Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
The Power of Her Majesty ~ 2009
Story – Felix Onu
Screenplay – Helen Ojukwu
Director – Evans Orji Kalu
Producer – Felix Onu
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.