DIRECTOR: TONY ABULU
WRITER: TONY ABULU
PRODUCER: TONY ABULU
GENRE: DRAMA, SPECIAL INTEREST
YEAR OF RELEASE: 22ND OF FEBRUARY 2013
CAST: JIMMY JEAN LOUIS, ISAIAH WASHINGTON, VIVICA. A.FOX, GENEVIEVE NNAJI, STEPHANIE OKEREKE, BERN COHEN, VICTOR BROWNE, EVAN BRINKMAN, TONY ABULU
RUNNING TIME: 1HOUR 35 MINUTES
PRODUCTION COMPANY: BLACK IVORY COMMUNICATIONS
COUNTRY: USA AND NIGERIA
Brilliant cancer specialist Dr. Michael Durant, played by Isaiah Washington is going through emotional troubles because of his traumatic loss of his ten year old daughter from cancer. He engages himself in work at the hospital, keeping him away from his wife, played by Vivica Fox, who keeps blaming him for the loss of their daughter as they are still on bad terms. He goes on to form an improbable bond with his seven year old son who is suffering from a sickness. As his son’s health situation becomes worse, a Nigerian nurse convinces to seek the help of Doctor Bello, an uncertified Nigerian Doctor, played by Jimmy Jean-Louis who is believed to be an underground miracle worker. What follows is a story of love, discovery of new frontiers and a return to ones roots. The Nigerian doctor cures the son of his brain cancer and refuses to reveal the source of his miracle cure. He is therefore jailed for medical malpractice and develops brain tumor leaving him with only a few weeks to live. The movie is set in four major locations; downtown New York, Lagos, Abeokuta and Ondo states. The movie was financed by MTN and was produced, directed and written by Tony Abulu, who also stars in the movie. It is a Hollywood and Nollywood collabo. It is a drama movie.
The movie’s message is that of the possibility that indeed cures for cancer and other plaguing ailments can indeed be found in Africa.
It is a collaboration of Hollywood and Nollywood. It brings together experienced actors from both movie industries such as Genevieve Nnaji, Isaiah Washington of Grey’s anatomy, and Vivica Fox amongst a host of others. The experience is displayed especially in the performance of Isaiah as he does a fantastic job as a doctor coming from the medical background of Grey’s anatomy. He uses his medical terminologies brilliantly and flawlessly, realistically executing the role of a doctor who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He for me is the stand out performer of the movie but this comes as no surprise as he has prior experience of his role already.
Vivica Fox also plays her role well acting as a wife who is still going through emotional trauma from the loss of their daughter. She is a woman needing her husband now more than ever. The kill bill star gets an ovation from me.
Dr Bello, played by Jimmy Jean-Louis, did not really put up a good display. He did not play the role of a Nigerian person well for one who has lived only a while in the states. He did not do a lot of talking, but when he did he was not coherent. He had more of a French/ Haitian accent. Sam, played by Evan Brinkman, who plays the role of the son of Doctor Durant, does a good job of playing sick, passing out and convulsing.
The use of makeup in the movie was also on point as they made Sam look like a perfect replica of a person battling from cancer although i could notice that his hands were not as pale as his face.
I could not help but notice the silence that surrounded the scenes of New York City (the city that never sleeps) which we rarely see in other movies based in the city leaving me to suspect a little bit of Nigerian budget in the states.
The movie had a lot of unnecessary scenes, unnecessary conversations and the uneasy quest (you might want to grab a pillow for these parts) to find the cure for the disease when the movie moved into the Nigerian setting. They could have done without a barrage of scenes as it was a total merry go round. Such scenes include the scene where Lara tells her daughter that Bello was her dad adding nothing to the plot. Also the police and accident scenes are unnecessary. This is very typical about Nigerian movies.
An error noticed was when doctor Bello visited Sam in the hospital to administer the drugs to him, but since his mouth was shut how then did he administer the drugs? I could also see staring crowds at the scene where they are to get a car to Ondo from Abeokuta, meanwhile yellow and black striped cabs are seen which are found in Lagos. The office of the dean of medicine is not supposed to be in UNILAG rather it is meant to be at LUTH based on facts.
Elements of comedy are seen in a hilarious cameo by Jide Kosoko added much life to a rather boring movie. Genevieve Nnaji is not allowed to showcase her acting skills as she is almost invincible in all her scenes. Same could be said of Stephanie Okereke.
The movie is mind numbing and there is really nothing per se that makes it stand out from other Nigerian movies looking at the attention given to it.
In all, the movie did not live up to expectations. There were star appearances from both Hollywood and Nollywood, meaning we should have expected more but good performances from Washington and Fox were the only ones who really impressed me. The story line is actually a bit trashy and the film is a disappointment as a lot was expected from the movie. I would give the movie a 6.5 out of 10 as it is a must watch movie but did not really live up to the hype. Some might find it interesting while some might sleep throughout the whole movie.
ELEMENTS OF PRODUCTION