it is their turn to sleep with her. It is funny because I am so used to seeing wives argue over a husband in Nollywood while the husband just seems to enjoy the bickering and in this movie we see a woman get to do the same.

In another scene we see the issue of childlessness/infertility come up. It has become so much the norm for a woman to get the blame for being able to produce children despite the fact that both a man and woman are needed for the task. In one scene a woman tells her husband,

“Ever since I have married you, you have refused to give me children… go back to your parents house. Wizard.”

This movie may make some men realise how pathetic their treatment of women is when they blame them for something like not producing babies which needs two people to be able to do effectively. It is a movie that will bring about self reflection because it can be seen just how easily the blame could be apportioned to the man as opposed to the woman.

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Uche Ogbodo’s tattoos kind of ruined it for me. The movie is set in the village and not in modern times so they should have covered up the tats.

Eucharia Anunobi was a perfect choice for the role of Her Majesty. She had the ideal demeanour, carriage and powerful presence needed that you would imagine would invoke both fear and reverence among men.

There were three minor female characters that played their roles excellently, their characters in the movie were Akunna, Udoka and another one whose name was not mentioned, but they were not credited. I was impressed and it certainly is nice to see careful casting even in minor roles as very often little attention is played to these roles, but attention to the finer details like this that can elevate a movie.
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I’d recommend the movie. I liked the village setting and it was a good effort at bringing life to an original concept, however there was some of it that I found simply boring or not thought about carefully enough. It was a bit slow in terms of being able to keep my attention, particularly towards the end of the movie where we see Chiege endlessly running through fields and singing like it was Bollywood *CRINGE* I felt like that was sheer self promotion because she is trying to get in the music arena, but that aside it was an interesting and thought provoking watch.

Desperate Soul

Desparate Soul

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Desperate Soul ~ 2008

Story & Screenplay – Chidimma and Chidiebere Aneke
Directors – Evan Orji & Iyke Nkwueno

Starring:
Patience Ozokwor – Gertrude
Tony Umez – Michael
Roy De’nani – Chief Morris
Queen Nwokoye – Dora
Chidimma Aneke – Padita
Chidiebere Aneke – Benita
Abraham Nwodu – Dillion
Uchenna Nnanna – Alicia
Pat Edeh – Ralph
Cosol Ugochukwu – Bill
Stella Ukwuegbu – Queen
Chichi Chikere – Mr Ude
Sarah Alex – Jane
John Mac Ihechi – Tony
Chijioke Udefuna – Simon
Chinonso Udefuna – Belinea
Nonso Agbo – Young Man

Themes Explored:
Infertility
Promiscuity
Deception
Saving Face
Forgiveness

My Rating: 66%

Dillion and Benita have been married for 4 years but have not managed to have children despite both being checked by the doctors and found to be perfectly fertile. Dillion cannot bear the shame of childlessness any longer and so gives Benita and ultimatum. She has nine months to bear him a child or he will throw her out and bring in a new wife to carry out her wifely “duty.” She is in a tough situation because he has given her this ultimatum yet at the same time does not want to sleep with her? So how on earth is she meant to conceive a child?

Before the 9 months is even up Dillion throws Benita out, sending her back to her mother’s house where her twin sister also lives. In desperation she cooks up a plan with her mother and sister to get her husband back.

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

Saving Face is a big theme in so many Nollywood films. As the viewer I got the feeling that Dillion’s desperation for a child was not because it was something that he really wanted, it was simply to prove his manliness to other men and society at large. Being married for so many years and not bearing a child is a situation that he feels embarrassed and humiliated by. He exclaims at one point,

“My friends mock me… I feel so much humiliation everywhere I go.”

Despite the fact that both Dillion and Benita have been checked by a doctor and declared fine the blame for childlessness always falls on the woman’s head. Even when tests haven’t been done it is still the woman that bears the blame. We see Benita praying, whilst crying and wailing,

“Please Lord I need a child to prove to the world I’m not barren.”

Even in her prayers for a child it is what people will think of her barrenness that consumes her as opposed to actually desiring a child.

It is odd that Benita’s husband that has been married to her for 4 years cannot tell the difference between her and her sister. He does not even appear to have any suspicions as to her identity. On the contrary Bill who slept with Benita’s sister Padita casually before dumping her and running off to America is so assured of Padita’s identity even though she tries to lie to him and pretend she is Benita.

Women always seem to get the short end of the deal and perhaps this is reflective of Nigerian society at large. We see Bill and his mother come and snatch Padita’s son from her. She has to go to his house and beg him to see her child, only to have him threaten her, “I will kill you!” What a cheek! Was he not the one who was disinterested when she announced her pregnancy to him? Was he not the one who abandoned her and ran off to America. It beggars belief! The guy that played Bill, Cosol Ugochukwu was excellent in his role as the enraged, self entitled man on a mission. He was comical too, particularly the part where he rumbles Padita as Benita. When Dillion asks who he is he animatedly screams at him in disbelief, “I am B-I-L-L,” before making moves to snatch the child.

In the end Dillion is left without the son he so much wanted to prove his manliness as Padita returns to Bill. Benita begs for Dillion’s forgiveness only to find out he has HIV, perhaps a result of his promiscuity during their split. Her other sister who was all for her going back to her husband at any cost is disgusted and grabs her to leave the hospital despite her crying and clinging onto him.

There are good lessons to be learned. Always treat others as you would expect to be treated. Dillion threw Padita out of the house without any concern for her feelings over something that she had no control over. On the other hand we see how Benita differs as we can see that she was willing to stay with Dillion after she found out he had HIV. She had compassion for him even though he probably got the HIV through his promiscuity which he did have control over.

I would recommend the movie. It was a bit of a slow burner but all in all it was an enjoyable watch. This is the second time I have seen the twins in a movie, and not only did they act out their roles convincingly they were also responsible for the story and screenplay. I’m sure we will see bigger and better things from them in the future!

Broken Ambition

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
 
 

 

Broken Ambition

Story, Screenplay and Direction by Ofom Emmanuel (De Prince)

 

Starring:

Patience Ozokwor – Alice

Abraham Nwodu – Ken

Camila Mbrepke – Adaugo

Roy De’Nani – Ude

Chidimma Aneke – Cassandra

Chidiebere Aneke – Sandra

Adaigbo Okafor – Uju

Ikem Chude – Fred

Rita Arum – Dora

Jennifer Nduka – Jane

Chamberlain Amaechi – Chris

Flora Ibe – Nnena

 

My Rating 55%

 

Themes Explored

Infidelity

Betrayal

Marriage

Disability

 

Cassandra and Sandra are twins (Hold up isn’t Sandra short for Cassandra? I digress…) Cassandra hates Sandra because she “digusts” her. Sandra had an accident in the past which we learn causes her to sometimes behave inappropriately. The only evidence we are shown to highlight this is her continuous burping at the dinner table and her family’s obvious disgust. I felt that this aspect of the story (The effects of the accident) could have been explored in more detail as Cassandra’s hate for her twin supposedly because of her behaviour seemed far fetched and unfounded.

 

Cassandra even goes as far as to tell a friend that she feels to kill Sandra because she is so disgusted by her. At the same time Sandra is being comforted by their mother, played by Patience. Patience tells her that god is with her and when she feels her misbehaviour coming on she should pray to god to ask her to control it. She is distraught and sobs in her mothers arms,

 

“I feel so ashamed when I misbehave… I can’t help it.”

 

At this point I am feeling like the film is just a bit too over dramatic. How does burping at the dinner table equate to misbehaviour that you have to pray to god to deliver you from? Is it that deep? It would have made more sense if Sandra had caught CJD (Mad Cow Disease) and had started falling over, losing her inhibitions and flashing strangers or picking random fights in the village… Now THAT would have made sense… but burping at the dinner table? I don’t buy it.

 

Cassandra’s hate for Sandra drives her to impersonate her, go and meet with her boyfriend and scam him of money. We learn very quickly that Cassandra is the bad twin. She has nasty personality traits and despite Sandra’s supposed disability, she seems to be a kind hearted girl.

 

Over in the City in a separate plot we see a film star called Ken and his fiancée Dora, who are happily engaged, until the fiancée’s friend gets involved. She persuades her friend to let her test his fidelity, when in fact her only plan is to snare him for herself and she is willing to lose the friendship over it. She meets him under the pretence she is a film producer. She turns up to a hotel room with a carton of Five Alive which she has injected with some sort of sedative. While he is semi – unconscious she strips him off and beds him.

 

In the morning Ken is stunned and doesn’t fully recall the night’s events. She sets her plan into full swing by telling him about her friend Dora who is a promiscuous serial abortioner. He soon realises that she is talking about his fiancée and very soon Dora is dumped, all at the hands of a lying schemer, and Jane takes her place as his new fiancée. Ken seems desperate to be married to anyone. If not why does he propose so suddenly, to someone that attacked him against his will?

 

************* SPOILERS AHEAD*************

 

 

Jane the attacker is soon dumped by Ken in favour of Cassandra who he meets on the side of the road and falls in love with immediately. He proposes again immediately. I am wondering if the title refers to his ambition to be married which is constantly broken with failed engagements. If the title does in fact refer to this, his fervent desire to be married should have been explored. Why was he proposing to woman after woman? Was he really falling that deeply in love with each woman (which we don’t see) or was there another motive?

 

Cassandra informs Mama of her plan to marry Ken and Mama cooks up a plan to force Sandra onto Ken instead, as she is scared that noone will want to marry Sandra because of her (non existent) disability. She sends Cassandra to a family member to go and work in Abuja and then she calls Sandra and tells her, “He said he loves you.” It is out of the blue, but nonetheless Sandra goes along with it.

 

Soon they are married and living together in the city. Everything is fine at first until Ken starts to notice her “funny” behaviour. He complains to his friend Peter about her “uncontrollable attitude.” At this point the film gets a bit ridiculous because it as if the producers do not know what her disability or how it manifests. It is called “misbehaviour” “Silly attitude” and “uncontrollable attitude,however as the viewer the only thing that is shown to us is her burping over the dinner table and her holding her head and fainting. How would any of this transfer to her attitude? It does not make sense. Her disability is also equated to evilness without merit. She has done nothing that shows her in a negative light, yet people refer to her as evil.

 

Ken soon finds out he is with Sandra and not Cassandra and confronts her. This part of the film does not make sense either because at what point was Sandra pretending to be Cassandra? From what I saw she was not in on the plan. So when did that change?

 

Cassandra comes back from Abuja and discovers that her suitor is now married to her sister and goes berserk, turning up at their house and pretending to be civil, only to stab Sandra in the kitchen and discard her body in the woods. When she and her friend Uju leave the body it is still alive, yet they refer to her as dead. If she wanted to kill her why didn’t she finish off the job?

 

She then replaces herself as Sandra in the house. We find out how nasty she is as she steals her husband’s money and is constantly badgering him for money on top of that. Ken feels something isn’t right but cannot place it. It is only when he finds the knife that Cassandra stabbed Sandra with that his suspicions grow. HOLD ON!!! How in the hell would you go and kill someone and then leave the knife on the kitchen floor? DUHHHHHHHHHH! Besides the body that is the main thing you would get rid of!

 

I enjoyed watching the film, and the twins did a very good job as unknowns (I haven’t seen them before) but as I write this I remember how ridiculous parts of it were. The story needed to be fully developed before filming it, as the story did not flow all the way through, and parts of it changed suddenly and made it confusing to follow. Sandra’s disability also needed to be though through carefully, as no one seemed to have any idea of what the disability was or even what the symptoms were, yet she was referred to at times as if she were sub human. The film did show in ways in which people are vilified through no fault of their own (Sandra) and how what appears to be good (Cassandra) on the surface may really not be. So it teaches us all to get to know people rather that by judge on appearance or what we have heard about them