Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Dangerous Gamble (2008)
Also known as Gambling with Marriage
Story – Chioma Okegbuna
Screenplay – Willie Ajenge
Director – Willie Ajenge
Van Vicker – Kojo
Jake Aernan – Ben
Stephanie Okereke – Ifeoma
Nadia Buari – Imelda
Ejiro Okurame – Doris
Doris Sackitey – Mrs Kwame
John Okwugo – Job
Emmanuel Emoabino – John
Daniel Smith – David
Nabil Meizongo – Sani
Jake Aryee – Frank
Kelvin Moore – Joe
Liz Duru – Mrs Kwame’s daughter
Arranged Marriage African
Marriage of convenience African Society
Gender Roles African Society
Gender Identity in Africa
Jealousy in African Society
Unrequited Love in Africa
My Rating: 75%
Ifeoma is a tomboy and dressing like and acting like a man is getting her into serious trouble at home. On one occasion she is beat up by a guy who sees her out with her sister Imelda. She bumps into this guy by accident and a fight ensues because he has been trying to toast Imelda and feels that Ifeoma is cockblocking. On another occasion their house is stoned by thugs and it appears to be Ifeoma’s fault, although that is never made clear why. Her mother becomes sick with stress and worry and so plans to marry her off as quickly as possible.
She feels that if she gets married and bears children “she will feel more like a woman” and cease her “unruly behaviour.” She cooks up a plot with Ifeoma’s youngest sister to find her a man. Ifeoma is informed of her fate and becomes enraged at her mother’s archaic suggestion. She does not feel ready to marry and also holds the belief that men are only after one thing, which is sex. Being a tomboy she is more interested in being friends with guys, riding motorbikes and watching football. The struggle between mother and daughter has just began and Ifeoma makes the dangerous gamble of running away one night.
Ifeoma runs off to Ben’s house, the guy that beat her up in one of the initial scenes. The plan is for her to persuade him to marry her in a sort of business deal arrangement so that she will be free of her mother’s interference. I for one was thinking that they did not even really have a friendship so why would she go to his house? Yes he brought a motorbike around to her house after the fight took place but even that was strange. He claimed that he got her address from “around” and that he just had to see her because he liked her. Why on earth would he like her with that one tumultuous encounter all he had to go by?
Let us look at the facts. Number one; he thought she was a man to begin with and that was after looking up close in her face, so why on earth would you want to be with a woman that just the day before you believed was a man unless you are a homosexual? Number two; You just beat this girl up and she too punched you in retaliation. What about that makes you want to get with this woman? Number three; the reason you beat her up in the first place was primarily because you wanted to get with her sister. So what in that ONE DAY made you forget about the sister that you were toasting and move onto the “man” that you fought with?
So Ben brings the motorbike to Ifeoma’s house and their previous misunderstanding is completely forgotten. This is strange since just before Ben came she was talking with her sister and sister’s boyfriend David how men are useless and not to be trusted and then all of a sudden you are riding around on a motorbike with the guy that beat you up in his effort to get with your sister? Cuh-razy! I’m taking it the passion that she had for the motorbike made her forget everything! This is the only thing we see of Ifeoma and Ben’s relationship before she runs off to his house, so that whole thing was a little bit strange to say the least.
I don’t know how old Jake Aernan is but it was implied that he had recently graduated from university. To me he just looked too old to have recently graduated couple with the fact that he looked at least ten years older than his peers. What’s up with that? There was no mention of him being a mature student!
I was loving Van Vicker in his role as Kojo, he really shined and the role gave him the opportunity to showcase his acting abilities. He played Ben’s sidekick and confidant. He was witty, confident and charismatic, a side of him that he doesn’t get to show often with these wet doormat one dimensional characters he keeps playing.
Stephanie was good in her role as a tomboy but to me she came across more lesbianish that anything else. If anything I would imagine people think her a lesbian not a tomboy. She was believable in the role that she was playing but GEEZ STOP WITH THE FORCED AMERICAN ACCENT ALREADY!!! The other thing to mention with regards to her character is that it was inconceivable for Ben to be up close to her and think that she is a man. Yes she wore a baseball cap and baggy clothing but she still had arched eyebrows, an earring in EACH EAR and make up! What men in Nigeria wear make up, pluck their eyebrows and an earring in each ear? NONSENSE!
Ejiro Okurame was brilliant as Doris the scheming scandalous chick that Kojo enlists to help Ben carry out his plan to make Ifeoma jealous and win her heart. Again in this film we see examples of how not to conduct a friendship as we see Doris’ friend try and get with her fiance while she is running about town scheming on how she can snare Ben for herself.
I would recommend this film. I see too Willie Ajenge has stepped up his game tremendously since TWIST OF FATE. Despite the flaws that existed the storyline was somewhat original and there was an engaging subplot. It was enjoyable to watch and there were many parts that made me laugh out loud. Van Vicker was on top form and pretty much the whole cast did a good job (Daniel Smith was overdoing his part, but he was a minor character so it didn’t detract from the film) I must warn you though this film was also released also under the title Gambling with Marriage. I wish they would stop doing that because it is annoying to find out you have bought the same film twice all because some greedy witches and wizards want to capitalise on profit by any means necessary.