Jungle Ride

Jungle Ride

Nollywood Nigerian Movie Review
Jungle Ride ~ 2010

Story/ Screenplay – Segun Michaels
Director – Kingsley Omoefe
Producer – Lilian Amah Aluko

Actors & Actresses Starring:
Omoni Oboli – Irene
Chidi Ukwu – Emeka
Joseph Benjamin – Akin
Femi Brainard – Efosa
Emma Ayalogu – Dr Egbuna
Bimbo Manuel – Bayo
Seun Akindele – Dede
Ngozi Nwosu – Secretary
Shola Benjamin – Mrs Egbuna
Ashionye Michelle Ugboh – Tola
Kayode Freeman – Honourable Jembe
Adamu Joshua – Chief Adeola
Lilian Amah Aluko – Halima

Themes:
Unemployment
Poverty
Mistaken Identity
Perseverance
Friendship
Pursuing Dreams

My Rating – 85%

Synopsis:

Set in the jungle that is the city of  Lagos, Nigeria Akin, a petroleum engineering graduate has been looking for employment for years. One night a chance encounter in a parking lot with Honourable Jembe a friend of his late father brings about a new opportunity. Honourable Jembe recommends him for a job. He gives him his business card and writes a note on the back for the MD of the company. Luck is not on his side because he loses his wallet containing the card before he has the chance to interview at the company.

On the other side of Lagos we see Emeka who like Akin is an unemployed graduate. He is behind on his house rent and due to be evicted when he sees a man drop his wallet on the street. Instead of warning the man or returning it, her waits until the man is out of eyeshot and grabs it. The opportunity that was Akin’s now becomes his.

Irene is Akin’s girlfriend. She is employed in finance management but hates her job, however she has to stay there as she needs the money to support both herself and Akin. She models part time, and is just waiting for the time that Akin gains employment so that she can quit her job and pursue her dream full time.

*************SPOILERS************

Pursuing Dreams

Irene’s father is totally against her leaving a “responsible” job in finance management to pursue her life’s dream of becoming a model. He tells her,

“Look at me I always wanted to be an artist but my humble beginnings wouldn’t allow me such a luxury, so what did I do? I got practical… Now I dabble in the arts because medicine puts a roof over our heads and food on the table.”

Irene replies,

“Papa did it ever occur to you that you could ever paint bodies far better than you could ever hope to cure them? Perhaps even win a Nobel Prize?”

This dialogue gives us food for thought. Is it better to follow a dream to pursue a practical path which is more likely to give you a better life in the sense of material things, but then leaves you unfulfilled? This is the dilemma Irene is battling with. Is there a right or wrong answer? We find out that Irene has been pursuing modelling for 5 years. Is there a point at which you should be realistic and give up or should one always fight until the end?

Omoni Oboli is beautiful but I wouldn’t put her as a model, so the casting for this one was a bit off I thought. Number one she is too old and not skinny enough. Models these days are teenage sticks unless you were lucky enough to be a teenage stick that built up a fanbase and kept on getting work a la Naomi Cambell. It aint gonna happen.

Perhaps the movie was meant to show that despite her not fitting the ideal of what a model is suppose to be she was still able to “make it.” Whatever it was I think the movie would have been better had they made her “dream” different. She could have dreamed to be a stuntwoman, a pilot, I don’t know something different. We saw this model thing in The Movie Guilty Pleasures and that movie had the same problem as this one with regards to believable casting for the model role.

Tribalism

This movie has a largely mixed cast, with a lot of Yoruba touches which is not the norm in EMG movies. In the movie Tola asks the secretary in the office about Emeka. The secretary refers to him as, “a stupid Ibo.” She also wonders how he got the job in the company. I thought that was rather strange as there was no mention of any capability issues regarding Emeka and his job before this scene. He is also favoured by the MD, so what is her issue? Does she perhaps resent the fact that her Yoruba boss has shown favour to an Ibo?

Emotional Conflict

Irene has got close to Emeka as a friend and he is her friend’s potential boyfriend. She and Akin are having problems at the time she finds the minister’s note in Emeka’s possession. Nevertheless it is inevitable that she will be emotionally torn. How is it that this charming, gentle, kind young man is in fact a fraud and a liar. Of course this is not in his nature but we see what desperation can drive a person to. I likes that Emeka had multiple sides to his character. Because someone is generally a good person does not mean that they have never done anything bad.

Nollywood Forever Say’s WHAT?

Emeka appears shocked that Tola thinks that he has a thing for Irene, Dude are you stupid? You take her out for drinks but then spend the entire evening chatting mostly to her friend. You then call up her friend and NOT her and make further arrangements for meeting again. Come on son, how d’you think it looks? It’s funny that Emeka only brings up the subject up Tola after Irene tells him that she has a boyfriend. No guy can be that STUPID. That smelt like Plan B to me. Cant get the one you want so swiftly turn your attentions back to the original.

How insensitive was it to bring Emeka to lunch and then have him start discussing business matters in front of Akin. Even though it was a set up by the girls it could have all gone so horribly wrong.

Nollywood Eye Candy

Seun Akindele and Benjamin Joseph are gorgeous. I love new blood. More power to the eye candy with talent. I look forward to seeing them both again. I know Joseph Benjamin is in the soon released Tango with Me with Genevieve Nnaji so I am definitely looking forward to seeing that.

The Message

If you are with someone who doesn’t know your worth there will always be someone that does. Tola was stuck with Efosa who was a user and treated her like trash. She probably felt that because she wasn’t glamorous she couldn’t get anyone better, but then Emeka came along who treasured every part of her.

The Ending

It was beautiful that the guys could put their differences aside and come together. It was nice that Akin didn’t hold any grudges. I guess when he sat down and thought about it he might have wondered if perhaps he may have done the same thing had he been in the same position. There is an understanding between them when Emeka says to Akin, “It’s a jungle out there. I know you know this.

We also find out that the MD of the company knew early on that Emeka was a fraud but saw his younger self in him and so gave him a chance. I thought that all these things came together and gave the film a beautiful and satisfying ending..
_____________

The situation can be seen in two ways. Irene says,

“All the guy did was find your wallet.”

Akin replies

“The asshole schemed and impersonated his way into my job.”

I guess the truth lies somewhere in-between those two statements

______________

Conclusion:

I loved this movie and would recommend it highly. The characters were in depth and well developed. The story made sense in its entirety. It is a human story that highlights the struggle of ordinary folk in the city of Lagos. It’s a movie which everyone can relate to. It could be you or I or anyone that we know that finds themselves in the position of being unemployed driven by desperation to doing something that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. We see how opportunity by virtue of connection and family background has the ability to transform someone’s life and how unjust such opportunities are.

The movie was let down tremendously by the sound quality. The sound varies from scene to scene. Added to that very often there was a lot of background noise. In fact you will have your finger on the volume button the entire time. That is how bad the sound was, putting that aside the two stories were came together excellently. It was a simple story, low on the dramatics that often characterise Nollywood movies, well told and well acted. Great job by cast and crew. If you can get past the sound this is definitely one to watch!

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Comments

  1. Temide says:

    Nice write up. I have seen the movie and I totally loved it. The cast was spot on. All the actors did a great job. Beautiful people and good actors. The story was very beautifully told.

    The sound was bad and it took away from the movie but I absolutely do not agree that Omoni was not believable as a model. I think she pulled it off very well. All in all, the movie was very different and very exciting.

    • Nollywood says:

      Thanks Temide…

      It was a great movie I enjoyed it… I don't fault Omoni for the modelling thing, after she was the one who was cast I just think it didn't fit as well as it could have…

      • Ike says:

        I don't agree that Omoni didn't fit the part. She was just perfect in my opinion and in the opinion of most people who have seen this great movie. She may not fit ur stereotypical model but then who is the stereotype model. Big ladies are being featured as top models all over the world and she is far from being big and not all models are skin and bone. The ability to look good in any dress is the major criteria and Omoni looks good in any dress she wears. I think we should be assessing the movie on the basis of it's believability and all the cast were very believable. It made it easier to just follow the story without the usual distraction of extreme melodrama and plots that insult ur intelligence. The movie is tight!

        • Nollywood says:

          Do you mean most of the people that YOU know that have seen this great movie? LOL Yes Omoni does look good but she doesn't fit model to me let alone have some pictures sent of her drinking at a bar to an international model competition.

          You say we should be assessing the movie on the basis of its believability. This was part of the believability factor to me. The whole model thing just reminded me of Nse in Guilty Pleasures.

          All that aside it was still one of the best movies this year without a doubt.

  2. Kemipen says:

    Abeg were can I get this movee o…???

  3. abby says:

    Wow I can't wait to watch this movie. I've been eager to see JB in a flick. Thanks for ur write ups. For some reason by the time these movies get to the States the title is completely different. I always go in the store and match up ur write up with the movie

    • Nollywood says:

      LOL Yes this name changing thing has been going on for about the past 2 years now. It sucks! Well let me know what you think of the movie when you get a chance to watch it!

  4. LARA says:

    gonna look out for dis wun!!!

  5. Ine1 says:

    Cant find this movie anywhere. Maybe it not available where I stay at yet. Can anyone recommend a reputable website where I can order this movie online?

    • Nollywood says:

      I really don't know I have only ever bought from market stalls and ebay… sorry! If you are in the US perhaps it hasnt yet been released.

    • Kemipen says:

      Well, I have been stalking the online store I usually order my African Movies, just hoping a miracle will happen soon:

      http://www.africanmovieplace.com/store/home.php

      • Nollywood says:

        I hope the miracle comes ooo! That site looks cheap are they originals?

        • Kemipen says:

          Yes o…I no recommend jagajaga site…all the movies I get from there are original…

          To add to it, I get my orders on time…If a particular movie I want is out-of-stock, then I order from other african movie sites but I will prepare myself for a lot of headaches…and waits

          [I actually waited for a order (from another site) for almost a month...]

          I recently ordered from this site: http://www.cheapafricanmovies.com/
          When I was in desperate need to get reloaded (which was out-of-stock at African Movie Place) and they were pretty quick at delivering, however, I only ordered once (for now)

  6. aegoli says:

    i'm just hearing abt dis movie…i guess itz nt yet here in d states…n dis is d 1st time in a long time i'm seeing nolly give a movie smthg in d 80's…nw i can't wait 2 watch dis…cheers!!!

  7. tope says:

    Where can i please see the trailer???

    • Nollywood says:

      Sorry I have not seen the trailer anywhere!!! I hadn't even heard about the movie until I saw it there on the market stall…

      • tope says:

        Alright, but I live in the US and I was wondering if you know of any place that would sell the movie, all these positive reviews are killing me.And I don't mind buying oh.

        Also, just in case you want to know, the trailer for Tango With Me is coming out in a few weeks time. Looks like it'll be a good movie.

  8. Kemipen says:

    [Kemi shakin' her head in wonderment...]

    Can you believe that this movie has been uploaded unto Youtube?

  9. TheChuckylee says:

    Hi Nolly,dis movie was just too much.I agree with u on everything u said except the rating which I'll add 5 to make 90.The storyline was so original and all the main cast were so original.My favorite was the lady who played Tola who was very eloquent and pretty as well.Joseph Benjamin ,Chidi Ukwu(Emeka)as well as Omoni Oboli were just brilliant. I liked the parts where Emeka's landlady was trying to seduce him(so funny)and the part where Akin went to punch Emeka(wasn't expecting dat)after finding out he stole his card .Dis was an intelligent story and very unpredicable.I say kudos to the makers and cast of dis movie cos dis is one of the best movies this year and it has become my personal favorite.I definitely recommend dis for everyone.

    • Nollywood says:

      Hi chuckylee, so glad you have got the chance to see it.

      It seems like alot of people are having trouble getting hold of it. I agree with you it was an intelligent and thought provoking movie. The characters felt like real whole people. I would have perhaps given it a higer rating if the sound wasn't so abysmal. It really took away from the movie.

  10. LOUAN says:

    On Point!

  11. NOLU says:

    Finally watched it. I give this movie a rating of 100%. I disagree with your comment on Emeka going for Tola when he realized Irene was taken. I felt the Chemistry between himself and Tola as soon as they met. I think the whole Irene thing was just a twist to throw people off. Beautiful Movie. Well thought out. Everyone's Grammar was on point, thank God. Beautiful Cast! I hope they re-release the movie so it can get the recognition it deserves.

    • Nollywood says:

      LMAO @ 100% not even a percentage point taken off for the sound?

      As for the Emeka Tola thing, that is how I would have seen it if indeed the movie was in real life. the movie hasn't had any buzz or publicity around and lesser movies get way more. I'm surprised.

  12. Tina says:

    After reading this review, I watched for ages to grab my hands on this movie- really brilliant and I fell in love with Joseph Benjamin. It is good to see new talents coming up in our movie industry. I would love to see Joseph paired up with Beverly Naya as I think they would really work well together

  13. loyzyda says:

    oh my bad on my previous comment ..that was a typo….now to the real deal..lol…i must confess I LOVE UR rethoric PERIOD!…GURL u have me rolling especially the 'BIN IT!' section ha!…good to finally know that there are people out there who are observant as myself…anyway am watching jungle ride right now n i cant help but love MAMA PAT'S character!….seducing with a cloth around her waist hasnt been this enjoyable…ok so its obvious am a talker …abeg make u 4give me…but i'll be back to add my extra penny in after am done with the movie…KUDOS

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