[Movie Review] Ije-The Journey Featuring Genevieve Nnaji And Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde

0
5

Director: Chineze Anyaene

Writters: Samuel Tilsen and Chineze Anyaene

Cast: Genevieve Nnaji (Chioma Opara), Omotola Jalade (Anya Opara Michino), Ulrich Que (Jalen Turner), Jeff Swarthout (Don Deccico), Clem Ohameze (Papa Opara) and Odalys García (Caroline Vasquez).

Ije tells the story of two sisters. Chioma and Anya who grew up in a Nigerian village (Oku Village). Years down the line, Anya chases the American dream and becomes a successful musician in Los Angeles, but then, tragedy strikes when she is allegedly accused of killing her husband and producer, Michael Michino, and two other men in their L.A mansion. Chioma then flies into the States to try and save her sister and enlists the help of a young and “failed” attorney Jalen Turner.

I was impressed by this production. It is definitely one of the best movies I have seen this year and a great Nollywood/Hollywood collaboration. I loved the motives behind this movie; the social issues raised and the messages passed; a fight against rape, racial stigmatization and not forgetting the naija babe no dey carry last performance of Genevieve in the mug scene. “You think these streets are tough, come to Lagos, wa riran!” …LOL, those words kept ringing in my head even after I was done with the movie. One of the best catch lines of the year to me.

***

The Script

***

If there is anything I love about this movie, it should be the originality of the script. It was well written by Samuel Tilsen and Chineze Anyaene. A friend once told me, that the best movies are those written and directed by the same person. This movie is a confirmation of that school of thought. The script kinda had the Nollywood signature in it, being that every of their production has a message. Sometimes it can be Pete Edochie out to kill all four children of his late brother over some barren land like that, or the wicked step mother who won’t let Tony Umez’s daughter have some rest. But in this one, it was the social issues noted earlier and Ije definitely told the story a lot better than most Nigerian movies would have. Haha! That reminds me, that particular movie Blood Sisters also featured Omotola and Genevieve as sisters, perhaps that explains the chemistry. Another great thing about the story was everyone’s display of clear cut professionalism in the delivery of their lines, but above all, Genevieve was a poet worthy of winning a Nobel prize in this movie. Ok, I guess that’s a bit too extreme but she delivered some of the best punch lines I have seen in a Nollywood production.

***

The Directing

***

I remember my junior secondary school days when I used to be the best in the class (true story) and then three students who also happened to be triplets got transferred to the school and that was the last time I sniffed the first, second or third position. That same thing is happening right now in Nollywood. The old guys who shall not be named are washing off and the new breed of Nollywood directors are here to put us on the world stage. Chineze Anyaene is the very first student of New York Film Academy to ever produce a full feature movie before graduating and she has several awards to her name. I couldn’t spot any flaws in the movie. Someone definitely did her job well.

***

The Acting

***

It would be interesting to note that just a couple of weeks ago, We pointed out Omotola Jalade’s and several other actors’ performances in Last Flight to Abuja as having been poor, but thanks to a wonderful director who in my opinion must have had a lot of work to do gave the best performance in this movie. Omotola and Genevieve just prove to me after all these years, that they are incredible actresses.

I also loved that fact that, as low-profile the Hollywood actors in the movie were, they also happened to be great actors. It wasn’t like the typical albino pose as a white man job that we have been fed in the past. They all did pretty well. Great job guys.

***

Our Verdict

***

Ije comfortably earns a Popcorn and Soda from us here at S&P. Ije got out on DVD a few days back, so if you haven’t seen it, it is only right you go to an authorized store to get your copy. Click here to view list of authorized stores.