Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Nigerian Movie Review
Not My Wife ~ 2010
(Continuation – HOLD MY WIFE)
Story/ Screenplay – Prince Emeka Ani
Director – Prince Emeka Ani
Producer – Chidi Okonkwo
Actors and Actresses Starring:
Jim Iyke – Chukwudi Nollywood Actor
Chika Ike – Adaugo Nollywood Actress
Camilla Mberekpe – Mama Nollywood Actress
Nuella Njubigbo – Calista Nollywood Actress
Abraham Nwodu – Joe Nollywood Actor
Ozo Akubueze – Papa Adaugo Nollywood Actor
Stella Ikwuegbu – Mama Adaugo
David Ihesie – Ojukwu Nollywood Actor
Elvis Ogbonna – Nduka
Doris Onuoha Oforji – Ijeoma
Amaka Aneke – Grace
Stereotypes in Nigerian Movies
Prejudice in Nigerian Movies
Family Pressure in Nigerian Movies
Arranged Marriage in Nigerian Movie
Rituals in Nollywood
My Rating – 72%
Chukwudi (Jim Iyke) lives in the city but his mother (Camilla Mberekpe) has a village girl ready for him to marry called Adaugo (Chika Ike) so she is not at all happy when she finds out that he is engaged to a city girl, Calista (Nuella Njubigbo). Chukwudi under pressure from his mother to come home and meet Adaugo and marry her decides to move his wedding to Calista forward and decides to bring her to the village to meet his family. Calista is excited at the prospect of meeting her future mother in law and can talk of nothing else beforehand. The feeling, however is not mutual and on introduction the pair get off to a rocky start. Can Calista win over her future mother in law?
Prejudice and Stereotype
On meeting Calista Mama slights her and makes disparaging remarks about her clothing when she tries to help her sweep the compound. Calista then tries to help mama cook and is told by her,
“There is no way you can wash those bitter leaves with long nails… just like the claws of a river goddess and expect them to be clean… In short go back to your room and paint your face more.”
Calista makes efforts with Mama but her appearance alone is what makes mama treat her badly. It is as though she has pre conceived ideas about city girls being unworthy wife material. Is it insecurity that makes her behave that way? Perhaps an inferiority complex? She refers to Calista as a “Queen” but Calista does not refer to herself that way so Mama is making assumptions that Calista thinks herself above everybody else.
On another occasion when she finds out that Calista does not know how to ride a bicycle she exclaims,
“The queen my son brought home to marry cannot ride common bicycle!”
It is as if by her son bringing home a city girl her whole being as a village woman is being rejected, and she resents that her son obviously prefers someone whose life is different to her own. It is like a fear of the unknown and a demonising of it. Mama refers to city life as, “the life of the useless.” How would she know if she has not experienced it?
Throughout the movie we see villagers express their disdain for the city and it’s people:
“Home cooking is the best”
“A woman who wears trousers will soon challenge the authority of her husband.”
“Why does she paint her face like a masquerade?”
From these quotes alone we can see how all the villagers are concerned mostly with external attributes like clothes and make up instead of Calista’s character. Only the one uncle makes an attempt to get to know Calista but is thwarted by Mama. They convince themselves that these external features must make her a bad person, without actually looking at her actions or getting to know her.
Chukwudi stands up to his mother when she is wailing how he cannot marry Calista because she is not domesticated enough. He makes a good point when he tells her,
“It does not matter if she can do those domestic chores or not. It is my problem. I am the one that will marry her. So what is anybody’s business in it? It is my choice.”
This is true talk – Too often family members interfere in issues which do not concern them. I mean when you think about it how does it affect his family if Calista washes bitter leaf with long nails? Mama should be looking at the fact that she is willing to make an effort with domestic chores. It does not matter if she is not wearing rags while doing them. As El Dee would say, is it your money?
Mama is desperate for Chukwudi to marry Adaugo so that it will create a tighter bond between the two families. Adaugo’s mother is her close friend and she promised her that her son would marry her daughter, so for her to break the promise would mean that she would lose face in the community. She may also lose her friendship as Adaugo and her Mama would face disgrace in the village and inevitably blame her.
When the two mothers discover that Adaugo is pregnant they are ecstatic despite the fact that the couple are not yet married. They are more concerned with other people not noticing the pregnancy before the marriage takes place as opposed to the fact that the couple had sex before marriage. It’s funny because if Calista had come to the village unmarried and pregnant no doubt she would have been called a whore and her “whoring” blamed on city life.
How in the hell they have Chika Ike playing an 18 year old. I DON’T BELIEVE IT! 25 I could believe, anything younger then I’m sorry no it just doesn’t work. What on earth were they thinking? I did however like Chika in this quiet submissive role. It suits her as she has no charisma or strong presence that may perhaps may be needed in other roles. When she got to the city in HOLD MY WIFE and became a bad girl however I wasn’t quite feeling her so much. She was adequate but I wasn’t blown away.
Adaugo goes on one visit to Lagos and comes back dressed like Calista I thought that this development was far too quick and lacked believability. The change perhaps should have been more gradual, although it could be said that perhaps Adaugo was never the timid village girl that she had been made out to be. Perhaps she had always wanted to be the way that she was in the city but never had the chance to express herself, or simply behaved in the way that she did because she thought she could snare Chukwudi like that.
I would recommend this movie. With the four parts it is long but enjoyable and it ended well. Camilla Mberekpe was the stand out performance for me. She is giving Mama G a run for her money. She killed it through and through I looove this woman. One thing in the story that was a let down was the fact that Adaugo was pregnant before she slept with Chukwudi and this was never again brought up or discovered even in HOLD MY WIFE. Was it forgottten that this was in the story? The moral in this movie is, never judge a book by its cover because the village girl that you think is shy and retiring can turn out to be the deadliest snake!