By Tobiloba Olaosun (Lagos, Nigeria)
The First Acquired Nigerian Movie that got Netflix paying $3 million Permit me to call Genevieve a Queen in this review. Smiles. Everyone has been talking about Queen Genevieve’s directorial debut in Lionheart-the movie and I totally doff my hat for her. This is the first time in a long while I have been ecstatic about a Nigerian movie. APPEARANCES I love the selection of cast and crew members. This absolutely shows how thorough and detailed Queen G can be when it comes to professionalism and delivering value. I enjoyed the sarcasm that came with the movie. Each Scene was quick and clean. I love the fact that they didn’t hype the stars as opposed to regular movies by Nigerian actors. I enjoyed seeing Uncle Zebadiah again and all other grassroot actors.
Pete Edochie brought back the beautiful memories of his role in Things Fall Apart which still feels surreal. I was a bit hesitant about Nkem Owoh’s role because I felt how on earth would they expect him to act a serious role with his hilarious personality. To my utter amazement, I enjoyed how they let him be in his own element. I love Jemima Osunde’s role in the movie (exactly how she is in real life). I had been praying on a personal note for her to get an acting role alongside Queen G for a long time because of their semblance (Prayer answered). Yes we appreciate the best when we see them. I guess Genevieve loves green. Lol. My friend could almost bet that she repeated dresses, but I watered down the thought of our queen doing that. Some other actors, I wouldn’t have doubted. I was amazed to realize that Phyno and one of the Style Plus brothers were also in the movie. Phyno reflected the Igbo culture with his music. And I love that they didn’t overly appear in scenes.
The Heart of a Lion called Lionheart. I was a bit hesitant at first as I haven’t had a good experience with Nigerian movies. In fact, I shun away from even giving a glance. Due to this, I started the movie on a not-too-serious note despite the fact that I believe in Genevieve’s detailed expertise as it relates to directing and role management. Meeting with a set of hooligans at the first scene sort of confirmed my doubts about expecting anything grand from the movie and I didn’t hesitate to continue working on my laptop as is my custom once thrown off by an uninteresting scene in a movie. You won’t believe what happened next! The scenes afterwards get me rolling on the floor with much enthusiasm that I didn’t know when I nudged my laptop on the couch to concentrate.
The movie basically gave us an insight into the initial way Igbo brothers managed a business together with the mindset of living and leaving a legacy. Without doubt, this has been misrepresented in our society. What is obtainable now is the eye opening Lagos and Aba has induced into the system such that trusting even their tongues seems the hardest to do. As a matter of fact, both the CEO’s daughter and some staff members were disappointed at the decision of the CEO to bring in his brother as acting MD due to his health crisis, and they didn’t hesitate to express it. However, the place of a wise man cannot be undermined. Interesting how Queen G created a balance by also giving a scenario of what is obtainable in the society today where everything is channeled into making money whether genuine or not.
There’s a percentage of youth nowadays who don’t mind duping the next naïve person around them. When crisis struck, both the daughter and brother had to work together to ensure the stability of the business. The most hilarious part was when Osuofia slapped the bank manager for making passes at his niece which landed them in jail. Then they switched positions with the PA and driver as they had limited time to get control of their company. From Onyeka Owenu’s role, we see a mother who respects tradition and the unity between brothers and knows best how not to cause disparity amongst them. I Love how she navigated her daughter away from trouble and told her not to come between brothers. Deep lesson there.
The movie also reiterates the need for brothers to dwell in unity, for employees to believe in the vision their CEO is running with and particularly for individuals to believe that they can do whatever they’ve set their minds on and there’s no limitation to what they can achieve. Amazing how they reflected the faith a Father has in his daughter as against the premonition we have about the significant role of a son in an Igbo family. As a matter of fact, the son was not even interested in the Father’s business, he championed his own course. The movie ended on a beautiful note of inter-tribal marriages between the Hausa and Igbo Community.
My take-home? 2 things; 1. Never come between 2 brothers. 2. To solve a crisis in business, pay attention to what your consumers are saying, what your competitors are doing and what is obtainable in the market. I’m not Igbo, I struggled with keeping up with the subtitles a bit, but it still communicated to me. I loved watching it a 2nd time for the benefit of this review. Simple with Classic style!