Tag Archives: Drug Abuse

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!

Advertisements

The Shepherd

The Shepherd

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

The Shepherd (2008)
Story/ Screenplay – Sylvester Madu
Director – Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Starring:
Jim Iyke – Raymond
Tonto Dikeh – Gina
Mercy Johnson – Jessica
Majid Michel/Michael – David
Ngozi Ezeonu – Raymond’s mother
Biola Ige – Anita
Emeka Okoye – Musa
Benson Okonkwo – Actor
Kenneth Modo – Photo Journalist
Junior Pope – Sammy

Themes:
Domestic Violence
Abortion
Drug Abuse

My Rating: 35%

Gina believes that she has met her prince charming, a film director. It seems like her dreams are about to come true, as not only does he make her a huge movie star but he marries her too. Little does she know that her Prince Charming is a brutal maniac that is about to make her life a living hell.

Jim Iyke plays his usual bad boy with a swagger wannabe American. He has just come from studying at New York Film School and wants to elevate Nollywood above it’s “mediocrity.” As is customary when coming from America one must have no manners, swear freely in front of your mother, abuse drugs and think themselves above everybody else. *sarcasm intended* His mother does not care for the movie business and is more concerned with him settling down with a nice girl.

Gina meets Raymond at the diner where she works. He steps in to defend her when a customer who refused to pay his bill slaps her. He then advises her to come and audition for a movie. He sees that she has great potential, casts her and nurtures her into a full-fledged star. At the same time he also declares his love for her and proposes.

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

It seems like Raymond has fallen in love with Gina but it soon becomes apparent that his concern lays more with her money making potential than anything else. Gina gives Raymond all her wages and starts getting beaten up by him too.

She falls pregnant twice and is forced into an abortion the first time.

Raymond tells his wife on hearing about her pregnancy,

“Abort it… there is no space for all that.”

He then tries to convince her to have an abortion by telling her,

“It’s called family planning. It’s no big deal. Every girl, an average of every girl that’s African… Fuck it, the whole world the ages of 11-25 has committed abortion and if they say no, let them come and meet me… Just open your legs, five minutes and it is over.”

The second pregnancy he beats out of her and the third she manages to keep by running to her mother in laws house until she gives birth.

 
DRUG ABUSE
Mercy Johnson appears in part 2 as a seductress Jessica in a club toilet. She and Jim unite over their fondness for coke. It seemed strange how the drug abuse was only made note of in the middle of part 2. Again the depiction of cocaine users was ridiculous. We see Jessica snorting coke haphazardly of the bonnet of her car and the powder smeared all over her face. Likewise we see Raymond in a toilet and he starts groaning as if he is high before the cocaine has even hit his bloodstream. NONSENSE. There is powder all over his face and jacket. Now what cokehead is going to be wasting all that powder?

If Nollywood producers want to portray drug abuse then they need to do research. If actors want to be credible then they too should do research. I mean how hard is it to find out how people take coke and how it makes them react? I’m sure this kind of thing can even be found on YouTube, even watch a Hollywood movie to find out. The whole drug thing was just so ridiculous and comical.

The dialogue was wack a lot of the time. They had Raymond dropping Jessica home after the night at the club and both of them telling one another, “I love you.” One word. NON-SENSE.

Majid Michael barely appears in this movie, so I don’t even know why he was on the front cover with a gun to his head. That never happened in the movie (unless there is a continuation) His performance as David, one of Gina’s best friends was as good as it could be in this flop of a film. He was convincing in that it seemed that he really cared about Gina and they had a deep connection in their non verbal body language.

His wife on the other hand was another story. Anita played by Biola Ige was just dreadful. This was the first time I have seen her in a movie and hopefully the last. She was just wooden and bore no emotion. She was supposed to be Gina’s best friend and it just didn’t translate. There was no connection between her and Gina or her and her husband. OH and what was that FAKE TATTOO doing scratched across the top of her breasts? It looked awfully tacky. She was pretty though and kinda looked like Jackie Appiah in certain shots.

Tonto Dikeh and Ngozi Ezeonu, who played Raymond’s mother were the standouts in this horrible movie. Tonto nailed her scenes for most part and played her part as the battered wife well, especially the crying scenes which she pulled off effortlessly. She appeared to be chunkier than she normally is and actually looked pregnant to me. Ngozi’s performance was flawless considering what she was working with. I normally like Jim but I have seen this character too many times now and I don’t think it was done particularly well this time.

Overall I would not recommend this film as the storyline wasn’t properly thought out. The characters were not well developed and the orchestral music they kept playing over dialogue was annoying and overbearing. This continued throughout the film! At one point in the beginning they had two lots of music overlapping each other AND dialogue. The story did not end either. All the ends were left open, not much made sense and the scene depicted on the front cover did not even happen which leads me to believe there must be more, which of course I will NOT be watching.

Another annoying point to add is that Mercy Johnson was not even listed in the credits of part 1 or 2. Half the names in the credits are prefixed with the letter E, for what reason I don’t know and the font was hella hard to read!

The King and I

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

 

The King and I (An Amaco Production)

 

 

Story by Gabriel Moses

Screenplay and Direction by Ifeanyi Azodo

 

Chiege Alisigwe – Princess

Mike Ezuruonye – Tony

Ngozi Ezeonu – Queen

Enebeli Elebuwa – King

Emeka Ike – Martins

Festus Aguebor – Governor

Zulu Adigwe – Zelu

Cynthia Okereke – Martins’ mum

Udoma Francis – Martins’ Dad

Lillian Onu – Oluchi

 

My Rating: 60%

 

Themes Explored

Drug Abuse

Arranged Marriage

Social Class and Status

 

Same old story about an arranged marriage. Nevertheless it is nicely told and the production is good.

 

Chiege plays a princess, the only daughter to the King of Agabi Kingdom. Emeka Ike is Martins, a medical doctor from a poor background that Princess had a crush on in school. Mike E plays Tony the arrogant son of “The Governor,” who the Princess’ parents have betrothed her to.

 

Chiege comes back from London only to find out that her parents want her married to solidify their relationship with the Governors family. Chiege busts in with an American accent despite us being told that she has just come from a long stay in Jand… Wetin be dis now?

 

The other discrepancy that I found quite noticeable in the film was the difference between the Junior Chiege and the Senior Chiege. The actress that was her junior was waaaaaaaaay waaaay darker than Chiege. They should have used someone else just to add to the creditability factor.

 

Funny Quotes:

Princess says to her mother to avoid having an escort around the village,

 

“I have studied in London, there is nothing I’ve not seen.”

 

Really my dear! Like what? LOL that made me laugh.

 

Another funny scene is where Princess goes to see Martins at the hospital after he has been beaten black and blue by thugs. He is laying there face pressed in profound pain and she says to him,

 

“You don’t look happy. Why?”

 

Can you imagine? If I was him I would have thrown something at her… Nonsense!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment of Drug Abuse

 

We see Tony the Governor’s son snorting coke. He sits with his thugs around the table and it is a white powder free for all snort up. All of them are sitting there with white powder spread across both nostrils. It was a bit over the top and looked fake. This scene is almost an insult to the viewer as we do not need to see a nose with white all over the external of it to know cocaine has been taken!!!

 

 

 

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

 

The story ends happily with the family uniting after Martins performs life saving surgery on the King. By the end of the film Martins is running a hospital despite the obstacles placed before him. Both family’s are together to bless the union of Martins and Princess when the news comes on and we see that Tony has been arrested for some drug offence. This film teaches us that you should never judge someone for what they are today as you do not know what tomorrow holds. It also teaches us to be compassionate no matter a person’s situation or family background. The very person that the king fought so hard to bring down was the same person that saved his life.