Director: Chigozie Oduah
Starring: Yul Edochie, Uju Okoli, Nobert Waski Oguegbu, Ngozi Evuka, Joseph Daniels, Rita Arum, Mike Oscar Isamede .Nigeria. 4h +
Nollywood always comes across as being quite different when it starts to mix mythology and special effects battles which is how this epic opens, with what appears to be an angry prince dueling evil entity however as the film kicks into gear we start to learn that this prince isn’t as violent as he first appears, switching back and forth through time we learn about this doomed royal family with a king is laying in a coma to which his traditional African doctor cannot wake him and in the meantime his son spends his time throwing his weight around and persuading people to do whatever he wishes. His girlfriend is belittled in front of the servants and ordered to kiss his feet when he’s angry with her, on top of this a further insult is that any women in the village has to be made availabel to him
It appears that the prince isn’t the only person in the village with special powers as a young boy and his mother a working in a field a cruel man decides that he doesn’t have enough money to pay them for their on his estate work this angers the family and the young boy unleashes a special X-Men Talent deadening the man’s legs and forcing him to lay on the ground.. well it’s almost an X Power.
The movie continues with this battle of wills against shaman and which as people get pulled in and out of portals are giving amulets for strength and return back from the dead and all the fight again and in between there’s also this chess game going on between the new queen her son and this outcasts woman and son who are often running for their lives while trying to exist on the edge of poverty. Slowly, ad this epic continues but the director dutifully release a small snippets and hints about what’s going on until we get back to the opening scene at the beginning of the film where there is an epic battle between a King who thinks he’s a god and anyone willing to challenge him.
As mentioned the king is laying in some kind of magically induced coma and it seems that the the battles are between a member of people who seem to all be his son but it’s a matter of trying to work out who is the rightful heir from the small hints and clues that I dropped throughout.
Nigerian films have never been in the position to spend lavishly on effects but its really interesting to see how they have been applied here, the story, is typically long but it doesn’t give up for one second. It’s impressive to see the tribal magic make such an impact on the screen, usually it’s killed off by Christianity however with cool skills like these sorceress it’s a cinematic cream. The final battle has a touch of David Cronenberg’s Scanners about it. It’s positive to see Nigeria is now realizing its potential.
List:A-Z of Nollywood