Antonio J Bell
Tribeca Film Institute
- 24 April 2018 (Tribeca)
- 19 October 2018 (United States)
Inside Nollywood Rating: 5/5
I have never fallen so in love with a movie like I fell in love with Nigerian Prince; a Netflix streaming highly under appreciated Nollywood/Hollywood movie.
The scenes were a clear testimony of what happens when the Oyibo touch happens in a creative’s mind. The level of excellence in telling the Nigerian story was raised so high by the rapt attention given to very little details in our everyday life. Eating buns while observing an expatriate cousin. Getting a female student to walk the teenager Nigerian American to his new school because she is late for work. Anyone born in Nigerian can relate with one or more scenes in this perfect movie; Nigerian Prince.
Faraday Okoro is my new hero in screenwriting and directing. He outdid many, if not all Nigerians l who have ever told a Nigerian story.
That scene where the duo of Pius and his partner and crime got release was completely unexpected and then as they take a bus to go back home while planning how to destroy evidence, the bus gets stopped and they get abducted by the police got me laughing so hard.
This is a beautifully written movie about a teenager, Eze (played by Anthony Bell) who was sent back to Nigeria from the United States of America by his Nigerian parents to have a Nigerian experience so he can better appreciate his privileged citizenship.
He finds it hard to acclimatize to the Nigerian ways and starts making frantic calls and effort to see how he can go back. Meanwhile his parents are separated and none wants him. On the other hand, he has an older cousin, Pius (played by Chinaza Uche) who is neck deep in a scam syndicate involving the police. The police uses him and his boss and only guarantees them bail when caught and small money to stay afloat. So, Pius has done scamming for 12 years and yet nothing to shown for it other than a jalopy car. Pius jumps on Eze mistaking him for an intruder and in the process spoils Eze’s laptop. He promises to replace the laptop and Eze covered for him when his Aunty asked after who got the laptop spoilt.
Eze is enrolled in a secondary school which he hated. After his cousin replaces the laptop, he calls him and arranges to meet with him and Pius picks him up from school and takes Eze to live with him. Eze suggests to help Pius in his scam business for a plane ticket back to the US.
Meanwhile Pius goes for a meet with a supposed naive Caucasian rich man who seemingly wants to buy chemicals for cleaning ‘black money.’ His boss brought him along as a partner. It turns out the Caucasian male is an undercover CIA agent working with the Nigerian EFCC to bust the scam racket. The duo gets busted but then gets released with the help of Smart, a top police officer who is using them as his pawns in his criminal activities. He makes another demand from the duo with a short time deadline. Pius’ boss throws in the towel on scamming but Pius is hellbent as he does not feel he can ever be safe from Smart.
The movie climaxes when one of Pius’ boys who had been held hostage in Smart’s office as surety for Pius to deliver on instruction, dies. And when Pius asks after him, he is subliminally warned not to ask again. Pius realizes Eze staying with him was no longer safe and arranged to take Eze back to his mum, Eze’s aunt, without his consent. They meet at the airport and using Eze’s passport which he lured him into parting with, as well as some bribe, Pius japa.
The way the movie kept in suspense got my head reeling and I felt like a girl being stimulated to heat and just when she yearns for coitus, the movie ends.
The movie explored practically all the basic themes that make up the Nigerian story; corrupt police system, the tragedy of the US based Nigerian with children born in the US and taking the privileges they enjoy for granted, the dysfunctional state of homes as a result of horrible government system and westernization, extrajudicial killings by the police, section 419 of the criminal code, the gospel of internet and email scammers, the inevitable horrible end of a criminal lifestyle and the japa phenomenon. There is no Nigerian that sees this movie who would not laugh so hard, cry so hard and gain insights about their Nigerian experiences past and present. Indeed, odiegwu. Please I cannot wait for the part two of this movie as well as all the awards and laurels it deserves. Well done, Faraday Okoro!