December 3, 2019

The Bondage Story – Good Wine Needs no Bush

Film review by Amarachukwu Iwuala

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Igbo adage, coming across with the same sentiments as the Title above,  says that a good product sells itself.

The interest generated by Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, the second sequel to the phenomenal Living in Bondage, has been quite intense.

It is the song on almost every film-goer’s lip and, from all indications, the flick, running in cinemas in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Warri, etc., since November 8, 2019, is likely to remain in the box office throughout the Yuletide and far into the first quarter of 2020.

Nnamdi (Swanky JKA) attempts to earn a living from his talent, but meets brick walls and, in one instance, he is swindled, unabashedly so, by his business associates, who tell him that their dishonesty is ‘just business.’  He meets Richard (Ramsey Noah) through Chief Omego (Kanayo O. Kanayo) and his wife (Ndidi Obi).  Richard willingly becomes Nnamdi’s benefactor, but Nnamdi must join the brotherhood and present the person he loves the most to be slaughtered as the price for the untold wealth.

Actor/director Ramsey Noah assembles all the elements in his toolbox to make this an exceptional outing.  Though not comedy, there is no shortage of subtext and witty dialogue in the film.  This is a lesson to those film-makers who choke their audience with slapstick comedy where they cast a comedian or comedienne who infuriates the viewer rather than add any value whatsoever to the film.

Picture and sound are beautifully integrated to bring the well-written screenplay to life.  Acting powerhouses and newcomers also give good accounts of themselves.  Swanky JKA deserves a trophy for not disappointing despite performing alongside established actors.

There are a few inconsistencies in Living in Bondage: Breaking Free.  Why did Obinna (Enyinna Nwigwe) need to get involved in ritual murders when he is the son of Chief Omego?  I mean, Omego’s wealth can last ten lifetimes.  The only way this would have been justifiable was if father and son were estranged, and this doesn’t come across.

Why did Nnamdi’s family members disappear from the scene all through his prosperous period?  Everyone conveniently stayed away, how?  Bringing them closer could have even amplified the suspense as to whom he would have been compelled to bring for the sacrifice.

Noah: the actor/director pulls out all the stops..

Ndidi Obi’s role as Mrs. Omego should not have been a cameo; she was in her element and had a lot more to offer, especially in a film where all the women played minor roles.

Mrs. Nworie (Ebele Okaro-Onyiuke) is grateful that her two sons made it for thanksgiving.  Did she mean to say harvest and bazaar because there is no known ceremony in the Catholic Church known as thanksgiving?  People invite friends and family for thanksgiving when they have special occasions like child dedication, birthdays and so on.

These observations, not withstanding, Living in Bondage: Breaking Free deserves all the accolades it is getting.  Like Living in Bondage 1 (1992) and Living in Bondage 2 (1993), the producers decide to leave the film open-ended, in case another sequel becomes necessary.

I am sure Chris Obi Rapu, who directed Living in Bondage 1 under the pseudonym, Vic Mordi, and Christian Chika Onu, who made the second part of the movie, will be proud that the brand is still making waves almost three decades after.  By the way, Obi Rapu could not use his real name because the NTA, his employers at that time, forbade private practice.

Please, see Living in Bondage: Breaking Free.  You will be thrilled.

 

 

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