There is no doubt that the Nollywood industry has significantly improved over the past few years. It is especially important to acknowledge Ebony Life Film Production as an integral part of this improvement. This production company has consistently released high budget movies that always keep the audience entertained.

One of such movies is the 2018 comedy-drama, Chief Daddy. The movie centres on a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist, Chief Beecroft, whose last wish was to bring the family together after his death.

Chief Daddy was directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, a director, who has proven over the past few years to be a prolific filmmaker. With his previous projects ‘Falling’ and ‘The arbitration’, Niyi has set a high standard for all Nigerian filmmakers. It is rather unfortunate that he may have failed to meet his own standard with this movie.

This star-studded motion picture is undeniably a pictorial masterpiece. However, the poor scripting almost cancels out the immense effort that the crew members evidently put in. A critical look at the positives and shortcomings will make for a proper evaluation.

Joke Silva, Linda Ihuoma-Suleiman, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Ini Edo, Shaffy Bello, Rachel Oniga, and Falz in Chief Daddy (2018). Photo: IMDB
Joke Silva, Linda Ihuoma-Suleiman, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Ini Edo, Shaffy Bello, Rachel Oniga, and Falz in Chief Daddy (2018). Photo: IMDB

The Positives

Cinematography and Post Production

The shots and transitions in this movie are stunning. Muhammad Atta once again demonstrates that he is a cinematographer to be reckoned with. His beautifully taken shots and Victoria Akujobi’s brilliant use of transitions for the editing makes everything appear sophisticated. 

Art Director and Production Design

If Chief Daddy had done nothing else right, it definitely nailed it in this department. The production design and the set decor of all the locations were fully harmonized with the story.

The mansion, the cars and the funeral events were all properly represented. Also, the wealth of Chief Beecroft was radiating, and his relatives were not left out as they were all adorned with gorgeous outfits. In the end, everything came together pleasantly.

Casting and Acting

Like most cinema movies, Chief daddy features lots of popular actors like Joke Silva, Richard Mofe Damijo, Dakore Egbuson, Shaffy Bello, Nkem Owo, just to mention a few. These actors are all talented and all give their best in whatever projects they are involved.

For the most part, the chemistry between most of the actors was very nice and the acting was good. This was accentuated by the Funke Akindele and Kate Henshaw duo, which added a certain mischievous spice to the drama. And even though Femi (Falz)’s girlfriend had little screen time she had unmatched energy that was consistent all through the movie.

Falz’s performance as the rude boy was spectacular and his ability to maintain his accent is really commendable. Overall, the casting director did quite a good job and the Director sure did use this to his advantage.

Narration

Mawuli Gavor (played Damilare Kofi Mensah) really did justice to the narration, it was a nice complement to the movie. His deep soothing voice and the pace of the narration was just perfect. 

Music and others

For the most part, the music and sound effects captured the essence of the scenes. Although playing “Omo Pupa” at the funeral ceremony was a swing and miss, the chosen music for the rest of the movie was appropriate.

For fans of Ebony Life Film Production, inserting the main characters of Castle and Castle must have been really exciting. It was smart PR for castle and castle, and it was also quite praiseworthy.

Shortcomings

Acting

The performances of the actors fluctuated with a bit of overacting and underacting at different points of the movie. The conscious effort put into trying to make all the situations funny seemed to have made matters worse. Certain instances that would have been perfect with sad and emotional reactions were performed ecstatically.

For instance, Juliana (Linda Ejiofor)’s reaction when Tega Castle (Richard Mofe Damijo) told her of Chief Daddy’s demise wasn’t appropriate for that of a relative. And, understandably, a more emotional performance from the actors may have dampened the comic energy the director was going for, even so, lack of it is off-putting.

Story

The story has potential but it comes off as calculated – the writer knows what he wants and he makes sure to get it despite all logical red flags. Some of the dialogues, especially that of Chief Beecroft, were defective. His constant reference to time would only have made sense if he had planned his death.

Also, the story lacks depth and rather focuses on the greed of Chief Beecroft’s relative rather than the family theme which it would seem is supposedly the original theme for the movie.

Tiny Details

In the process of making a movie, filmmakers tend to miss out on tiny details that may be noticeable to the audience. Chief Daddy has a few of those. Doctor Bada answering a call without swiping is one of them. Another is the keystone ATM card cutaway that was obviously from a different clip. 

Ultimately, Chief Daddy is a well shot movie that could have been better if it had more depth and a better interpretation.

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