NANBox Office Review: Living In Bondage Sequel Brings Old Nollywood Back

NANBox Office Review: Living In Bondage Sequel Brings Old Nollywood Back
NANBox Office Review: Living In Bondage Sequel Brings Old Nollywood Back

There was a reason old Nollywood thrived, with audiences religiously following film characters. ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ brought the feeling back.

The modern retake on the classic 1997 film that birthed Nollywood as a formal industry took no prisoners in serving pure, nolstagic entertainment.

Directed by Ramsey Nuoah, the film follows the son of Andy Okeke (the lead of the first film). The young man, Nnamdi Okeke is lured into a secret society for wealth and looses peace when asked to sacrifice his love interest.

The film, produced by Play Network and Native FilmWorks, does not really score points for the newness of its storyline. In fact, it is the predictability of the story that adds to the flavour.

Audiences at the cinemas already knew where the story was headed but it gave a sort of satisfaction to be able to relate with the classic Nollywood ‘money ritual’ trope.

It was refreshing to watch audiences react genuinely when events happened to the characters. It felt like watching home videos, on video tape, lying around the house.

It was the type of Nollywood home video that the average Nigerian grew up invested in.

The type that although you knew the ending, you would ask someone to narrate what you missed and sit on the edge of your seat till it was over.

Nuoah and his crew completed the throwback effect by including the ‘original money ritual lords’ in the cast. From Kanayo O. Kanayo to Kenneth Okonkwo.

These actors were complimented with the great acting of the fresh-faced lead, Swanky JKA, who embodied his character to the teeth. Also, Eyinna Nwigwe and Ramsey Nuoah deserve praise for their excellent acting.

Classically, every ritual lord has a love interest and Nnamdi Okeke was not left out. However, Munachi Abii, who played his girlfriend, was as refreshing as their on-screen relationship.

While the film scored all these points for picture quality, acting, story, costume and direction, there were moments that reduced its perfect score.

‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ had a number of unnecessary scenes and some unnecessary actors. It is still hard to figure out Nancy Isime’s role and the relevance of her two scenes.

Also, Kalu Ikeagwu is an excellent actor and deserved more screen time and well-expanded dialogues, other than the hint dropping he was relegated to.

For a movie that thrived on being predictable, there were some unnecessary dialogues and scenes that did not enrich the story but where on the verge of boring the audience.

More so, the lead actor did not have enough motivation to join the ritual cult. He was broke, not poor and did not convince the audience enough in that regard. It was expected that he would join but why?

The instant layaway of the lead actor’s family immediately after he got rich did not serve the story. Except there were deleted scenes, it made no sense that we never saw them again.

Regardless of these flaws, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ is a movie to see. The excellent mix of Igbo and English dialogue made it very Nigerian.

More importantly, the opening scene where Eyinna Nwigwe’s character brutally sacrifices his child deserves its own awards.

Everything in that scene, from the writing, acting and the production properly welcomes you into the film.

It was a film that needed to be made and the producers deserve praise for making it well, with all the Nigerian flavour and little westernisation. (NAN)

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