Starring.Clems Ohameze, Mike Joseph, Chinyere Nwabueze, Chioma Ifemeludike, Yemsi Obi, Cece Edeme, Golden Black. Nigeria. 1h 56m.
Not often enough, a Nollywood movie will have a poignant message, they are typically littered with high emotional drama, horrible women being taught a lesson and people learning from their mistakes and finding religion, but there are some really big issues facing Africa and I champion any Nollywood movie which takes some timeout from the average thrall and attempts to tackle these issues, especially when they aim to change archaic views and aim to give people a better quality of life and equality, but sadly this cause is such a pivotal part of the plot I can’t go into detail.
The movie starts, shrouded in mystery, a charming man stops to help a stranded woman late at night, her bus arrived late and there were no taxis, but the good Samaritan is happy to put her up for the night. Providing her a room in his luxury home, he cooks her meals and serves her wine, he’s charming but more of a concerned brother than a creep, but the wine is laced as she drops unconscious as he rubs his hands and smiles, appearances aren’t what they seem.
Roofies seem to be pretty common in Nigeria, or at least in Nigerian cinema, but the man’s treatment of the woman after the violate is pretty disgusting, even Glen Quagmire would be shocked, after he dismisses her casually later on the same smiling assassin welcomes his virgin fiance into the home and life becomes tedious.
Later, wedding preparations are in full swing, there’s only a few weeks and final plans yet to iron out. The girl who borders on the verge of being a total bridezilla, is the daughter of a minister so the family has high hopes for absolutely everything, but after a shocking medical test and the arrival of the maid of honour, Everything turns upside down. The groom has no choice but to do some soul searching which involves tracing back his roots and discovering his past to move on with his future.
It’s pretty emotive and really short (for a Nollywood flick). The last act is just a lot of crying and a few dramatic wig changes. But there is a particularly heartbreaking scene when the broken man has to open up to his mother and realises a dark family secret. It’s one of the big shocking scenes of the movie and is quite powerful, reconnecting mother and son, for Nollywood it’s really good stuff.
Sadly I don’t want to give away too much but it all boils down to the acceptance that HIV isn’t necessarily a death sentence and we need to accept that through vital medication a decent life can be had with anyone afflicted by the disease.
R –The Engagement (2016)
L -A-Z of Nollywood