Million Million (2020)

Starring: Yul Edochie, Prince Iyke Olisa, Adanna Luke, Stella Udm, Akanchawa Okolo, Stan Edubka, Chuck Etikomeni .Nigeria. 4h 20m

Sometimes the desire to have an expensive lifestyle and to flash extravagance is more powerful than any learned common sense. This seems to be the moral of the story in this Nigerian drama that centres around a young man who is happy to squander his uncle’s cash to impress random women and to upgrade how his village sees him.

Prince Ikye Olisa plays Uwaebuka the main catalyst in this turbulent movie the film opens with him running home and threatening to kill himself, his long suffering mother takes away his rope and immediately goes to visit her brother Orimiri, (Edochie) for money to help her son. It’s here that we learn what a waste of space the boy is, constantly getting handouts and instantly squanders the money, each time the uncle threatens to cut him off.

Uwa Ebuka is totally jealous of his uncle’s status in the village, an extremely rich man spends his time feeding and looking after his village, literally throwing cash at his people whenever he’s about town, Orimiri wants this but has no gumption to work for the money. At some point after feeling abandoned yet again after spending all the money that was given to him, Orimiri makes a pact with the gods to never be poor again and this chapter ends, and to my disappointment there’s no mysticism involved in this down to earth drama.

In a later episode Orimiri returns to his village, with a new shiny shirt and cane, he’s a mad man now, and rivals his uncle’s wealth by handing out twice as much cash, and pretty soon the villagers are turning on his uncle, but he cannot work out why?

It’s quite an epic tale, the battle of the millions, it’s unusual to see two men try to spend more cash than the other unless it’s Brewster’s Millions (1985), but the rivalry albeit unnecessary is strong and hammers home the message of what wealth really means. The strong female cast helps with the emotional side for most of the movie, mothers, and potential girlfriends are all there to keep the men on the straight and narrow and offer cautionary advice.

Generally the mood is pretty tense, there’s even a sub plot of an undercover cop who hangs around the local bar pretending to be a down and out, somehow he’s never detected even when answering his business phone only metres away from the open bar, but he pops up only when needed to add that extra layer of intrigue.

For lessons to be learnt in this bumpy story the main character has to go through a lot of shirt and lot of Naira, but the movie also transverse all styles, drama, action and even a little comedy when Orimiri has to skip out of his hotel when he’s low on cash and disguises himself as a woman, he manages to do this without shaving his beard and the aid of a cute push up bra.

The ending feels a little rushed and it has a twist that I wasn’t really expecting but it speaks volumes for family values and it is a warm way to finalise a pretty turbulent movie.

Rating: 5/10

R: Wild Away (2020), The Engagement (2016)
5s: Yul Edochie
A: A Brief introduction and what to expect of Nollywood Cinema

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