Nigeria is one difficult place for a woman to have a successful anything. Genevieve Nnaji did her bit to correct that notion with her debut directorial motion picture, Lionheart.
Genevieve Nnaji‘s Adaeze Obiagu is the daughter of a buoyant transport company owner in Eastern Nigeria. She has been a reliable right-hand woman to her father in the daily running of the family business. The big man, Pete Edochie’s Chief Ernest Obiagu, falls ill. He has to step aside just after edging favourably towards a major government contract.
Business is business and Adaeze naturally but not maliciously sees this as her chance to become company chairlady. But daddy had other ideas. He brought in his brother Godswill to ‘oversee things’ while Adaeze maintained her position as Logistics Director.
From there on, matters start to unravel in business and in her life. Except they did in a way she did not really see coming. A learning curve on her way to becoming a successful woman in Nigeria if you will.
The actors in Lionheart comprises a star cast. Genevieve Nnaji may be the most bankable name of the lot yet her presence did not diminish other actors’ shine.
That sees Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, Ngozi Ezeonu and Kanayo O. Kanayo sprinkle their brilliance on the film. The likes of Kalu Ikeagwu, Jemima Osunde, Sani Mua’zu and Chibuzor ‘Phyno’ Azubuike did their bit to make Lionheart worthy of your precious streaming data for Netflix.
Phyno’s bit was made more impressive. This considering he was making his debut in Nollywood alongside fellow music star, Peter Okoye, who did okay himself.
The best bits Big props must go to whoever got the screenwriters for this. The scenes of Eastern and Northern descent paid off.
One must also appreciate the use of language in Lionheart. For once, one did not have to tolerate a forced ‘this is that thick Igbo accent you’ve heard about’. Rather, the Igbo speaking was fluent. The actors blended it nicely with the English which thankfully did not need to be forcefully Igbotic.
Another bit that was not forced was Phyno’s role as the other child. The supposed bad egg of the house. His part was just made into what it should be; a filler which proved useful to the overall plot eventually.
And then there was the lowkey promotion of local business which Nollywood films must do more. In Lionheart, We saw Innoson Motors, just like Audi got prominence in the Avengers films.
Watching the opening scene with the thugs causing a raucous at the Lionheart Park, the acting looked a bit awkward. Simply put, those thugs did not look intimidating. It did smoothen out. Plus there was the one dark-skinned thug with a heavy chain around his neck. He gave A Obiagu one long stare before walking away. It was an amusing way to end that scene.
Otherwise, Lionheart was a satisfactory story to tell in favour of feminism without it being overly the subject matter. There was also the occasional breathtaking aerial views of Enugu and Kano that were served. It is such input that adds value to the country’s tourism industry if done more frequently in Nollywood pictures that make the big screens or as the case can be, big-time platforms such as Netflix.
Oh yes, did you watch the post-credit scene or skipped to the next movie while the credits rolled?