Tag Archives: Mercy Johnson

Stranger on my Bed

Stranger on my Bed

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Stranger On My Bed ~ 2010
Story – Austin Obah
Screenplay – Obah Augustine
Director – Chico Ejiro
Producers – Anugo Obah, Hilda Ndidi
Booben Movie Productions

Starring:
Mercy Johnson – Felicia
Tony Umez – Samuel
Arinze Okonkwo – Dede
Ashley Nwosu – Noko
Ebube Nwagbo – Mary
Bahangura Miria (Uganda) – Madam Badmus
Babatunde Braihmoh – Johnson
Valentina Anugo Obah – Diana
Emeka Rollas – Reverend Father

Themes Explored:
Marriage
Religion
Financial Independence

My Rating – 60%

Felicia has been married to Samuel for 5 years. She is lonely and bored within the marriage and feels trapped as a resulted of her limited freedom. Once called “Sexy Feli” in school in her husband’s house she feels like a boring housewife, largely ignored. She has no one to turn to, having recently moved to a new neighbourhood where she does not know anybody.

She craves her husband’s love and attention but instead he throws money at her, as if that alone can make her happy. One day she inquires in a supermarket about a job as a saleslady and is hired. In this job she finds an escape from the humdrum of her everyday life. Her husband is vehemently opposed to her accepting the job initially but soon enough comes round to the idea. Soon enough it is not only the job that she is paying attention to but a handsome stranger from her past.

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

The beginning of the movie came like a Nigerian horror film. I was holding my head aghast, not because it was scary but because I was cursing myself for having bought the movie and didn’t think I could sit through horror. We see Felicia about to be stabbed and she is screaming and writhing. LUCKILY she wakes up and we see her in bed with her husband Samuel. The whole scene turns out to be a nightmare that she was having, probably indicative of the way she is feeling within her marriage.

The flashback scenes were well interwoven into the main body of the movie. We are slowly given information on Dede and how he came to be in Felicia’s life. Initially the awkwardness was not explained but after we learn the couple’s history the awkwardness between the two on first meeting makes perfect sense. The differences between Felicia’s relationship with her husband and with Dede are a million miles apart. With Dede her whole body language is free. She lights up in his presence, can laugh, have fun and be sill with him. With her husband it is nothing but frowns, shouting and very uncomfortable body language.
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Mercy Johnson
Mercy is a great actress. I am rarely disappointed when she is in a movie. She interprets both sides of her character perfectly. We see her as Sexy Feli the flirtatious, loud campus babe, as well as her role as a submissive downtrodden married woman. In showing her old self we see just how marriage has changed and subdued her character. There was great chemistry between Mercy Johnson and Arinze Okonkwo. It started off a gentle simmering chemistry and graduated to something deeper and stronger. I would love to see Mercy with Majid again. It could be fire and Shakira wasn’t a good enough vehicle to ignite the flames.

The scene where we find out the circumstances surrounding Felicia’s marriage to Samuel was a very emotional one. A revelation is made and if you judged Felicia harshly for cheating on her husband in this scene you will feel sympathy for her and perhaps even shed a tear too. You feel Felicia’s pain and Mercy acts out this scene, piercing sobs while her whole body trembles.

Tony Umez
Tony Umez has lost a lot of weight. This is the first time I have seen him in a movie without his shirt off and I am sure he did that purposely to show of his new physique.
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RUBBISH???
What kind of nonsense was that when Felicia used Dede’s phone to call her husband? The man beats you up and rapes you and treats you like dirt. You know that he is capable of ANYTHING and then you use you ex man’s phone to call him without even blocking the number? WHAT???

There is a scene where Felicia and Dede are working out in the gym. Well… Felicia is working out and Dede is simply assisting. She is wearing ballet pumps. WHAT??? Who on earth wears ballet pumps to go and work out in a gym? Please note, she is not dancing or doing ballet she is attempting a hardcore workout. NONSENSE!
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Role Reversal
Felicia’s relationship with Dede gives her the confidence to treat her husband in the way that he has always treated her in marriage – without regard. It is only after she has given her heart to Dede that her husband sits up and takes notice of her, but is it too late? They say you never miss a good thing until it’s gone and this is true in Samuel’s case. All of a sudden we see him pleading with his wife to go on outings with him. Before she met Dede it was always him missing appointments and her begging him to make some engagement or another.

Marriage
We are told that marriage is for better of for worst. Felicia keeps being told this. It is all very well to pass out advice like that when you are not living in an abusive nightmareish situation. I felt like when Felicia confided in Mary instead of listening to her she would simply keep telling her that she is a Christian so she must stick to her husband. So if you are a Christian you must put up with any and everything in order to stick to your vow?

Religion
Always in Nollywood is the belief expressed that the unbeliever is inherently immoral, and that my friends is BUUUUULLLLSHHHAT! It’s a total myth based in ignorance and untruth but perhaps appropriate considering the religiosity of Nigerians at large. In once scene we see a man stand up in church and say that he is living with an unbeliever that is trying to recruit him into the 419 business. Oooh what a dilemma? NOT. Why not have the guy stand up and say that he is living with unbelievers that live the most moral and worthy lives that he knows of. Now wouldn’t that present more of a dilemma?

This whole issue of church presence being linking to morality kinda irks me big time. It is a huge LIE, and they reiterate this lie in the movie by showing how Samuel changes when he stops going to church. When his church visits cease he becomes a rapist and wife batterer. Religion is used as the excuse as to why he committed these acts. The devil indeed? He chose to commit these acts. Everybody has free will as far as I am concerned.
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The End
I didn’t like the ending of this movie. I am thinking that there will be a continuation. Towards the end of the movie things took a nosedive for the worst in a big way with the disappearance of Dede. Why wasn’t Felicia surprised that he had gone missing? The way the police burst in her house to question her was just stupid. They asked a few questions and then just left, but not before threatening her. It all seemed a bit over the top. The movie does not finish and the scene being shot does not even end. I’m fed up of these movies not finishing and not being released all together. It is becoming very annoying.
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I would recommend this movie. Mercy was great in it, overall it is a good watch and we learn that men shouldn’t treat their women like asswipes because there will be another man out there that will treasure her and when she gets the queen treatment she will not be coming back to your azz. Be warned! LOL

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Heat of the Moment

Heat Of The Moment

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Heat of the Moment ~ 2009
Story – Innocent Isiakpu
Screenplay – Innocent Isiakpu & Prince Samson Onyejiuwa
Director – Prince Samson Onyejiuwa
Producer – Martina N. Okafor

Starring:
Emeka Ike – Dr Richard
Mercy Johnson – Anna
Kofi Adjorlolo – Chief Douglas
Emma Ayalogu – Chief Magnus
Cassandra Odita – Mrs Adams
Patience Oseni – Mrs Douglas
Vitalis Ndubuisi – Mr Adams
Barry Lukeman – Barrister James
Amanda Ebeye – Rita
Amina Atairu – Vivian
Peachman Akputa – Ben

Themes:
Rape
Politics
Mistaken Identity

My Rating – 33%

Anna claims that she was raped by local politician and human rights activist Dr Richards while walking home late one night. He, however is adamant that he never even saw her at any time let alone touched her. Who is telling the truth? His family believe it is a set up at the hands of his political opponents, whilst Anna has the back up of her best friend who claims to have been present at the time of the rape.

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

The beginning of the movie is boring beyond belief. I rewound uncountable times because it just wasn’t holding my attention and I kept getting distracted… made a cup of coffee, tweeted, went on Facebook. I say grab the viewer early! So that even if later on the film gets a bit rubbish their attention will have already been snared. I only actually started properly paying attention about 25 minutes in when Anna got into an argument on the street with a random man.

The movie slowly starts getting more interesting after the rape, only slightly though, not too much. It was still rather slow and I fell asleep more than once. There was a rituals part that I didn’t get. Perhaps it didn’t make sense or maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Who knows?
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Doctor James is put on trial for the rape and he is cross questioned by none other than *drumroll please* Barrister James, Anna’s boyfriend. How can the rapist be questioned by the raped one’s boyfriend? This is pure nonsense. That could never happen in real life! I have seen this sort of scenario in a few films and it is just foolish. They need to stop.

In the end we see Anna in jail telling a group of convicts her story. We then cut to seeing her released. The ending was sudden and we don’t find out how Doctor Richard’s DNA came to be on her person if he was not actually the one that raped her or not. Maybe it is a twin story. Maybe it is a ghost story. It looks like there will probably be a part 3 and 4. Either way I won’t be watching to find out.

This is one of the only movies where the issue of “light” is brought up. So a *round of applause* for that. Anna is watching Doctor Richards on TV talking about the “light problem” and the lights go off. I haven’t seen lights go off in a movie before and considering that lack of electricity is a widespread and major problem in Nigeria I’m surprised there is less talk of NEPA in the movies. NEPA affects all Nigerians’ everyday life, why is it never mentioned? Is it censorship?
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I would not recommend this movie. I found the pace too slow and the movie draaaaagged and draaaaaaagged and draaaaaaaaaaaged. When I was almost at the end of part 2 I wanted to press the eject button but thought that I may as well watch until the end since I had come so far. It didn’t make a bit of difference. I came away feeling that I had just wasted 2+ hours of my life. Nollywood Production, Nigerian Movie, African Movie, Ghanaian Actor, Nigerian Cinema, Nigerian Actresses

Naked Weapon

Naked Weapon

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Naked Weapon ~ 2009
Story/ Screenplay and Direction – Ilochi Olisaemeka

Starring:
Mercy Johnson – Maureen
Jim Iyke – Mitch
Ngozi Ezeoni – Uchebuoku
Browny Igboegwu – Mr Leo
Emeka Amakeze – Boom
Juliet Ibrahim – Nneka
Zainab Egwuonwu – Adaora
Uche Jombo – Sandra
Biola Ige – Joke
Ikechukwu Siryume – Odenuan
Uchegbu Chukwuma – Mr Ugboh
Chinedu Odinachi – Barnabas
Prince Nwafor – Yul
Stella Francis – Juliet

Themes:
Counterfeit Drugs
Corruption
Murder

My Rating – 15%

Let me just say first of all I cannot give a proper synopsis as watching this movie I was lost most of the time. From what I could make out Maureen and her girls are carrying out a mission. What exactly their mission was in aid of I wasn’t 100 percent sure. I just know that they are being paid to carry out hits on people.

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

In one scene we see the girls go and pick up a guy from the poolside and take him back to their apartment. As they walk into the apartment with the guy Maureen in hiding behind the door, lunges out stabs and kills the man. I couldn’t even begin to tell you why.
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The first few scenes are all over the place. I can’t make sense of the movie. We see:

– Girl with painted black spots on her face leaving the house.
– A guy giving money to some beggars
– A couple arguing in a restaurant
– A woman being threatened on the phone over the issue of counterfeit drugs
– A group of men having a discussion on an office

These were the first few scenes bullet pointed. They were not fluid and they did not seem related. The movie was disjointed and did not make sense to me Even after getting halfway through the movie I could only vaguely figure out what was going on.
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It the opening scene we see a child walking out of a house with black spots painted onto her face. It looks like it is face paint. Perhaps she is going to a fancy dress party… Oops no. she is not wearing any costume. Amateur Amateur Amateur. Chimoooo! Oh my life the child is supposed to be diseased! 2009 and we have amateurish painted black spots on someone’s face to signify ill health.

In another scene a hired assassin calls his bosses and tells them he is returning the money he was given for hit as he no longer wants to carry it out. As he walks down the road the sexy chicas lead by Maureen come up beside him and stab him. What that was about I do not know.
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There is no clear order of events and the numerous non dialogue scenes only add to the sense of disorientation you feel as a viewer. Added to that there is loud distracting music played haphazardly at random. The annoying weird extra terrestrial sound effects were simply dreadful.

Why did Mr Leo give the beggars money?
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Juliet Ibrahim sure is very hippy/assy considering small upper frame. Why on earth was she wearing a swimming costume over cycling shorts? It looked ridiculous. If she didn’t wasn’t to expose all her body have her not in the pool or don’t do full body shots! Why one is swimming shorts AND cyling shorts looking like somebody’s great grandma, and these are supposed to be hot chicks… NONSENSE!

Mercy looks like the original area girl. She struts the strut perfectly. We see her with her legs akimbo, her lip snarled smoking a cigarette in just the way you would imagine an area girl would. All her friends were absolutely useless as actresses.

There is a yellow chick who does not even know how to hold the cigarette and looks like she is about to choke when she inhales. I was astonished at how bad these actresses were. We see Biola Ige – Useless. Juliet Ibrahim was pretty useless (but not as much as the others) too. In one scene they have her weeping for a good 5 minutes while reading a newspaper with a voiceover telling a story about counterfeit drugs and the tragedies they can cause. It was tedious.
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I would not recommend the movie at all. The storylines did not tie in together and there was too much bad acting going on courtesy of the “glamour squad” that must have been hired to draw in male viewers. Uche and Jim were barely in the movie and I had to switch off halfway into part 2. I would applaud the attempt at trying to tackle the very important issue of counterfeit drugs, as this is something that is a major problem in Nigeria, however this movie failed to entertain, educate or make sense on a very grand scale.

Through The Fire

Through The Fire

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Through The Fire ~ 2009
(Continuation called Entanglement)
Story – Uduak Isong Oguamanam
Screenplay – Uduak Isong Oguamanam, Emem ISong, Omoni Oboli
Director – Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen

Starring:
Uche Jombo – Tega
Mercy Johnson – Chidera
Yemi Blaq – Patrick
Omoni Oboli – Gertrude
Kalu Ikeagwu – Pastor
Francis Duru – Deacon Gabriel
Desmond Elliot – Aniete
Ngozi Ezeonu – Gertrude’s mum
Rukky Sanda – Bimbola
Whoba Ogo – Esosa
Lyon Tita – Cathy
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen – Pastor Osagie

Themes :
Marriage
Spousal Rape
Societal Pressure
Family Pressure
Religion

My Rating – 73%

We see the relationships between three friends as well as their additional romantic relationships. Tega is in a marriage where being beaten and raped by her husband is a regular occurrence. He actually seems to derive pleasure from his horrific acts of violence and verbal abuse. Gertrude is about to wed a man that appears to be the perfect match on paper but that she is not actually in love with. Chidera is desperate to get married but chronically single, and has been so for 3 years. She seems only to be able to attract married men, which her friend Gertrude thinks is inevitable considering her skimpy dress.

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

Family Pressure
Family play a big role in the pressure a woman feels to get married. We see Gertrude’s mum lay the pressure on thick for her to marry Patrick, even though she can sense that her daughter has doubts about the relationship. She tells her,

“Do you remember Mrs Fela’s daughter? She is 37 and not married. Will career produce the cry of a baby?”

Children and family is a big part of African culture hence it being the central theme in many Nollywood movies. I’d love to see a movie where a woman actually stood up and said she didn’t want to have children, and even better where she was married to a man that had no desire to be a father either. Now that would be interesting. No doubt they would have had to have lived abroad for the African audience to be able to relate.

Gertrude tells her mother that she and Patrick “are not ready” to marry and her mother is adamant that that, it is not in a man’s place to be ready, it’s a woman’s place.”
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Religion
Gertrude does not even want to kiss her fiancé Patrick. He says he just wants to hold her and the woman is screaming “blood of Jesus” It seemed to be she was using the whole not wanting to have sex before marriage thing as a crutch to not be close to him at all. Isn’t it funny how she hugged Aniete with ease when she went to go and look at his new place? Religion is used in the movie as well as a justification for staying in a bad marriage. Tega does not want to divorce because of her commitment to following the tenets of Christianity.

Tega is torn and she tells Chidera,

“I know the bible says we can divorce on grounds on sexual immorality. That is why I am confused.”

She is taking the bible to literally to the extent that she is not considering her own welfare and happiness because she cannot find something relating directly to domestic violence and marriage in the bible.

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Rape
Rape is rape Marriage or no marriage. No is no. A woman should always have the right to say no to sex, regardless of whether she has previously had consensual sex with the man or not. Forced intercourse within marriage or a relationship is still rape. In Entanglement the continuation of Through the Fire we see Gertrude going through feelings of immense guilt over her rape. We also see Tega stay with her husband because he is her husband and thereforew she does not see his actions as rape.
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Societal Pressure
Societal pressure is massive especially for a woman of a certain age to get married we see this especially when Chidera confronts Gabriel about promising to marry her. She seems upset that she has been used as a plaything. Honey what did you expect? HE is your friend’s husband? How did you think he would respect you let alone wish to marry you? It is also inconceivable to me that Chidera would even want Gabriel to marry her considering the fact that she KNOWS how he has battered her friend. Is this what pressure can do to a woman? Make her so desperate that she will go to any length so becomes a MRS even if it means betraying loyalties and living a life full of abuse?

We know that she knows the full extent of the abuse because she tells Tega at one point,

“Divorce the bagga! Divorce him before he kills you.”

She is advocating divorce yet quick to jump into bed with the same man.
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Love and Friendship
Was Gertrude wrong for spending so much time with Aniete? Can men and women be platonic friends? Would her behaviour have been appropriate for a married woman? It is clear that Patrick is the wrong guy for her regardless of his credentials. We can see how uncomfortable she is around him in comparison to her comfortableness around Aniete. It is clear to the viewer that Aniete and Gertrude would be the perfect match. In fact it is frustrating watching the two of them get along so well but not come to the realisation that they are made for each other! You can imagine my joy in Entanglement when Aniete declares his love for her. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. I wanted to cheer… well until Gertrude turns him down. That then turned into wanting to slap her. Nevertheless the right result came about in the end.
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I would recommend this movie. Mercy was fire. She was razz she was flirtatious, she really shone. I thought the cast were well picked and the story flowed. Important issues were raised and explored. However in the continuation Entanglement I was disappointed that we didn’t see Tega, her husband and the pastor again. I also didn’t like the whole HIV storyline and the whole if you believe you can be delivered from HIV aspect. I found this to be quite irresponsible and disturbing. Yes faith can help you thorough moments of darkness, but leaving it to God to cure HIV and not taking any medicines or accepting that you have it? Naaa, not buying it! Despite its flaws it was enjoyable to watch. THUMBS UP!

Father’s Blood

Father’s Blood

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Father’s Blood ~ 2009
Story, Screenplay and Direction – Tchidi Chikere

Starring:
Mike Ezuruonye – Matthew
Mercy Johnson – Olivia
Patience Ozokwor – Salome
Ifeanyi Ikechukwu – Sarge
John Mgbere – Chief Orthega
Vivian Ezejiaku – Nurse
Ugo Uwagbama – Ishmael
Sunday Irogboli – Akpan
Jefrey Iloba – Briggs
Sochima Jonathan – Grace
Jonathan Ganagana – Thomas
Sule Rahmat – Mimi
Chukwuoma Ejikeme – Abigail
Nneji Uju – Ugo

Themes:
Forced Retirement
Family
Love
Alcoholism

My Rating 77%

Sarge’s bosses have told him that they want to retire him at the end of the month. He is not in support of this at all as he is still fit and desperate to work because he has a family to support including a 23 year old son in school. His pleas to keep his job fall on deaf ears and his bosses will not recant their decision. In a fit of desperation Sarge resorts to extreme measures to ensure that his family are provided for, and he is willing to lose his life in the process.

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

Sarge played by Ifeanyi Ikechukwu is a G. As he robs the Bureau de Change where he works as a security guard he points the gun at his boss, who is laying face down on the floor and roars at him,

“Chief, you want to retire me? Come and retire me now! You want to retire me again? I will retire you now!”

Ifeanyi is cast well as the man who is driven to an out of character act by desperation. The torment is written all over his face through his expression. He interpreted the role very well. Forced retirement is a real issue that people of retirement age have to deal with every day the world lover. They are made to feel useless and hopeless even if they are able bodied and fit to work as we can see in this movie. Having no job with a family to support knocks Sarge’s pride as a man.

On the other hand the role of the Chief was minor but majorly butchered. Chief Chief! What can I say – this guy’s acting is more that horrible. Maybe if I say it in French it will lessen the pain I felt when watching him. Il est très horrible!!! His name is John Mgbere and I surely hope not to see him again unless he is not talking. If he is somebody’s friend or relative… A beg was it necessary for him to have a speaking role?
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After Sarge commits the robbery he speeds off in the getaway car to some remote woodland area where he buries the suitcase. He then calls his wife and tells her where he has buried the money and what he intends for her to do with it,

“It is for Matthew… Tell him it is his father’s blood. He must use that money and become someone in life.”

He then directs her to present the money to him in 2 years time when he is 25. In this we see a father’s love for his son and desire to see him son succeed where he did not. He is even willing to give up his life to ensure that his son enjoys a better quality of life. He knows that his boss will come for his family if he simply runs away so he makes sure that he alerts them to where he is by shooting his rifle, so that they will kill him and in turn leave his family alone.
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Why are we shown Salome, Sarge’s wife taking money out of the gold case and hiding it under the bed? I thought she was doing that to then get rid of the suitcase but then fast-forward to two years later when she is presenting Matthew with the money and we see all the money neatly stacked back in the gold case. Why show her taking it out of the case? Why not have her hide the whole case underneath the bed? That made no sense to me.

Matthew is told to use the money wisely but what does the stupid boy go and do? He goes to buy a car to impress a girl that he was hawking goods on the roadside with, all because she says she will sleep with him if he has a car! He comes by where she sells her new goods with his new car and on top of that he is decked out in sunglasses and some brand spanking new attire. I thought this was a bit too much of a transformation in the one day. So because he buys a car he must go on a shopping trip too?

Matthew’s change in character I felt was too sudden. You have bought a car and some new clothes and all of a sudden you are talking with a posh-ish accent, it felt a little unbelievable to me. On the contrary when he decks out Olivia in her new clothes she looks different but still retains the local razzness that she had about her.
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Matthew squanders his money on fast living and after his car is wrecked he really has nothing at all to show for it. His mother finds out and is distraught that her husband has died for nothing. Olivia almost gets herself killed by Matthew after he sees her talking to a man in the hotel where she is staying, and finds himself in prison because of this. We see how his father’s ill gotten gains have only brought his misery, but should the sins of the father be revisited upon the son?

We see how the pressure of trying to live up to his parent’s expectations and the guilt on his head about not making the most of his father’s sacrifice leads Matthew to using alcohol and sometimes weed as a coping mechanism.

There is a scene in part 2 which is hilarious. Olivia is now born again and trying to get Matthew to straighten out his life and marry her but despite the more modest dress you can still see the thug in her. She rolls up to his house determined to change his life by force. When he tries to escape her she grabs him and wraps her legs around him to the point where her asks her, “Is it by force to marry?” to which she exclaims, “yes!”Another hilarious scene involving Mercy Johnson is when she sees him on the street with one of his girls. She beats her up in the middle of the street and then runs back to Matthews house ready to descend on him should he come back. She then sees him with his alcohol and chases him until she wrestles the containers from him!
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Alocholism and addiction is an important topics touched on in the movie. We see how the effects go beyond the person who is addicted. People close to an alcoholic are affected in that they have to deal with the erratic behaviour, the aggression, the stealing, and the shame involved. Matthew thinks only of alcohol. One one occasion he runs out of money and screams at his mother,

“Give me money ooo and let me go and drink beer before the cold ones go hot.”

It is comic but so tragic at the same time. The ending was unpredicatable. I thought it was going to be a fairy tale ending where Matthew becomes born again and he and Olivia live happily ever after. It was not an idealistic ending in that sense but it was very real. Very often where addiction is involved there actually is no happy ending and lives are wrecked or lost in the process. It is a sad situation where a mother sees the only way for her son to be free is in taking his life, and Salome expresses that out loud,

“It is good for you to be dead… I have watched you drowning in your own vomit… I have set you free.”
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I liked this movie. I would recommend it. The main characters played their roles well and complimented each other. The use of the slow motion and sound effects to go along with it at the end of the movie were very nicely done and added to the dramatics of the whole scene. My only criticisms would be the sudden change in Mike’s accent. Sound also needed some improvement. Many times when the scene would change there would be a block in sound which was very noticeable and it happened more than one. THUMBS UP!

NB: At the end of Part 1 there is an epilogue despite the part 2 Tchidi why? I want to know. Is this in case people only buy part 1 or what? Someone please tell me! I believe this movie is 2009 but then in one scene they have Mike singing Sisquo’s unleash the dragon so who really knows if this is repackaged or not?

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Comfort My Soul

Comfort My Soul

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Comfort My Soul ~ 2009
(also known as Weeping Soul)
Story – Chinedu Nwani
Screenplay – Amechi Ukeji
Director – Afam Okereke

Starring:
Mercy Johnson – Amarachi
Clarion Chukwurah – Monica
Olu Jacobs – Chief Kalu
Van Vicker – Henry
Camilla Mberekpe – Rose
Chukwuma Uchegbu – Father
Ofili Ugbor – Doctor
Emma Emordi – Nonso
Akanchowo Okoro – Chima
Stanley Ekwedike – Chinedu
Paul Umoh – Obi
Osodebe Chike – Operation Man
Austin Okafor – Personnel man
Rita Daniels – Accountant
Esther Ugwu – Secretary

Themes:
Love
Battling adversity

My Rating – 60%

Amarachi is an orphan whose sole carer her grandmother has recently died. As well as coping with her grandmother’s death she is also receiving unwanted attention from a boy at school called Nonso. Nonso has been chasing Amarachi around school but she is not interested. His clique have threatened to throw him out for being a coward if he does not succeed in having his way with her. The situation turns from him simply trying to toast her into his friends organising for him to set her up into being “taken by force.”

One day she is confronted by Nonso and his clique, taken to the bush and almost raped. Nonso is on top of her when she saves herself by grabbing a sharp tool that she finds in the grass. She stabs him in the neck and escapes. Nonso dies as a result of the stabbing and Amarachi is banished from the kingdom.

Now a lowly and struggling orphan her luck improves when she comes across a kindly priest who takes her into his parrish and organises for the parrish to pay for her education to any level she should wish to study to. Can Amarachi overcome the problems of her past and find comfort in her new life?

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

Henry is the son of Chief Kalu and his wife Monica. Now in the movie they come across as a perfectly nice and reasonable couple. I found that the discord created because Henry had chosen to follow the career path of becoming a doctor highly unconvincing. A doctor is a reputable and prestigious profession in any part of the world, so the way they treated him for becoming a doctor seemed a bit over the top.

After all did they not send him to the United States to study? If they didn’t want him to become a doctor they could have thrown him straight into the family business or withdrawn support when he first attempted to embark on his medical studies. His mother calls his choice, “medical madness.” This disdain would have made more sense to me if he had chosen to pursue a career in art, writing or acting. I mean seriously what educated and exposed parents would frown upon their kid being a doctor?
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I love Clarion but am so used to her playing wicked roles that I kept waiting for her to break into evil mode. At first it seemed like she was possibly jealous of her husband’s admiration for Amarachi, and so I thought the movie was going to continue along that vein, but instead we see her genuine care and love for Amarachi and she takes on a surrogate mother supportive role. I am not sure if it was meant for her to be shown as jealous in the beginning or I misconstrued it this way?

I feel the movie lacked some clear focus on what Henry’s parents’ problem was with him. It was made out that it was his career path that was the problem, but then a little later in the movie it appears to be his attitude that is an issue. In one scene Monica thanks Amarachi for positively changing Henry and the relationship between Henry and his parents improves under Amarachi’s influence. However he is still a doctor so what is really the issue? It also seemed to me that any issues between them were solely the fault of his parents.

Is Amarachi an angel or a witch? LOL She is the saviour of everything in the movie. Anytime there is a problem from business to personal family problems she is called upon and she always produces good results. There is one instance in which she actually convinces Van to join the business. Her reasons did not seem compelling to me. Chinedu (story) and Amechi (script) should have come better than that. We then see Henry apologising for following his dreams WTF??? As if he was off being an armed robber. I found this highly unconvincing. There needed to be a valid reason and clear focus on what the bone of contention between parents and child was going to be for the movie to really make sense.
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At the beginning of the movie we see Mercy’s grandmother on her death bed. Now what I want to know is what was that stuff on her face supposed to be? It looked like she dunked her head in a bucketful of vomit and left it to dry. What was she supposed to be dying of? A skin condition? The way she was coughing you would think it was a lung disease! Why do the movies always have someone coughing before they die? I wonder ooo!

A funny scene to look out for is at the end of the movie when Amarachi is beating herself up over falling in love with Henry. She is full of fear and apprehension that Henry’s family will think her a gold digger. It is funny because we the viewers have seen that his parents are wholly behind the union and so we know that she is worrying about nothing. Mercy is very convincing and the slow build up of attraction between her and Van is very believable and lovely to watch.
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Despite its moot points I did like the movie. Mercy Johnson is such a versatile actress. She can sex it up with the best of them but when she is playing miss prim and proper she can do that to perfection too. Although predictable, (it was obvious she and Van were going to hook up) it was a nice feel good movie about a downtrodden individual battling against the odds and coming out on top. We see Amarachi lose her parents, her grandmother, almost get raped, get banished from the only life she knew, to becoming a Masters degree holder, General Manager of a multi-billion Naira company and finding a man who truly loves her. Not bad! I’d recommend watching this.Nollywood Production Watch Nigerian African Movies Movie Reviews Review Lagos Idumota

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Guilty Pleasures ~ 2009
Prooduced by Emem Isong & Desmond Elliot
Story – Emem Isong
Screenplay – Uyai Ikpi Etim
Directors – Daniel Ademinokan, Desmond Elliot

Starring:
Ramsey Noah – Tessa
Mercy Johnson – Boma
Majid Michel – Bobby
Nse Ikpi Etim – Liz
Omoni Oboli – Nse
Desmond Elliot – Mr Okoro
Rukky Sanda – Chidinma
Rob Loner – Kenechi
Paul Frank – Oriafo
Beverly Naya – Bella
Esther Eyibio – Efe
Leena Mourgabel – Janet
Archie Sam – Lucas
Ibiwari Etuk – Tosan

Themes:
Relationship Issues
Love
Infidelity
Betrayal

My Rating – 80%

This is a story about relationships, infidelity, betrayal, love and deceit. The story is told through a conversation at the beginning of the movie between two women in a travel agency. Liz played by Nse-Ikpi Etim feels neglected by her husband. In all their years of marriage she has never spent more than 5 consecutive days with her husband as he is always working and as a result away on business trips. He is also possessive and controlling, not allowing her to take up employment as well as dictating her wardrobe and friends. She has had enough and is driven into the arms of someone who should have been off limits.

Nse played by Omoni Oboli has been married for a mere 3 weeks and already the cracks are showing. When she met her husband he was a struggling photographer and she was the one supporting him. In four years of dating there was never any sign of cheating and then one day not long before their wedding he meets Boma in a bar during a business trip and everything changes. This one affair has devastating consequences.

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

After all the hype I was sooooo excited to see this movie, with the likes of Emem, the great cast and especially after watching the masterpiece that was Reloaded I could only imagine that this just had to be better. WRONG. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t bad or anything, as you can see from the rating, in the grand scheme of things it was a whole lot better than the average Nollywood fare. I guess having read the rave reviews and having watched Reloaded I was expecting this one to top that and for me it just didn’t.

I liked the way the story was told from the end backwards and the way the women’s stories were interwoven back to back, however the story with Nse, Boma and Kenechi was not properly explored or developed. It was as if it were a mere afterthought. It would have been better to either develop the story properly of scrap it totally. I also liked the use of the Facebook status to announce Bobby’s arrival in Nigeria. That was a nice touch.
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Majid was the stand out performance for me. He is on fire as Bobby, Tessa’s brother. There was great sexual chemistry between him and Nse. With a smile that lights up a room he was so positively smouldering that he could create fire with a brick wall. The passion between him and Nse was intense and convincing, definitely more so than with Nse and Ramsey.

One scene that was very powerful for me was the face to face gut wrenching scene at the end of the movie between Liz and Tessa. Nse and Ramsey played their roles in this scene to perfection. Although Ramsey’s character is a heavily flawed individual and to some extent took his wife for granted we can still feel his pain in this scene and equally we can feel Liz’s turmoil in hurting him and ruining the relationship between the two brothers.
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Two things that didn’t add up for me were the choice made for Liz’ friends. We had 3 young girls that were her friends that she would go shopping with. They also came to the house and were swooning over Bobby. These girls looked waaaaaaay younger than Nse. It was just not realistic to me. On one shopping trip it seemed like the clothing and baseball cap put on Nse was in an attempt to youth-ify her and it failed miserably. It only served to add age on her. These girls looked to be between 18 and 24 and Nse looked to be in her mid to late 30’s. It just didn’t add up. We see Nse shopping, no talking, just music for what seems like forever, just unnecessary.

The other thing that didn’t feel real at all to me what Nse as a fashion model. Yes she is pretty. Yes she has a nice figure, but fashion model. No. And the shots taken by Bobby did not look like they would be on the cover of any magazine either. Perhaps it would have been better if we didn’t actually see her modelling and pictures being taken of her, then we would only be able to use our imaginations. Actually seeing the modelling confirmed what we were thinking already – “Nah she doesn’t look like a model.”
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I would recommend this movie. We learn a lesson about consequences for ones actions. It was a slow starter but it got way more engrossing towards the end of the first part. The picture was glossy and seamless. The special effects that were used were integrated well and used to great effect. A great cast was used with the exception with Rukky Sanda (I don’t know what she was doing there.) My only complaints would be that the movie did not feel finished, the undeveloped side story and the long drawn out non dialogue scenes that could have been cut out completely. However, on the whole… THUMBS UP. Nollywood Production Watch Nigerian African Movies Movie Reviews Review Lagos Idumota