Director: Chika Onu
Starring: Prof Dr Laz Ekwueme, Ngozi Ezeonu, Stanley Igboanugo, Uche Ebere Agu, Uzo Umeh, Ifunanya Igwe, Promise Shaka . Nigeria. 4h +
Everyone deserves to be loved, even princes.. even crippled princes, am I right? This slightly comical Nigerian romance story is a touch disturbing and deals with some bad boy characters, while jostling between Tribal wisdom and Christian values there’s just enough time for this irresistible prince to fall in and out of love.
Everything is pretty low key in this drama, it’s almost a strife of two contrasting households. The Princes lavish compound with its many servants and luxuries, and the home of the pious woman who will change his life, but her compound is very rural and run down. Her family dynamic isn’t all that wonderful, her useless brother avoids all housework, he makes his living from stealing, usually with his best friend in tow.
For the first act the prince is away, getting his spine seen to by “white” doctors and their foreign medicine as the previous tribal workings never gave him his legs back, but on his return, still in his wheelchair he gets saved by the local palm wine sellers daughter and he hires her to be his personal assistant.
The movie takes a while before this beautiful couple manages to get their asses in gear. But with lots going on in the village there’s plenty of antics to keep the audience occupied with cute little updates added in from gossip from the village girls. Eventually the King and Queen realise that their crippled son will never get out of his chair and should probably marry the woman who cares for him so dearly.
But then things get a little tricky, the beautiful darling, caring poor girl is obsessed with worshiping Jehovah, and she decides to fast and go into the hills to pray for the betrothed before they are wed, and a miracle is performed but only bad things come from it until the power of faith can put it all straight again but can their love ever recover after an attractive new face arrives at the palace?
It’s quite different, even for Nollywood, there’s always a big jostle between African and Western traditions, but the director is also interested in tackling the wisdoms and philosophies of both religions and trying to build a balanced new man, the Prince is such a guy, but his father is the real hero. The King is a real character, he can see the bigger picture before anyone else, but his wife is a bit more conniving as she skulks around threatening people and trying to get her way no matter who suffers.
Defiantly something a little different to the traditional romance and one of the slightly better produced movies, the sound is 90% spot on and there’s an attempt to do some active camera work while not being too flashy.