The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)

Director:Ugezu J Ugezu .
Starring. Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Ugezu J Ugezu, Uju Okoli . Nigeria. 5h 25m.

For Nollywood this is certainly one of my all time favourites and I believe the first full length one I saw back in 2016, I was a total noob but I fell in love with the genre and didn’t realise that the movies would be so long, like mini series, this 4 part epic (each episode over an hour) is a tale of woe and magical mystery.

So a loving and yet very strict businessman, named Silas played by Bob Manuel Udokwu, runs a thriving business, when he’s not running his corporation with an iron first, he’s loving his beautiful wife, Elizabeth (Chukuka) and their daughter, Elizabeth is heavily pregnant with their second child, this comes after a losing her previous baby, but with care and love they family have picked themselves up and are trying again.

Silas is incredibly particular about formality and is a stickler for the rules, he can see a scammer a mile off and when his holiday agent tries to flutter her eyelashes at him while making a deal, he soon puts her in her place, but she doesn’t stay angry with him, just admits defeat and over time counts him and his family as good customers. But her gold digging friend Jenna (Okoli) has other plans for Silas, she decides he’s the man who can make all her dreams come true a hires a magician to fix a spell on Silas so he falls in love with her and casts his wife out of the home.

Eventually Jenna has two magicians at work for her while she betwitches Silas out of all his money and earthly goods, one of them is the director Ugezu J Ugezu who plays a dutty swindling man who somehow comes about from life of crime to help layout some justice, but can his wife’s prayers ever been answered?

Nigerians really know how to break a relationship down and build it back up again with love honour and respect but strangely there’s a pretty blunt ending to this epic, while the movie is about Elizabeth she’s actually the character you see the least, she spends some quality time as a mother but after she is tricked into introducing Jenna to her husband she’s pretty much discarded apart from one excruciating loud and terrible labour scene, she’s barely seen until the bitter end.

But in her absence she’s suffering and there’s a lot of action going on, Jenna employs a black magician to entice Silas, she’s found out and silences a rival, another magician is hired (the director), but he’s more of a jack the lad with a few unique tricks up his sleeve. There’s murder and intrigue at every turn, and though the film feels overstuffed, it all works in balance with this idea that magic can only has a negative outcome, justice is best served cold and in a typical Nigerian/The Cramps fashion, all women are bad! (apart from the good ones). It’s a massive film with a lot going on, at times it can get a little repetitive and typically with Nigerian films some scenes go on for far too long but it pops back with something new after every lul and for me still remains one of the better films/series that Nollywood has to offer. I’d like to add that there is minimal Nigerian in the film but every now and then Silas will revert back to his native language when angry or when quoting a proverb.

Rating 8/10 N

R – The Engagement (2016), Would You Still Love Me (2017)
L – Nollywood A-Z, Black Magic Cinema
5s – Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Ugezu J Ugezu.

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