Seeing lionheart was one of my achievements this year. I mean, an all-Nigerian cast? Directed by a Nigerian and shown on Netflix? The patriotic thing to do is watch lionheart, if you haven’t, please do!
Before I hit the play button, I said a silent prayer under my breath,
“Dear lord, let this not be an over hyped movie like some that came out some time ago, and even being shot abroad couldn’t save it…”
Anyway, the first thing that blew me away was the graphics or picture quality, whatever. See, I have myopia, so I always select movies based on quality before I blind myself watching movie.
The best word to describe LionHeart’s picture quality is, CLEAN! Boy, the images and everything, clear as day.
Secondly, the consistent use of Indigenous languages blew me away, although I would have loved there to have been subtitles because I was lost at some proverbs and when they were speaking hausa, I was staring at the screen blank, and also, viewers from other parts of the country and the world could have been lost too, but in all, they did well.
They stayed true to their Nigerian accents and when they had to sound igbotic, they did, which was what we had expected from Half Of A Yellow sun and were grossly disappointed.
This brings me back to the All-Nigerian cast. I’m actually impressed that a Nigerian movie of that magnitude went beyond what is prevalent and didn’t have to force in a mediocre white person who often times isn’t an actor in the true sense of the word, but Just white, or the IJGB who for some reason feels their calling is to act. Most of our “blockbusters” have tried to Infuse at least, one Oyibo or someone with a foreign accent, I never really get the purpose as they most often than not, do not deliver or interpret the script properly. I think I speak for everyone else here that in this aspect, LionHeart was a breath of fresh air, with actors we can relate to, accents we can hear and they even ate local food and not the fried rice with juice they eat in ever other movie. Lionheart was as real as it gets. A for Effort.
Someone said on Facebook and I’ll quote because it makes sense that
The father didn’t get heart attack because of Jazz. The uncle didn’t try to take over the company. The female child is the man’s pride. The son wasn’t victimized for being into music. Kanayo.O.Kanayo had a clean wealth instead of doing money rituals. LionHeart is a revolution…We are Global now..
I know I’ve said it before but lionheart is a breath of fresh air. There was nothing really spectacular about the script, it was pretty much straight forward without suspense but in all, they went beyond the cliché Nigerian movie, they represented a new world, a growing world, where uncles don’t have to drag their brother’s properties, where the female child is allowed to take over and not the boy who is not interested in the family business. It was refreshing because truth is, many families are being open minded and it would be better to project these images than the usual suffering wife and uncle’s feeding fat on their brother’s largesse.
I love how Adaeze and her brother were loved and respected by their parents, instilling in them, what most Nigerian children are deprived, confidence. The boy was let to do his passion music and Adaeze was not told to go marry and leave the family company for the men. Their parents understood their children individually and nurtured them. It was exhilarating to watch a Nigerian movie that didn’t smell patriarchy or try to project the fading values that were last seen when the colonial masters were packing their bags.
I observed the use of our Indigenous car assembling company, Innoson in almost all the scenes. You see, LionHeart didn’t need range rovers or the latest Benz to prove a certain cast was wealthy or not, somehow we got the message because money usually speaks for itself, is quite humble and doesn’t make noise about it.
I love especially how native attires were worn in almost every scene and alternated with the Ankara fabric. It gave the viewer a feel of what being in Nigeria feels like. Someone please tell movie producers that Nigerians don’t usually wear very mini skirts with heels and thirteen layers of foundation to stay at home, we also do not always scream designer or colors, we are a warm people and it reflects not only in our attitudes but in the way we dress. Sometimes while watching Nigerian movies, you may be confused as to whether the cast on screen is heading to a night club or going to her father’s sick bed to talk. You can observe the minimalist make up and dressing on Onyeka Owenu, as well as Genevieve while in character, they didn’t need a full on face beat to understand what was going on.
I don’t want to spoil it for people who have not seen the movie, so I’ll keep this snappy and close by saying
LIONHEART DID NOT GIVE US THE CLICHE LOVE STORY!!!!!
I was having it up to here with Nigerian movies and tacky love stories and everything ending in. Happiness, give us real life, man. We know that the boy doesn’t always marry the girl, sometimes they have other people and are not even interested in each other, sometimes they just want to be friends. Once again, A for Effort, Lionheart. We don’t know that the people in question fell in love and we don’t know that they didn’t, because I think I’ve had it with movie marriages and happily ever afters, we want what we can relate to.
Finally, and my honest opinion, Lionheart was worth every single dollar Netflix paid and Genevieve did well as a director. You see, I’m not so keen on Nigerian actors directing their own movies, I’d prefer to leave it to people specialized in that and not try to be jack o’ trades for clout. However, it’s Genny, she surprises us and this time, she did well. I mean, obviously, she’s not the queen for nothing.
As to whether LionHeart was overrated or no, let me first pull up the definition of the word overrated, so we’re in context
verb (overrates, overrating; past and past participle overrated)
To esteem too highly; to give greater praise than due
That being said, are we going to say that LionHeart is being given praise than it’s due? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but in the meantime ;
LionHeart made me proud, of my country, our culture and values. I’m glad Netflix didn’t seek out or try to portray us a hungry, poverty stricken people running around with flies chasing us. They represented us in our element, our day – to – day, and
By Doris Okoronkwo