Tag Archives: Chidi Chijioke

Prince of the Niger

Prince of the Niger

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Prince of the Niger ~ 2009
Story – Chidi Chijioke, Eriobu Chibuzor, Nwegwu Chinweike
Screenplay – Michael Jaja
Director – Michael Jaja

Starring:
Mike Ezuruonye – Johnbull
Jackie Appiah – Olamma
Ngozi Ezeonu – Nneomma
Queen Nwokoye – Kate
Fabian Adibe – Edward
Prince Nwafor – Frank
Ali Nuhu – Dennis
Rose Ofuzim – Obidia
Frank Ukaegbu – Obi
Ngozi Aliboye – Ngozi
Emeka Obi – Pastor

Themes Explored:
Mental Illness
Drug Abuse
Loneliness
Religion

Rating – 15%

Johnbull is a prince with mental health issues. He was in love with a girl who treated him badly in one way or another and as a result literally lost his sanity. He is staying in a hotel to get away from the pressures of his life. We see him screaming obscenities and abusing staff amidst the heavy weed smoking and senseless muttering to himself in his hotel room.

Kate works at the hotel where Johnbull is staying and Johnbull has taken a liking to her. She however is engaged to Frank who works at another hotel. Frank in the meantime is being accosted by an older lonely widow who wants him as a kept man. Both Kate and Frank are committed to each other but are finding it increasingly difficult to escape those that are after them.

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

The movie was shot in the present and then the story was told with flashbacks to the past. We see the Mike in traditional gear in the palace, but he appears by no means sane at this point so it is not clear at what point he lost his sanity and whether the weed or the madness came first.

It was a disappointing and directionless performance by Mike Ezuruonye. All the grunting and werewolfishness behaviour were just ridiculous. His character was highly unconvincing and unfocused. At one point he was jumping up and down in the hotel room screaming, “WHO AM I?” like his name was Jim Iyke. His “crazy” scenes in the hotel room seemed to go on forever and ever, and after a while it just got boring and annoying.

The movie could have been a good vehicle to discuss the link between marijuana and mental illness but the opportunity was not taken. The issue was skimmed over and the execution in general was poor. Nothing in this movie particularly grabbed my attention, it dragged on and after 50 minutes I could not even continue watching. I did fast-forward to the end of part one and it was just more of the same. This one is a drab, boring flick. Give this one a miss!

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Somewhere in my Heart

Somewhere in my Heart

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Somewhere in My Heart ~2009
Story – Chidi Chijioke
Screenplay – Chidi Chijioke
Director – Ilochi Olisa Emeka

Starring:
Van Vicker – Chuka
Tonto Dikeh – Awole/ Joke
Jim Iyke – Caleb
Uche Jombo –
Browny Igboegwu – Young Edward
Malechi Chukwudebe – Damian
Chichi Ikeme – Uju
Adaku Fairison – Young Caroline
Zainab Egwuonwu – Mrs Umeh
Leo Awuzi – Mrs Umeh
Ofili Ugbo – Old Edward
Stephanie Isaac – Priscilla
Halima Abubakar – Mary
Zubby Michael – Johnson
Jude Onyegiri – Johnson’s friend
Ogbonna Okereke – Inspector
Umar Hammed – Doctor
Chinonso Okereke – Car Wash Boy

Themes Explored:
Mental Illness
Obsession

My Rating 37 %

Chuka lives with his mother in the city estranged for many years from his mother and brother who live in the village. The relationship between his parents ended on bad terms so when the day comes that Chuka wants to reconnect with his father, his mother is not happy about the situation at all. She does her best to dissuade him from going to the village to stay with his father, but it is all to no avail. Chukka packs up and heads to the village refusing to answer any phone calls his mother makes to him.

He reconnects with his father and brother in the village and at the same time falls head over heels in love with his brother’s girlfriend Awole, which ultimately brings about his downfall.

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

This movie is a nonsensical mess. I praise myself for making it through. At the end my head felt confused. There were do many unanswered questions… and not in a good way where I felt challenged, but in a WTH, what is this stupidness? Kind of way. Let me just get to the point and list all the issues I had with this movie:

1) The relationship between Chuka and Caleb was never really made clear. We know they are brothers but do they have the same mother and father or just the same father? Who was older? Had they had contact over the years? Same with the relationship between Chuka and his father. How often did they see each other before Chuka went to go and live with him. The whole picture was blurry for me.

2) At first I thought Chuka was obsessed with Awole because he was genuinely attracted to her. Of course all the anonymous letters were creepy but he claimed to love her and then was eyeing up the nurse in the hospital like a hound dog. So at this part confusion set in. Was he really feeling like it was love or is he supposed to be a psycho killer type.

3) Tonto falling in love with an imaginary guy was so ridiculous. I know that perhaps because she was supposed to be a village girl she was supposed to be naive but those notes he was sending her were hardly poetic to the extent that it would make you lose your mind, added to that that the guy could not even spell… How romantic! NOT. I’m thinking that the spelling errors were probably unintentional which if true makes the whole scenario even more sorrily pitiful.

4) Tonto I do like you a lot but the crying was waaaaaaay too much… On and on and on and on… Man I just wanted to punch her. Waaaaaaaah… Waaaaaaaaaaah… Waaaaaaaaaaah… Tonto started off well and then it all went to pot. In the beginning she had the village girl accent and mannerisms down pat. The broken English, the coy behaviour, and then from nowehere comes a more assertive Tonto with a Faux British accent. Which Kind nonsense be dis eh? She hadn’t even left the village. She was still wearing the same rags and hanging out with her village champion boyfriend Caleb. Nothing had happened to cause the changes but all of a sudden she morphed into sophisticated city girl mode. It is unbelievable to me that not even one person on set would say to her, “Hold up Tonto… you have slipped out of your character.” How could not one person notice?

5) At a point Awole is in the hospital and Chuka tells Caleb he will look after her as Caleb doesn’t want her to be left alone. Awole tells Chuka, “The only reason you wooed me into sleeping with you was to dump me.” Where the hizell did this assertion come from? How can he even dump her when they were never boyfriend and girlfriend? Did Chuka rape her or what? The only evidence we as the viewer see of a sex scene taking place is a black screen and some barely audible grunts. I only even clocked this because I rewound after figuring out that they were meant to have slept together. If indeed it was rape as it appears to be, why is it being referred to as “seduction”? To refer to rape as “seduction” is very insulting to women the world over and shows a very ignorant chauvinistic viewpoint of male/ female relationships.

6) When and how did this “seduction” take place.

7) Why would she sleep with him when she had already decided that she was in love with her secret admirer, had a boyfriend and did not even know he was the admirer at the time.

8) Awole’s death was super stupid. It was as if this story was being made up as they were going along. I was just watching like, “Huh?” Chuka pushed her slightly and then BAM she bangs her head against the wall and is dead just like that. He barely even pushed her and her head barely even touched the wall… NONSENSE!

9) At the beginning of part 2 Caleb and Awole are at the meeting spot jubilating about something or another and we hear Jim Iyke being directed by someone off set to pick Tonto up. If you listen you can hear a mans voice say, “Pick her up.” And then he picks her up. This is soooooo not a good look. If you can the directors voice you need to reshoot, no ifs and buts about it.

All the above mentioned are issues that I had with part 1&2. There is also a part 3 (more rubbish but still I persevere) This seemed a bit disjointed from the rest of the film. It is here we meet Halima and Uche. After killing Awole Chuka flees to the city. Here goes the issues I had with the part 3:

1) The first 8 minutes of part 3 is spent watching Uche Jombo getting dressed and ready to go out. There is no need for such a long scene. It is pointless and mind numbing.

2) Halima does a stripping scene to seduce Van’s character and underneath her clothes her “naked” attire is some bulky ass denim shorts. Tip: If you can’t make it realistic… don’t bother.

3) At the end Jim confronts Chuka and says, “Don’t tell me you had anything to do with Awole’s death?” What kind of stupid question is that? Was he not there after she died and Chuka was blamed? Why are you acting shocked now?

To conclude, as I am sure you may have already guessed. I would not recommend this film. It was confusing and somewhat of a mess. It was what I would call improvisation. Everybody appeared to be working off their own direction and nothing was coming together. Tonto started off well and then it all went a bit haywire. Van was adequate. His blank facial expressions tied in with being a psycho killer devoid of emotion, however his character was a mystery to me. I don’t know what was trying to be achieved with him. Uche is looking nice and trim. Halima‘s character had no need to be in the film. What was the point of her except to flaunt her body and act like a sex kitten?

The film did not seem to end and we are introduced to Awole’s twin Joke. Where on earth did she come from and what is her story? We don’t find out before the film ends which woukd indicate a continuation perhaps? There were too many long non dialogue pointless scenes that should have hit the cutting room floor. In short… FLOP!

Before the Rain

Before the Rain

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Before The Rain ~ 2008
(Continuation called Dangerous Beauty)
Story – Eriobi Chibuzo Sunday & Nwegwu Chinweike
Screenplay – Chidi Chijioke
Director – Ikechukwu Onyeka

Starring:
Van Vicker – Fabian
Chika Ike – Anita
Tonto Dikeh – Mercy
Desmond Elliot – Raymond
Halima Abubakar – Meg
Ene Millex Ogiri – Nneka
Princess Eugoda – Mimi
Udolisa Uzoma – Morris
Chika Ihekwabu – Anita’s mum
Mary Igwe – Oby
Amaechi Aguiyi – Meg’s mum
Chukwuemeka Akpagu – Melvin
Chubozor Umeh – Chidi

My Rating – 40%

Themes Explored:
Campus Life
Cultism
Jealousy
Status

Mercy and Anita are two girls from poor homes from the same village. They both gain admission to the same university and become roommates. Their relationship sours when Mercy’s jealousy gets the best of her. Mercy is holding a grudge because Anita has a boyfriend, and she does not. She does not like the fact that Fabian likes her friend and not her so she sets about spreading on campus that Anita has Asthma in a bid to stigmatise her.

In time Anita does get her own boyfriend, however one of the “Social Ladies,” a cult on campus has their eyes on him and she is warned off him by them repeatedly. She does not adhere to the warnings and consequently is stripped and beaten in public. She flees campus humiliated only to return and reinvent herself and the fearsome and notorious Mercy Blaze.

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

The primary fault with the film is the storyline. It is a big big problem in that the storyline is based around Anita’s illness which is … Wait for it….  ASTHMA! When have you have you ever heard of someone being stigmatised because they have asthma? An adult at that? This was pure nonsense. It is a condition that they say affects up to a quarter of urban children, and in the movie it was likened to leprosy.

Anita wants to keep her asthma a secret from the whole school, but her friend Mercy decides to go spreading the news around school. All of a sudden people are disgusted by her and shy away from her. The disease isn’t even one that shows intself in one’s physical appearance, or one that is contagious, or even one that can be passed on at all so this was just stooooooooopid. There was no research done in this movie. I am not even asthmatic and I know how and asthma pump is used. They have Chika grunting, rolling her eyes and pressing the pump furiously with no deep inhalation or method to her action. It was horrible to comedic effect.

One day her boyfriend Fabian finds her in her room during an attack and cue wide eyes and dramatic music. I mean WTF? It was as if he had caught his church princess shooting up heroin. From that moment on he begins avoiding her. This could have made sense if the affliction was HIV, or herpes but for it to be asthma was just senseless. We then learn that he dumps her because his ex girlfriend died of asthma. We even see a flashback where he is remembering his ex’s death. The death scene was ridiculous. It looked like a panic attack and then she just dropped to the floor.
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I was surprised that Tonto had her butt crack and kebab out during the scene where she gets stripped and beaten by the Social Ladies in an industry where when a girl is going swimming she is wearing a swimming costume over cycling shorts and a bra. I don’t know what was with the extra highlighting of Tonto’s body in this movie. There is another scene where she goes to try and seduce Fabian, played by Van Vicker. She is wearing some orange shorts and we get a close up of her camel toe… ugh!

The women in the movie have no shame. I suppose females like this exist. They are fighting over men that openly don’t want them. The head of The Social Ladies beats Tonto for dating “her man” Larry. Of course Larry is not her man and has no interest in her. He even goes to confront her and make it clear that he is into Mercy and not her, yet she is still ranting, claiming him as her own. Status has given her a sense of entitlement. She does not care if he wants her or not, getting him to comply is her main thing, whether or not he truly wants to be with her or not.
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Stand out performance was Tonto Dikeh, as usual… She played her part brilliantly. I was also loving Ene Millex Ogiri. She was the perfect casting for her role as a Social Lady. Van VickerBlah. Chika Ike Blah. Adequate but bland performances.

I would not recommend this movie. It doesn’t end and then like me you will end up wasting another few hours of your life going to watch the continuation Dangerous Beauty, another 2 part movie. However,  it is not all bad, some of it is so ridiculously stupid it will have you in hysterics. There were also some very good isolated scenes like when Mercy’s parents show up on campus looking like village rats and she denies them. Build of mystery was also good in parts, even when I thought the film was veering on ridiculous I still couldn’t help but to keep on watching. So it’s up to you!

Holy City

Holy City

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Holy City
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Ilochi Olisaemeka

Starring:
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

Themes Explored:
Religious Hypocrisy
Loyalty
Islam
Christianity
Jealousy

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.

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

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.