Tag Archives: Ikem Chude

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.

Jealous Princess

Jealous Princess

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Jealous Princess ~ 2009
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Nonso Okonkwo

Starring:
Van Vicker – Sam
Oge Okoye – Nneka
Chika Ike – Mercy
Ikem Chude – Mike
Biola Ige – Muriel
Stan Amandi – Edwin
Rose Ofuzim – Mother
Rita Daniels – Juliet
Ekene Ukadike – Andrew
Samgenta Igbokwe – Gateman
Sunny Davids – Bar Extra

Themes:
Jealousy
Obsession

My Rating 41%

Sam and Mercy are happily married but have fallen financially on hard times. One night Sam reluctantly gives a woman called Nneka whose car has broken down on a dangerous road, a lift. He gives her his card and she contacts him at a later date. At first Sam is delighted as Nneka offers to connect him to the right influential people that can help him revive his business. She appears to be an angel but it is not long before her devilish ways are exposed.

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

Oge’s dad’s grey hair looked really fake. Since his acting wasn’t too good. I was wondering why they wouldn’t just get an older man to play the character if indeed the hair was fake.

A lot of the lines in the film were highly unoriginal, overused clichés that made me cringe. I think Nonso Okonkwo should have got help instead of trying to do the whole movie himself. Let me give you some examples:

“Learn to keep that thing in between your legs in check.”

“Opportunity comes but once, grab it with both hands.”

“Life is full of ups and downs. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

Aside from the lack of creativity in the dialogue there was also the problem of using words where they didn’t make sense. I always maintain the stance that if you don’t know what something means or are even slightly unsure, CHECK or DON’T USE THE WORD. We see Sam telling Nneka about his money troubles on their first meeting after he gave her the lift and she says,

“You are quite open minded, are you always like this?”

How does open minded come into it? OPEN? Yes that would have fit the situation. OPEN MINDED? No. Alternatively they could have used the word FORTHRIGHT, FRANK, or HONEST, but OPEN-MINDED… I don’t think so! Small details like this really help in making an OK movie kind of crappy, as this kind of thing looks sloppy.

In another scene Nneka tells Sam, her husband’s best friend,

“I feel that he’s having an affair with that girl Nneka.”

He replies,

“What? Are they having an affair?”

DUH!! Did she not just say that she feels that are having an affair and you are asking her back the same question. Nonsense! Again the script needed much work.

It seems funny that Nneka turns up to Sam’s house all the time uninivted and the door is always unlocked. Nneka was obsessed with Sam and he never reciprocated her affections. Even when she leaps on him to kiss him he fights her off, so to me it didn’t make sense that after she attempted to force herself on him she would say to him,

“Why did you kiss me?”

And he reply,

“I wasn’t in my right senses.”

I watched closely and he didn’t kiss her back, so what is this discrepancy between what we see and what is scripted? Again… SHODDY!

I would not recommend this movie. It was watchable but I can’t find much good to say about it. The story was ok and for the most part easy to follow but descended into madness and chaos at the end. It was as if they couldn’t work out and ending, so just put any random ending for the sake of ending. Andrew played by Ekene Ukadike had a small role and couldn’t even pull that off. He was very unconvincing. Biola Ige was as awful as she was in THE SHEPHERD. Van played his usual doormat role, which I for one am getting completely bored with and Oge and Chika did the best that they could, given what they were working with.

Return to Me

Return to Me

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Return to Me (2007)
Director – Iyke Odife

Starring:
Nonso Diobi – Ikenna
Mona Lisa Chinda – Judith
Patience Ozokwor – Judith’s Mother
Helen Ohameze – Uju
Steve Dube – Anaobi
Chika Ihekwabu – Monica
Ikem Chude

Themes Explored:
Long distance relationship
Economic Migration

My Rating: 45%

Ikenna and Judith live in the same village and are childhood sweethearts. They are split up physically for the first time when Ikenna follows Judith’s aunt to Lagos to go and make some money. Judith’s mother is happy that he has gone as she has a long standing feud with his mother. In his absence she tries to put her daughter off Ikennaby telling her that she has been abandoned and trying to encourage her to see other men. In one scene Judith is outside crying over Ikenna’s absence and her mother comes outside and says to her,

“You will not eat. You are outside crying… you need flesh for the suitors that are coming.”

I am assuming that this line was in the script before casting and not amended to fit Chinda. How would someone that is built like a brick house “need flesh”? That line made me laugh.

After not making enough money in Lagos Ikenna returns to the village to tell his sweetheart that he’ll be travelling abroad on business for a few months. They have an emotional reunion and Judith is distraught. Matters are not helped by her mother who declares Ikenna banished from their compound, as he has left behind no money to support her daughter.

 
Overall this film was just boring and dragged on too much. All the crying and flashbacks over being separated was long winded and turned into overkill. Chinda and Diobi had no chemistry in the romantic sense. She acted more like a mother than a girlfriend and they just didn’t look right together, the end was disappointing and there is a Part 3 that I didn’t watch, maybe that rounded off the story…

 

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