04 July 2006

Madam Dearest

I first came across this movie in February when I saw the second part at MG's mothers house (I am yet to come across a Nollywood movie that didn't have atleast two parts). It was quite an interesting story.

Synopsis of Madam Dearest
A young couple have been on a 10 year baby watch and have tried everything to no avail. Falling victim to the Nigerian police and their disdain for good samaritans, the husband goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Family and friends concerned for their daughter/friend persuade the houseboy to initiate an affair with his oga's wife (imagine). After a brief struggle with his conscience (spurred on by a fellow houseboy) the whole thing begins to like a good idea to the houseboy. The wife eventually caves under the pressure from friends and family and succumbs to the allure of the houseboy. The birth of a baby boy ensues. The wronged husband returns from jail and of course the wife passes on the boy as his. The husband doesn't find this hard to believe since he enjoyed conjugal visits while in jail. Life returns to normal but as you can imagine the houseboy cannot really take sudden change in events. He has a run in with the husband which culuminates in him 'kidnapping' his son with the intent of taking him to Ghana (his home country). Suprisingly the Nigerian police force swing into action creating a dragnet as soon as the husband and wife report the child missing, kidnapped by the houseboy. The houseboy is advised to send his child to Ghana instead of attempting to go himself, and his friend volunteers his wife as the courier. At the border, commotion ensues between Customs and car smugglers. The courier is killed and the child taken in by the head of the smugglers. The wife and husband believe their child has been successfully kidnapped, while the houseboy believes the child has been returned to his former boss. Child grows up in the smugglers house, houseboy goes on to be a minister in his home country. Husband now begins to suspect (imagine after all this time) that all is not well between himself and his wife and arranges to have his house bugged. He soon learns the truth about the paternity of his kidnapped son. He confronts his wife and decides the best punishment for her would be not to divorce her. As fate will have it, the child meets the houseboy and as fate will again have it the boy was in some financial strait (his father had died and his step mother had spilled the beans about his parentage sufficiently unsettling him into leaving home without a cent even though his adopted father has made him executioner of his will). He offers him work as a house boy in his household (ironic) and makes a call to Nigeria requesting that his former boss/lover/mother of his child come to Ghana. A soppy reunion ensues. The End

I gathered all this by watching the second part and I made a note to watch the first part. My opportunity arrived when I asked Spice what I should bring for her and she said home videos. I bought this title along with some others at the recommendation of one of the interns in my office. In total Spice and I spent 5 hours and 19 mins watching this movie and I am still angry! Although I had made allowances for the typical rambling nature of nollywood offerings, this one really upset me for one reason - It was directed by Tade Ogidan. The noise they make about this guy on the nollywood scene I expected a more cohesive, film from him. For one the dialogue was reminicent of a yoruba conversation; too many words. Two, makeup and wardrobe was nothing like 'O Le ku' we had no props to help us determine that this movie spanned at least 15 years. Three, way too may scenes. At the end of the day the second part could have been released as the whole movie and it would have been okay. I mean the houseboy spent a good 20 mins at the end of part two talking us through all that happened in part one at the meeting between himself, his former boss and lover and their love child. The storyline was very good though and I think for me that is the only saving grace for this movie. Also the houseboy and his friends tried on the 'ghanian tyring to speak yoruba' accent. Kudos also to the smugglers second wife her performance at the family meeting after her husbands death was nothing if not entertaining.

I have oftened pondered this question; why do Nollywood movies always have atleast a second part? Some of the movies I bought for Spice had no business having a first part not to talk of a second part and the producers/directors have the effontry to ask viewers to watch out for a part 3!!! It seems to me that Nollywood movies are priced with respect to the number of discs the movie manages to contain, an incentive in my opinion for this part 'infinity' rubbish. While we still have a lot of work to do technically with respect to the production, camera work, directing, etc of Nollywood movies (we should rememeber we do not need to reinvent the wheel) we can work on stuff like our dialogue, screenplay, etc etc. I have often asked after watching Nollywood films if the film was adapted from a screen play or do the actors ad lib as they go along (that would explain the windy dialogue).

After all said and done, if you haven't seen 'Madam Dearest' skip part one and see part two, in my opinion thats all thats worth seeing of this movie

13 comments:

Adunni said...

I thought the same as well and so i did not make the mistake of watching part one. In all i think the film's saving grace for me was the soundtrack i think i'll buy the CD if it ever makes it to the market'cos as of right now i haven't seen it yet. Oh for the day when nigerian movies would be world class!!. Hope you're having fun and goodluck on the job hunt.
You're lucky to be outta here. Nepa oops sorry PHCN is showing us pepper. Cheers.

Olawunmi said...

you get no sympathy from me. sorry. with those "home videos", all you ever get is shambolic

DiAmOnD hawk said...

u know it's actually gotten to a point where i dont really watch the movies anymore. My first experience watching a nigerian movie movie, it was pretty good and all of a sudden it just ENDED. in the middle of a scene. So i asked my friend..WHAT HAPPENED?! She said that's how they all are.So i started to order movies and made sure that i would get all the parts...and then i started getting irritated...just as you said...there's no need for part 2,3....even part 1..the one movie i love is KEEPING FAITH. that was nicely done...i dont know what the hoopla was abou DANGEROUS TWINS...i couldnt even get thru the first part of it..i have so many movies now gathering dust...ive just lost interest in watching them

bhookey said...

yea thats a really good movie!

Mona said...

It's a great movie....but parts 1 to 3?? I like the story sha and the fact they did it in Ghana too and had a variety of nollywood yoruba actors/actresses but they had one funny yoruba they were trying to blow...as if they were from cotonou..

P.S. Check out the forum I currently have going on my blog for a week.

Anonymous said...

Let's be thankful for small mercies. I can watch this movie upteen times. I can't wait to see part 3.

bizzle said...

MD is one of the few better Nollywood movies i have seen. As a rule, i dont watch Nigerian movies but this was different.The soundtrack was lovely and very apt.The acting was also bearable and the directing not too bad. Of course its well known that when a Nollywood movie has multiple parts just watching the final one will do. Ciao!

Anonymous said...

correct talk! dont know why the nollywoodians think films create that much suspense for some of their patriots like me to suffer watching 6 discs! one day sha we'll get better quality for our moni and time. nice write ups

Anonymous said...

I don't actually watch yoruba movies but madam dearest was off d hook.I keep telling ppl to watch it.The movie is a really nie one.Yall keep doing what u are going.Good Luck.

Sparkle said...

I cry everytime I watch d movie. Madam dearest is the BOMB!Taden Ogidan is d best.Talk about the music; so unique in a different kind of way and dat was what drew my attention cos I love anything dat involves music.Tade got me hooked.

Jide said...

We all know wat nigerian movies can be but i think any1 with an open mind should think of this as an exemtion. Thumbs up tade!!!

Anonymous said...

To be very honest I couldnt agree more to what you said..my sister had so hyped up this flick that when I Finally went to Naija last October I told my sister in law to get the film for me..which I watched when I got back to England...and I still think part 2 should still serve as the whole flick..part 1 was an absolute waste of time..space and energy...and I MEAN IT

Anonymous said...

You all should always appreciate what's done with people's effort. Madam dearest is one in town, a very touching movie and with very sensible write ups. Am proud of you Tade Ogidan. All the best! Both 1,2,3 is forever to be talked about and I will always watch the movie forever and ever if seen.