Release Date: December 21
Starring: Genevieve Nnaji, Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, et al.
Much wasn’t heard about Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart 🦁 until the announcement that it was screening at TIFF broke; which was then quickly followed by reports that she’d signed a huge deal with Netflix to make it the streaming giant’s first Original film from Nigeria. Talk about a real boss move. Take away the recent negative reports it’s been getting in the local media, Lionheart is poised to be the movie that really takes Nigeria to the world.
The Obiagus are a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian transport business, especially in the southeast. When they’re faced with yet another challenge that threatens their continued existence, it’s up to Adaeze to fight for them to love another day. The plot is simple, but not foolish even though the story progresses predictably. As Ms. Adaeze, Ms. Nnaji gets her chance to paint women in the right light as strong, focused and goal-oriented individuals, and not damsels in distress always in need of saving as usually portrayed in movies. She also portrays the Nigerian extended family in a better light than what’s usually obtainable in Nollywood movies, where the uncle’s usually evil and has a more evil agenda. These are big pluses to me.
Jemima Osunde’s awesome as always. I love you very much. Bigger you this 2019, I pray. 😍
The appearance by many veterans caused me great nostalgia, and I appreciate seeing them once again. That family dinner scene is everything a true Igbo family food time really is; big shouts out to the oldies – Pete Edochie, Onyeka Onwenu, Nkem Owoh and Ngozi Ezeonu.
There are so many other things I love about this movie, most special is the choice of acting talents to bring to life key roles. Ms. Nnaji and her team take steps to tighten gaps which may have translated into a disaster without their foresight, take for example Phyno’s vincible role as the lyricist on the roll son of a wealthy man who wants nothing to do with the family business, and Peter Okoye’s glorified cameo role.
The movie’s high on humor, and what makes it all the more great is that these funny scenes aren’t forced. Take for instance, Nkem Owoh… He’s not his usual, boisterous self most know, but his character’s humor’s always on point. You see a new angle to the actor with every nail and delicacy he drives home his character’s points.
Like all things, there’s good and bad in this movie, too, especially flaws in the editing, like when Ada used the door to unwittingly knockout one of the two men accosting her uncle in the basement.
The music’s decent. Cinematography is good, especially in the scenes where the beautiful scenery of Enugu is at the forefront. Ms. Nnaji’s direction is commendable especially when one recalls it’s her first attempt.
Lionheart is a beautiful movie, you should check it out if you haven’t.
The external auditors scene was hilarious. Those guys repeating after the woman are silly.
Two of my favorite quotes are between Onyeka Onwenu and Genevieve Nnaji:
“Never come between two brothers.”
“Sit up. Then shut up.”
Directed by: Genevieve Nnaji
Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5