One Dollar

 
 

African Comedy Movie Review

 

ONE DOLLAR ($1)

An Ifeanyi Azodo Screenplay

Directed by Gabriel Moses

 

Starring:

Patience Ozokwor – Mama Nneka

Victor Osuagwu – Papa Nneka

Chiege Alisigwe – Nneka

Bob Manuel Udokwu – Pat

Jim Iyke – Ike

Big Fredo – Chief Achebe

Okwudili Oguegbu – Calistas

Oge Okoye – Isioma

Chinwe Okigbo – Chika

Ify Obidike – Chioma

Larry Koldsweat – Mike

 

THEMES EXPLORED IN THE FILM

Mental Illness

Status and Class

America as the Promised Land

Family Pressure

 

 

My Rating 95% 

 

From the title of the film alone you know that this film is going to have something to do with the US of A, but quite what is not immediately apparent from just looking on the film cover.

 

Nneka lives with her mother and father, and is been put through school by her fiancé whom she plans to marry very soon. Her parents really like him as he has put their daughter through school as well as looked after the family financially in other ways.

 

One day a man, called Chief Achebe comes to Nneka’s compound and approaches her parents. He has a son that wants to marry their daughter. He shows them a picture and they do not seem impressed. They quickly tell him that it is not possible as their daughter is betrothed to another. Chief Achebe is dassappointed, and mentions that his son is an engineer in America. The turn around is instant. Mama and Papa Nneka exclaim in disbelief,

 

“Amer-EEE-Ka!”

 

All of a sudden Pat, Nneka’s fiancé is forgotten and they promise their daughter to the chief. It seems that Nneka does love Pat, so they now have the task on their hand in persuading their daughter to marrying the chief’s son.

 

America is so romanticised that as soon as even the word America is mentioned, the attitudes of people in the presence of the word, as well as the music in the film changes.

Family pressure and guilt is put upon Nneka. It is put to her as if to marry the man in America will be beneficial for ALL the family and for her not to go ahead with it will be an act of selfishness.

 

Her mother tells her,

 

“Your father and I have really suffered.”

 

They act as though she is selfish, when mama Nneka in particular is the selfish one,

 

“This is the only opportunity I have to go to America.”

 

She is also concerned with keeping up with her peers,

 

“Look how mrs ______ life has changed since her daughter married an American… She is not the same again.”

 

Her father even uses “God” to try and show why his daughter should marry the American as opposed to Pat,

 

“I’m telling you America is God’s kingdom on Earth.”

 

There are many references in the film of America as a “heaven.”

 

There is not only pressure from her family but from her friends too. She is warned by her friend who is played by Oge Okoye,

 

Dollar rules the world baby girl, and you are still thinking… Dollar is everything, don’t forget that.”

 

There is never any mention of her emotional needs but rather the focus is solely upon her material needs and the desire for showing off.

 

In Chief Achebe’s camp we see him giving a man 50,000 Naira to change in dollars. He tells the man to put the money inside a,

 

“foreign envelope”

 

This isn’t the only way he attempts trickery upon Nneka’s family. He also sends her parents a package containing “American clothes,” which in actuality are second hand garments which have been laundered and sprayed with perfume.

 

It is hilarious when he hands them the package and they sniff the clothes exclaiming,

 

“The smell of America!”

 

 

 

If you have not watched this film you may want to stop reading here.

 

 

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

 

After much persuasion from family and friends Nneka’s position sways. She begins snubbing Pat, becoming insufferable towards him, and plans are put in motion for Nneka to marry the American. A family member stands in for him at the ceremony so Nneka is married without ever meeting her husband.

 

When we finally meet The American, Ike played by Jim Iyke we find out why the Chief was so keen to marry him off and to keep the couple apart until after the wedding.

 

On our introduction to Jim Iyke we see him playing the stereotypical crass American loudmouth wannabe rapper (What a surprise!). He is screaming like a lunatic,

 

“I’m getting motherfuckin married yo.”

 

His mental health issue becomes quickly apparent. His mama asks Chief,

 

“Has he taken his drugs?”

 

It turns out that without his drugs Ike is uncontrollable and psychotic. The film ends with Ike shooting papa Nneka in the ass amidst a rambling tirade. As Papa Nneka is writhing on the floor in pain he shrieks out,

 

“Amereeeeeeeeeeeeeka!”

 

It is as if he is in disbelief that someone that has committed such an awful act against him could be associated with the “heaven” called America. The film serves as a warning not to idealise something that you know little about as the reality may surprise you and literally, or more likely metaphorically shoot you in the ass!

 

Conclusion:

 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The only downside was the rushed ending. It was hilarious in parts and highlighted the fact that many things in America are the same as in Nigeria, like the second hand clothes that Nneka’s parents treasured and the money that was changed from Naira to dollars only to be changed back to Naira again in order to be used. It shows that the grass is not always greener. Is sanity not more important than money?

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Comments

  1. Beverley says:

    I give this movie. (A Plus) and it was so funny, i will buy this movie for gifts. for my family and freinds the mother and father were great! and the mother looks like my aunt here in the states. LOL! theses two people are very good at acting. jim Ilyke was so BAD! he tryed to hard to me. he was like a person that was homeless and a crack star how could he hold down such a job even on MEDS. this guy was to loud with a bad mouth to be able to hold down such a job and did he dress like that in Corprate america? and when the chief brought the son picture to the father why? did he not see this guy with his gold chains and shades a picture says a lot. and as far as AMERICA. goes people let me tell you it is not the land of milk and honey!!! as a matter of fact! we are all (well fed SLAVES) work work work and no play and if you get to play there NO Money! the spanish have taken all the low jobs. and the guys from india have taken all the well payed jobs. and all the illegals?? have everything else NO PUN intended and once upon a time here in america the DOLLAR was worth something. we use to call africa a 3rd world county LOL! not anymore we are in the same boat NOW! my people. for example at one point and time we could pick up the telephone and make a call and take care of all our bussiness but! no now everything take 6 to 9 months just to get a answer back on a question and the people that are working have no clue! on anything that you ask them BUT! they have a JOB! no one here can give you a ANSWER to Anything???

    • Nolly says:

      Beverly I missed this comment when you made it! I guess Jim's character maybe didn't even have a job in corporate America. I think that they were trying to show how far removed the imaginary America is to the real America. That is how I interpreted it.

  2. tammy says:

    this movie is hilariously entertaining.

    i looove it.

    watched it first in 2004 or 2005, saw it a few months ago on the internet, couldnt stop laffing.

    would have been disappointed if the movie got anything less from your ratings.

    ok, im off to watch the movie AGAIN!!!

    • Nolly says:

      It is in my top ten. I loooove this movie. I bought it in one part now I have seen they are selling it for two parts! This is one for keeps!

  3. Patricia Kayden says:

    This was the first Nigerian movie I ever watched — hilarious. I've shown it to my friends and family and they all say the same thing — it is one of the funniest movies ever made.

    Very universal theme as most people from "third world" countries know family or friends who idolize America as some type of paradise without knowing the reality.

    Great movie!!

    • Nolly says:

      I agree the theme is very universal and very funny. Shows the "other" side of the supposed green green grass.

  4. Ine1 says:

    One of my favorite movie. This is movie for keeps. It on my list of best nollywood movies, along with Native Son Knowing You Mr.Ibu…….

  5. aegoli says:

    This is one of the movies i watch over and over again…a true hollywood classic…hv u watched the in-law? itz anoda classic comedy that u can watch over n over again, n d best part is dat these r all one part movies.

    • Nollywood says:

      Yes when I first started watching they used to sell one part movies all the time. Now there is no such things. Even the old ones like this they will split into 2!

  6. salanie says:

    just watched this for the first time. fantastic. i loved it.

    there should be a sequel. was witing for nnneka ot go back to pat. lovely work

    for me in the caribbean, it served as a good teacher of the dependece on america ot solve all problems.

    i really loved patience's acting with her second hand clothes even in the unmatching weather.

    superr

    i will watch it agian

  7. KGNU says:

    entertaining and hilarious movie! highly recommended it to my nigerian movie loving friends and they enjoyed it!

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  1. […] things. Not to mention, his American accent and excessive cursing were terrible, (think a Jim Ikye in the movie $1-esque delivery but calmer). For that brief moment in time though, it was a funny lesson: stop […]

  2. […] things. Not to mention, his American accent and excessive cursing were terrible, (think a Jim Ikye in the movie $1-esque delivery but calmer). For that brief moment in time though, it was a funny lesson: stop […]

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