Movie Review: ‘Ijé: The Journey’ (Starring Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde & Genevieve Nnaji)
2010’s much talked about movie Ijé: The Journey was released on DVD a few days ago so i decided to check it out and see what the hype was all about- You’re about to read my review. Nigerian movies have come a long way from the “microwave era” when movies were made within a 1wk or so (not that it’s not still happening) and Ijé is proof that something good can come out of a well put together script.
Ijé: The Journey stars two of Nigeria’s heavy weights in the movie industry Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji as the lead characters and it co-stars a number of foreign actors who managed to spice up the movie.
The movie tells the story of two sisters Anya (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde) and Chioma (Genevieve Nnaji) who have an unbreakable bond of loyalty and the power of the human spirit which ultimately gets tested over the course of the movie.
When Anya, the eldest of the two, vows to chase her dreams of glamour in the Hollywood Hills, her younger sister, Chioma—warns her of the dark side of the American Dream. Now, years later, and in a world away from the life she knew, Anya is charged with the murder of three men, one of them her powerful husband. Chioma travels to her sister’s side to battle not only a flawed justice system with the aid of a young and disillusioned attorney, but the very notion of “truth” as the cultural values of two worlds collide.
Samuel Tilsen and Chineze Anyaene who are credited as the writers of this movie could have did a good job mashing different elements of drama flicks centered around a murder and trial while. The movie could have been 20mins or more shorter if a number of scenes had not be stretched or had been completely omitted but at the end of the day it all came down to what Chineze Anyaene the director wanted.
There were times when watching the movie was a lot like watching one of those Televista series like “When You Were Mine” which i don’t say in a good way and the sound in the background was little too much as i would have preferred if not every scene had some sort of music playing in the background and thus give the pictures life of their own. Still on music, Asa crooning her hit track “Awe” as the opening soundtrack was alright initially but then it started dragging on and was used a second time in the movie (i hope she got paid) making it tiring.
For my second Nigerian movie in 2012, it sure was better than Mr and Mrs (Joseph Benjamin & Nse Ikpe Etim) where they kept zooming in on the actors and objects in the room in almost all the scenes making you wonder if you were watching an interview put together by an amateur instead of a movie expected to be enjoyed. The scenes in Ijé flowed properly and for someone not looking to analyze every single scene it came out commendable.
I decided to go in on the actors in the movie as the last part of my review as i was expecting more from the “Nollywood Heavyweights” Omotola & Genevieve but instead their acting wasn’t so impressive but worth praising when compared to Ulrich Que’s acting in the movie. Ulrich played the lawyer (Jalen Turner) in the movie and i have to say his acting was laughable (hopefully they didn’t pay him much for the movie). Not all the actors were unconvincing in their roles and one of those that managed to deliver was the inmate “Libby” played by Diana Yekinni.
While Ijé: The Journey (with a budget of about $2.5 million) isn’t your everyday Nollywood film and had a good storyline, i certainly won’t be watching this one a second time as the movie wasn’t captivating nor was it thrilling and i could easily leave my seat with the movie playing and not ask “What did i miss?” the moment i returned.