Movie Review


In a year that has seen the Nigerian film industry break its own records and make audacious statements, a new treasure has taken streaming block by surprise – “Blood Vessel.” Produced by Charles Okpaleke and Play Network Studios, this Moses Inwang-directed mystery and crime thriller has not only captivated local audiences but also ascended to the prestigious position of Nollywood’s most-watched movie of the week on Netflix. E choke, choken’t it?

Journey Into the Heart of Nembe

“Blood Vessel” weaves a narrative as intricate as the Niger Delta region it calls home. Set against the backdrop of Nembe, a community in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, the film introduces us to Abbey, Boma, Degbe, Olotu, Tekena, and Oyinbraekemi – six individuals brought together by chance, united by a shared escape from a town marred by oil pollution and military upheaval.

Little do they know that their quest for a better life would lead them to the heart of a mysterious vessel, setting the stage for a gripping tale of survival, friendship, and the complexities of love.

Beyond the Surface

While “Blood Vessel” may be categorized as a mysterious crime thriller, its depth transcends genre labels. At its core, the film delves into the profound immigration experience of individuals from “impoverished” countries – particularly stowaways. The characters, each on their unique path of survival, embody the hopes, struggles, and dreams of those seeking prosperity beyond their borders.

Tekena (Sylvester Ekanem) and Olotu (Obinna Okenwa) are conflicted brothers seeking greener pastures in foreign shores, while Boma (Jide Ekene) and Degbe (Levi Chikere) flee a military crackdown after being identified as the prime suspects of a grievous murder of a soldier. Then, there’s Abbey (David Ezekiel) and Oyinbraekemi (Adaobi Dibor), the ill-fated lovers grappling to escape destiny’s unfair grip and live happily ever after – wherever and however – against all odds. All six of them aboard a ship to the promised land of Brazil – promised by “Mr. P.”

Moses Inwang’s directorial prowess shines through in his depiction of “Blood Vessel” as an emotional journey. The script, penned by Musa Jeffery David, seamlessly navigates conflicting narratives, leaving viewers in suspense while captivating them with each frame.

The cinematography and visual effects, helmed by a talented ensemble paint a vivid picture of the striking semblance between the chaotic landscapes of the oil-polluted Niger Delta and the harsh realities faced by the characters. The characters, vividly portrayed by impressive performances, entice spectators to empathise with their hardships and victories.

Themes That Resonate: Love, Betrayal, and the Human Experience

Through its exploration of universal issues, “Blood Vessel” surpasses its classification as a simple thriller. The film’s opening sequences set the tone for the intense roller coaster of emotions that ensue. From the devastating effects of oil pollution to the intense moments of survival on the mysterious ship, “Blood Vessel” employs the power of storytelling that transcends geographical boundaries.

Friendship, community, betrayal, love, vulnerability, greed, time, and chance become threads woven into the fabric of the storyline. Without mincing words, one can say the film is an exploration of essential facets of the human experience through the lens of Nollywood.

Hat’s off to the film’s ability to evoke empathy, fear, and hope. Pure mastery.


Blood Vessel’s Triumph on Netflix

As 2023 draws to a festive end, “Blood Vessel” stands tall as another one of Nollywood’s triumphs on the global stage. Emerging as the #1 watched movie on Netflix for the week reflects its sheer brilliance, strong replay value and echoes Nollywood’s ability to resonate with audiences far beyond borders.

The runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes becomes a journey that transcends time, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of viewers.

Thus, this leads us to the big question: how long will “Blood Vessel” sail in the coveted waters of #1 on Netflix?

We’ll see 🤞🏽


PS: If you haven’t seen this film yet, this is your sign to. Thank us later

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  • Ezenwa Okonkwo

    Ezenwa Okonkwo is the Senior Writer, Film & TV Business at InsideNollywood.Ng. He is a well-rounded storyteller, poet, and screen writer with a flare for the silver screen. Ezenwa also has an eye for documentary-themed photography and wields a curious mind that’s constantly shifting from “what if” to “what next”.

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