Movies are released daily, weekly and monthly. Only the ones which make you glued to your screen enchant your mind and leave a long lasting foot print are the ones that will stand like the Statue of Liberty.
Diva and mother of one, Genevieve Nnaji has made Nollywood and Africa proud by her debut film as a director, Lionheart. Genevieve wasn’t only the ‘lion’ in this movie but she ensured her ‘pride’ was filled with big guns and smart brains too. The movie Lionheart was produced by Chinny Onwugbeni, notable for co-producing Road to Yesterday. She is also the co-founder of the Entertainment Network (TEN) alongside Genevieve.
Lionheart was shot in Enugu and Kano state. It kicked off with Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve) trying to calm the nerves of a mob bent on causing havoc to her father multi-million naira transport company. Later scenes saw Adaeze disappointed at her father’s decision by appointing his comical and eccentric younger brother, Godswill (Nkem Owoh) as the interim chairman when he (Pete Edochie) took ill.
Genevieve brought together brainiacs, brilliant actors and actresses to spice up this movie. The evergreen Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, legendary singer – Onyeka Onwenu (Mrs. Obiagu), Kanayo-o-Kanayo (Igwe Pascal), Kalu Ikeagwu (Samuel), Chika Okpala (Chief Zebrudaya), witty secretary – Jemima Osunde (Onyinye) and many others kept us to a standstill.
The plot is captivating laced with a touch of feminism display. We saw Adaeze and her uncle go through the rigors of ensuring her father’s company didn’t go into the wrong hands of rival company, IG Motors. The rich portray of Nigeria was used at maximum: the Igbo culture was radiated as we saw the language widely spoken, the Abacha (African Salad) and the cultural dance at Chief Obiagu’s retirement party. Little wonder Lionheart was bought by American movie production and streaming company, Netflix for a speculative amount of $3.5 million and nominated for the outstanding World Cinema Motion Picture in Black Reel Awards, 2019.
However, some noticeable flaws in the movie cannot be left to roam freely. The fact that Adaeze’s driver was always following her like her father was a governor or a drug dealer each time she went on her early morning runs was a fat that should have been cut off. A dog on a leash held by her would have been better. Arinze (Peter Okoye) who made his debut acting should be nowhere close to this movie since fellow artiste; Phyno was adding lightening (music) to it. Chika Okpala was underplayed in the movie. Who seriously benches Messi for Hazard!
Genevieve breached the gap between the Northerners and Easterners by seeking a merger with Alhaji Danladi (Maikano Transport Company Chairman) to save Lionheart.
The highlight of the movie for me was when Chief Obiagu fluently spoke Hausa. Miss Nnaji never disappoints in her acting and now directing her debut movie. This movie has made Nollywood sit on the chair, dinning with giant film industries, again.
This article was written by Oyedotun Damilola; connect with him on IG here