Tag Archives: Nollywood

Movie Review: Lion Heart

It’s a wonderful Happy New Year from me to you guys!!! It’s the 5th Day of the first month in the year 2019 and it gives me so much joy knowing that the first blogpost of the year is on one of my favorite things to do – see movies. So, today’s post is not just any movie review but Netflix’s First Original Film from Nigeria, Lion Heart a Directorial debut of one of Nigeria and Africa’s finest actor, Genevieve Nnaji. Suffice it to say that I’ve been a Genevieve Nnaji fan since Blood Sisters and Sharon Stone days through Letters to A Stranger, Warrior’s Heart, Ije, Tango with Me, Half of a Yellow Sun, etc. and I must say that it has been an enjoyable privilege watching and being inspired by her. This is one woman whose effortless and ageless beauty, delivery and gestures keeps you glued each time she graces the screen. More so, it’s her 20 years Anniversary in Nollywood and it’s a hearty congratulations from here to this Queen who has done exceedingly well for herself, the industry and the country at large. I celebrate, adore and admire her and I wish her all the beautiful things life has to offer her and her career in another 20 years!

So, Lion Heart. . .

If you have read my reviews before, you’ll know they are always detailed and different from the normal reviews (I don’t know why! So, I guessed, that’s why I try to call them Dilation instead – I guess I’m naturally epistolary 😂😂😂) nonetheless I try as much as possible not to give too much spoilers cos I really cannot help spoilers 😂.

Plot
Precisely, Lion Heart tells the story of the Obiagus and their transport business company. Lion Heart Transport Company goes through a financial crisis that could cripple the company if a quick save is not found. The Chairman of the Company, Chief Ernest Obiagu (played by Pete Edochie) suffers a health breakdown that hinders him from performing his official responsibilities and in order to keep the company running in his absence, he puts his brother, Chief Godswill Obiagu (played by Nkem Owoh) who happens to be the MD of the Owerri Headquarters of the company in his stead as Acting MD. This decision doesn’t sit well with Adaeze Obiagu (played by Genevieve Nnaji), who is the Director of Logistics and Operations and also happens to be the daughter of Chief Ernest Obiagu. Having worked side by side her father for 7 years, she couldn’t understand how and why her father would choose her Uncle as Acting MD over her. Apparently, Adaeze isn’t the only one disappointed by this choice, an insecure Samuel Akah (played by Kalu Ikeagwu) who is the Director of Engineering Services and who constantly feels threatened by Adaeze is also displeased. In the long run, Adaeze is faced with a N950 million naira debt incurred by her father and also saddled with the responsibility of saving her father’s company alongside her Uncle, Godswill Obiagu who contrary to her fear of being usurped and displaced helped her in achieving her plans to save the company.

My two cents/Attractions
This is a wonderful directorial debut and movie. I must say that I was spellbound with the excellent cinematography, shots and scenery. To say it is not close to anything I’ve seen in Nollywood before won’t be an exaggeration and the cast were magnificent. This is the juncture where I say that the casting was one of the top reasons I looked forward to the movie – from Nkem Owoh to Kanayo O. Kanayo who played Igwe Pascal to Onyeka Onwenu (who got me hooked on her acting since Half of a Yellow Sun) and most importantly, Pete Edochie who is known for his proverbs, witty sayings, facial expressions and delivery like no other in Nollywood. I was also thrilled to see one of my favorite Nollywood Queens, Ngozi Ezeonu, she’s such a thrill. Also, noteworthy and commendable is the acting debut of Ezege 1, the Obago himself – Phyno! It’s right to say that he wasn’t such a bad actor at all and even the one time appearance of Peter Okoye was awesome. I love that Genevieve tried flaunting her music prowess in our faces in that scene. Most importantly, this movie is one that was very intentional about details. The technicality employed was awesome – from Enugu to Kano; the transpositions between scenes and locales were flawless, seamless and detailed, even to the soundtracks.

I know I can never exhaust all the wonderful things there is to this movie and of a fact, people will continue to write on the superb technicalities employed that made this film a total hands down but there are other things everyone may not talk about. . .

For me, Genevieve Nnaji did an amazing job taking #igbototheworld. The creation of dialogues in Igbo language was the peak for me, I mean, if you gonna go up, you gotta go all the way up right? The version I watched had no subtitle and mhen, it didn’t matter. Although I wished my understanding of Igbo was lit but I felt really high on the Igbo dialogues (especially the dining table scene). It is undoubtedly true that Igbo language is one with a worldwide appeal and if you don’t believe, you should read African Fictions often. The way Nkem Owoh kept referring to Pete Edochie as “Odogwu!” was just sweet and a high but this wasn’t the real high for me still. The real high for me is the feministic appeal this movie has. It won’t be wrong for me to say that Genevieve Nnaji has always been one person who identifies with feminism as this film not only gives recognition to the girl child, it celebrates, lauds and redefines femaleness and the girl child through the character, Adaeze and Onyeka Onwenu likewise.

Onyeka Onwenu as a mom and wife held her family together by being there for her two children, supporting them, being sensitive to their needs, encouraging them, their dreams, making sure their self-esteem is healthy, supporting and caring for herself, her husband, her in-laws, household, etc. There was a part where she said “I never come between two brothers.” and the moment she came in to drag Adaeze away from the room because she knew she wouldn’t stop discussing business with her resting husband shows a woman who is totally aware of herself, her children, family and others.

Lion Heart not only gives recognition to the girl child, it celebrates, lauds and redefines femaleness. Click To Tweet

Favourites
Y’all know I always have favourite scenes, dialogues and quotes. These are some of my best quotes from the movie. . .
1. Onyeka Onwenu – “Don’t slouch. Common, let’s go talk. Your Uncle is just here to supervise. . . my daughter, a second hand always helps. . .I’m sure he has his reasons. . .”

Genevieve Nnaji – “If obiora were in my shoes. . .”

Onyeka Onwenue – “Sit up and then shut up! Your father loves and appreciates you and you know it, his reasons have nothing to do with you being a woman. Ozugo! Your Uncle is just here to support you . . .

That moment Nkem Owoh walked in and said “. . .and support I shall.”

2. “Look Adanna, if you want to spray insecticides on cockroaches, snakes and scorpions, you get yourself a vantage position.” – Nkem Owoh

3. Onyeka Onwenue – “look at you!

Nkem Owoh – “Handsome galigali” (ọmọ, i laughed here no be small. Nkem Owoh is such a comic relief😂)

Genevieve – “Uncle, Daddy is resting.”

Nkem Owoh – “let me go and rest with him.” 😂😂😂😂

4. Nkem Owoh – “Adanna, is that your voice. You! Bribe?”

Genevieve – “Uncle, this is different!” (Lmao! Nigerians and the typical double standards)

5. Nkem Owoh: “So, you do your arrest by arithmetic. One man, one woman!” 😂😂😂

6. “God never gives you a burden He has not equipped you to carry. You have your father’s business brains. You are a business woman. Do away with the sentiments and the emotions and get the job done. You have it in you. Dig deep and get it. You’ve always been able to do anything you put your mind to. You can do this.” – Onyeka Onwenu

7. Pete Edochie – “Get out of the seat. . . Your continued stay is an extension of your irrelevance. Could you leave please?” (Kai! This one is the bazooka of everything! Thank you Pete Edochie for always killing it! Your acting was everything! Poised. Smooth. Concise. Face game – always lit).

8. “Ewo Agbomma. . . born baby!” (Nkem Owoh killed me walahi). . .

9. “I’m Onyinye, leaving!” This scene was sweet and silly at the same time.

10. The dance and music – Phyno, Genevieve, Pete Edochie and Onyeka Onwenu gave us some long-throat and never should stop moment at the closing scene as they dance with so much class and grace to Obiagu!

“’I’ve come to realize that most men invest their time in matters of transient value at the expense of what they should cherish, what they should value like love, life, family. I waited 8 years for you to be born. Those are years of trepidation and you came and you became a source of pride and joy to me. I’ve watched you grow and I’m so confident in your ability. The biggest legacy I will leave for posterity is you, my daughter. I’m not thinking about death but Marie Corelli said in the midst of life we are in death, so, usually when we talk about life, there’s always death hovering around. You’re the pendulum of my life, if you stop swinging, then I’m gone! I’m proud of you, you mean so much to me.” – Pete Edochie (This is the sweetest thing ever! Every girl deserves to hear this! This is for every girl child)

Reservations
1. Storyline – I expected more. More like, I expected a ghenghen sturv because it’s Genevieve, number one and two because of the hype. This is not to say that the movie is not amazing, trust me, it is! But the storyline was just there – not really spectacular kinda. I mean, at a very early point, I could tell how the story was gonna end and along the line it became a cliché sort of when Nkem Owoh walked into that scene where Hamza Maikano was about to be duped by two Igbo men and then he saved the day! I knew right there that they were gonna meet again and he was probably gonna be the solution to the menace created by Pete Edochie. In short, I could say the storyline didn’t quite keep me glued but the characters like Pete Edochie and his facial expressions and proverbs, Onyeka Onwenu’s flawless delivery and diction, Nkem Owoh’s ability to make even the slightest utterance comic, Jemima Osunde’s unhidden awe for Genevieve Nnaji (her Madam), the scenery, the soundtracks and the Igbo language did.  I guessed the simplicity of the story resulted in the overall perfection of the movie. Maybe if the storyline was too complicated, the perfection might have been lost and moreover, sometimes, depth lies in simplicity and this is one thing this movie has – depth!

2. Realism? – Okay, this is still about that Nkem Owoh – Hamza Maikano scene. First of all, Nkem Owoh is not familiar with Peter Okoye’s house and he was supposed to wait for Genevieve outside and then at a point, it felt like he was following the lady that supposedly caught his attention only to find himself coincidentally in the room where Hamza Maikano was being duped. Second of all, it was obvious that those guys were trying to dupe Hamza because by dressing, looks and the use of an interpreter (definitely because the other Igbo man is supposedly uneducated enough to speak English), Hamza is an Hausa man but then, that’s even not the point, the point is, how real is it that Nkem Owoh walked out unscathed, unbeaten, having spoilt business for those guys? I mean, they had no guns, no knife, nothing! How real is it that people would run that kind of business and not be armed? Even if it has been a seamless business run over the years – and then the other guy was like right behind Nkem Owoh as if he wanted to hurt him but he did nothing. The craziest part was that Genevieve walked in too, I mean, how did she know to look for him there? (Just my thoughts) and then she was like, Uncle, let’s go and just like that, they left.

3. The Police Station scene too (there was something off about it) and please, is it weird that I noticed that Genevieve Nnaji wasn’t really wearing Jemima’s clothes and vice versa cos I believed the Costumier definitely made two pieces cos they really don’t have the same body size and type (this is just on a lighter note though).

Conclusion: This is a movie of its own kind and class – not one to be put side by side another for comparison or contrast. It celebrates;
I. Nationalism (the story builds on the historical rough relationship between the Igbos and the Hausas and this was shown in a scene where Chief Obiagu was hesitant about merging with Maikano motors because of the tribe and another where Alhaji Danladi Maikano came to meet him and there was a long silence before he broke kolanuts and the more he tried, the more brick wall he met with Obiagu until he spoke Hausa out of frustration and Obiagu responded in Hausa and he was surprised and then he goes “ka na jin Hausa?” and then everything became smooth from there enough that he referred to him as “my brother” at the second to the last scene.)

ii. the girl child, women supporting and admiring women (the healthy relationship between Onyinye and Adaeze) and it also rewrites the conventional narration of the boy child always being interested in the family business/business in general as Obiora (Phyno) was more interested in his music than his father’s business which was everything to Adaeze (Genevieve Nnaji).

iii. Healthy family – let me say, every girl child deserves a father like Chief Ernest Obiagu and a mother like Onyeka Onwenu. As a father, Obagu was sensitive to his daughter’s feelings and well being. “. . .I know that she’s not happy and I can understand why. . .” Also, an Uncle like Chief Godswill Obagu. I mean, an Uncle who won’t hesitate to punch a nincompoop for you and cover your boobs with a newspaper while you slay a pervert with your Harvard knowledge! Go, family goals!

iv. culture, values, natural hair, humour (thank you Nkem Owoh for the effortless humour). . . the list is endless.

In all, Lion Heart is a movie for the girl child that says she has value, she’s is order, restoration, she’s passionate, smart, intelligent and every good thing they don’t hear often like how speedily ticking and ticklish their… Click To Tweet

Lessons/Notes from the movie
1. Two good heads are always better than one.
– Adaeze sustained her father’s business and proved herself when it matters most and even beat deadlines because she allowed herself to share and receive ideas. The journey is always easier when you run with and alongside someone.

2. Be open minded about receiving help – Help is not always competitive and it doesn’t undermine your strength and ability to survive and pull through all by yourself.

3. An enemy is not always a stranger; He’s a kinsman. Igwe Pascal tried taking over Lion Heart and was almost successful with the help of another kinsman/brother, Samuel who gladly invited an enemy in for his own selfish gains. In other words, love and loyalty is not by tribe.

4. A Healthy family is a treasure and it’s not overrated. Likewise, fatherhood is important in every girl child’s life. Thanks to the characters of Pete Edochie and Onyeka Onwenu for showing what a healthy family should be and means.

5. A great, fierce and stable support system is everything – self-believe is great but there are moments you will need other people to believe in you to find your self-believe again in moments of doubts. A great and fierce support system keeps a woman on the high and with that, it’s easy for her to become all that she hoped to be and more. Onyeka Onwenu and Nkem Owoh were examples of that for Adaeze. The merger that saved the company was all Nkem Owoh’s idea and even though he brought the plans, he allowed her to execute it and reaffirmed his trust in her by telling her. He didn’t try to usurp her. . . “Adanna, you will discuss with this man alone, I will stay on the flank. . . Look, you’re a leader. He is a leader. Leadership is not easy. . .” And the beautiful thing is, knowing they’ll always be there for her is such a treasure.

6. Allow people to try. Encourage. Don’t discourage. Don’t rubbish people’s plans. Don’t shove suggestions down people’s throats. Allow them to come to a place of understanding what you suggest; if they want to take it or not. Nkem Owoh allowed Genevieve try and exhaust her options before he tabled his suggestion again and even in the process of trying it her way, he was down for her all the way! Don’t make people look stupid for trying out their plans, let them discover the reality or the lack thereof. let people come into their place of understanding a thing and at their own pace. Don’t always be in a hurry to be right. It’s not always about right and wrong, it’s about surviving, conquering and winning as one and together. . . “The major thing is to understand at your own time. . .” Nkem Owoh.

7. Maturity and experience is not always underrated for expertise – Sometimes, what makes expertise isn’t just book knowledge or smartness but maturity and experience. When Adaeze finally received her Uncle’s suggestion, she wanted to place a call to meet Maikano but he told her No and told her how to do things properly.

8. Be open minded about love and life – Love is not always dressed in Akpoche, Agbada, Iro and Buba, etc. Love is creating familiarity in unfamiliar places. Never say never.

9. Collaborate – sometimes, it takes coming together with someone else to make magic to expand, discover and rediscover the depths of you, your dreams, your abilities and more! Collaboration (Merger) is not just a one-time save but could be a lifetime savings! You don’t always have to make magic alone; explore the dynamics of your magic. Merge resources! Exchange strengths.

Rating: I’m rating this movie a 9/10. I’ve seen it almost three times now and will I see it again? Definitely! The little glitches in the storyline are nothing compared to the total delivery of the movie. I’ll see this movie again for its richness, depth, dialogues and technical expertise. Congratulations Queen Nnaji on this one! It’s nulli secundus. It is phenomenal.

And that’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed this very long dilation. Don’t forget to leave a comment, share and follow me on all social media spaces @ibukunwrites. I wanna know what you think of this review and the movie.

Till I come your way again, keep refreshing this space and I remain your love and light girl,

Ìbùkúnwrites. 💕


A Happy New Year + Is Chiwetalu Agu Vulgar???

Guten Nachmitag guys ?

I think it’s still very much okay to say A Happy New Year to y’all on 14th January, 2017 (no worries, I’m already giving myself the side eye). It’s the very first blog post of the year and I am so excited!!! Of a fact I know that the very first blog post of the year goes a long way in determining not only the quality but also the consistency of the rest of the blogging months.
Just a little story. . .
When 2016 was virtually at its end, I told myself I wasn’t gonna resume blogging if I wasn’t sure of my consistency. That really messed me up last year and yea, maybe I do have some circumstances to blame for that still, it doesn’t undermine the fact that this is my own, this is where it all kick started. So, I said to myself that I wasn’t gonna neglect my own to contribute to other people’s. Opportunities are beautiful but only take the ones you can handle and also, train yourself to step out of your comfort zones, try that thing that scares you and see how successful you were at the end of the day to manage it all effectively, it might not be easy, but still you did it!
Moving on. . .
I’m counting down to the end of service year trusting God for all things great afterwards. . . so it means this year, ain’t bailing not an inch on y’all! Last year, I used to say Ibukunwrites is back and better but we all know how that story always ends, but trust me, this year is nothing like last year.
Still on the telling. . .
I wasn’t sure I was gonna post this soon but I found my inspiration two days ago and another yesterday, and another today! And y’all are gonna be reading a lot of movie reviews and critic from me this year and my podcast channel is also back and better too! You can find, listen and download on Soundcloud and also on my.notjustok.com. I’ll attach the links to the previous podcasts at the end of this post.
On the koko for today! Is Chiwetalu Agu vulgar
Trust me, I wanted to use something much more ridiculous than this heading but it was gonna sound like a sub and this is as cool as it can get.

Many of us might have seen that Epistle of Giden Okeke to the Nigerians/Censors Board (it has just one Chapter) ‘cos I don’t think he wrote another. Kai! When I saw that post, I broke my own rule and left a comment on instablog9ja. I was ashamed for something I can’t really put into words but I know my emotions could find words for it. A young actor just put a man that he probably started seeing on the TV when he was young and all dreamy for the fame on lambast saying what he says in Igbo are vulgar words detrimental to our children and that he also finds himself checking the sanity of his ears whenever CHIWETALU AGU comes on screen after he then call on Censors Board to do their job and even encouraged people to try see another Chiwetalu Agu film to get his point.
First of all, do you know that sometimes you might have a point but your approach towards that particular issue could make you fall victim of the supposed ill you’re trying to correct? When I read the post, I couldn’t see the concern he was trying to put out there. All I saw was ‘unnecessary insolence/beef’ and high disrespect to an older talent. 
See the point is, he didn’t even mention his name like that, he posted his picture, that’s an height!!! and his introduction is codedly spiteful and distant.
Here’s my take on it;
1. You can’t tell a man how to do his art! You can only give him advice on how to make it better not how to do it!
2. This man has been in that industry before you, trust me, the reason why I watch Nollywood at times is because of films that have people like Pete Edochie, Ngozi Ezeonu, Mama G, Chiwetalu Agu, Bob Manuel Udokwu etc. apart from the new and definitely hot generations like Kunle Afolayan, Nse Ikpe Etim and the likes. . . and then it got me thinking, take Stevie Wonder as an example, I can’t even remember the last time I listened to him religiously and yea, I’m a fan and he still has fans out there but maybe not as great as The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, even Beyonce! But not one of them had deemed it fit to tell the old man that look G, you’re probably getting left out there, why not try to add a little rap, you know what I’m saying. . . We can’t keep wanting an industry to grow so bad when some celebs keep thinking that their art is bigger than that of others or rather, some people art should be strip off them because they are growing so old and are losing touch. I think we need to come to a place where we understand the fact that maybe we all do the same thing but art is very individual . . . it is that individuality that comes together to make a great film, story, music etc. Take for instance Lala land didn’t clear Golden Globes because it was just a good story and the Director did his work, but because it was a good work on all the cast’s part! All of them were indispensable. . . every art was brought to the table, given a midas touch and contributed towards the greatness of the movie. 
3. Bringing it to the funny part, I don’t even think Chiwetalu Agu is funny! I only find him amusing and I think being funny and amusing are slightly two different things. And truthfully, I didn’t even know who Gideon Okeke is until I read that post and then I remembered he was Tobe in When Love Happens. And the only reason I think he was able to say the actor is vulgar was because He is Igbo and so many people out there who buys his opinion. Some people don’t understand what he says; they just find his mannerisms and gestures very amusing that sometimes you don’t even care for the subtitle. But he is Igbo, he gets to know the meaning of what the actor says and he uses it as nail to put him in a coffin.
4. I was discussing with a very vast man of the art yesterday and he told me that there is no Nigerian film he has seen without rating. Maybe not 100% but 90% has rating and I agree. In fact, he went further to state that virtually all Nigerian movies are rated 18 and I strongly agree too; a sign that most Nigerian films are really not children friendly. . . then he said, except for some Local TV Stations that play films on and on ignoring the rating, DSTV is very efficient with ratings and I agree and with that he applauded the fact that Nigerian Film Censors Board is really doing their work which is true. Then I reminded him to buttress his point that an average Nigerian watches DSTV; if not that, GOTV or Startimes. No one uses Century Antenna these days *lol*. . . that means the real poor Nigerians don’t even watch TVs. . . So, tell me, what then are we now saying?
5. Finally, what struck me the most is the fact that suddenly we now care for the Nigerian child. . . we’re now suddenly bothered about what he/she hears or not! We wanna talk about what our children are picking up? Let’s start from our music lyrics. We wanna talk about what children are watching, let’s start with the kissing and love making young actors now do in our ‘Award Winning Movies’. . . Oh no! We don’t wanna talk about that but we can talk about Chiwetalu Agu!
6. Finally, I don’t think that man is vulgar, ain’t condoning, justifying or criticizing anyone. . . maybe I’m probably yet to see one of such films where he talked a woman’s body part??? Ask Tomilola Coco in her book where she mentioned how musicians freely talk about female body parts in their lyrics like . . . what’s that again? And for the record, I so much love Chioma Akpotha’s stand on the issue! We should inculcate the habit of standing up for what’s right in 2017!
I rest my case! Cooooooooooourt!
Thanks for reading guys!!! I’m blowing you cold kisses from Birnin Kebbi. . . if you’re feeling 45% cold where you are, know that I’m feeling 80%. 
I’d be back on Monday with something I know most of y’all want to read and there’s a series some of y’all have read a little. . . Love and Lies, it’s coming on the blog February! 
Lest I forget, to download/listen to my podcasts and also to follow; just click away Podcast
What’s your take on the issue? I wanna read your comments!
Have a fabulous weekend!✌???
~ ©2017. Ibukunwrites

You can’t be bitter and want to rise✌ ~ Ibukunwrites