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Review: Is “Living In Bondage: Breaking Free” Worth The Hype?

When Ramsey Nouah announced that the sequel of 1992 hit film “Living in Bondage” was in the works, many welcomed it with great excitement. This is because it made up the top films of the 1990s when Nollywood was just coming up. Also, at the time, cinemas had not yet become popular.

 

[qodef_highlight background_color=”Pink” color=”Black”]Plat4om Giveaway… Answer the questions highlighted in this text in the comments section below and stand a chance to win a free ticket to watch “Living In Bondage: Breaking Free” at a cinema close to you.[/qodef_highlight]

 

“Living In Bondage: Breaking Free” was released in cinemas nationwide after its premiere on Sunday, 3rd November 2019. This film, which marked Ramsey Nouah’s directorial debut, will keep you in your chair. You sure don’t want to be distracted because every conversation counts.

 

For those who are yet to watch the film, here’s a little spoiler.

 

“Living In Bondage: Breaking Free” is a continuation of the story of cultist Andy Okeke from the 1992 production. Andy’s second wife has a son named Nnamdi Okeke. After the demise of his mother, Nnamdi grows up with his aunt and her family. Growing up as a smart ambitious man, Nnamdi wants all the good things of life. He is fascinated by good cars and a luxurious lifestyle and wants to make it big.

 

[qodef_highlight background_color=”Pink” color=”Black”]Question 1: What years were all the “Living In Bondage” films released? List out the years with the exact names of the films.[/qodef_highlight]

 

It is his quest for this “good life” that makes him start up his own advertising company called “Infinite Media”. In the process, he comes in contact with politician Chief Omego (played by veteran actor Kanayo O. Kanayo), and wealthy businessman Richard Williams (played by Ramsey Nouah).

 

Suddenly, he starts getting contracts from all corners, all from a one-room apartment. Nnamdi then becomes a man that moves with the high and mighty in the society, thanks to Richard Williams. Unknown to him, his benefactors belong to a cult.

 

A blogger named Uzoma is trying to bring down this cult associated with numerous ritual killings. He then contacts Andy Okeke (played by Kenneth Okonkwo) who is now a pastor. He needs the help of Andy for insider information as an ex-member of the cult so he can take down the brotherhood. This will also give Andy Okeke the chance to save his son from this deadly cult which offers you power, influence, and wealth in exchange for your soul.

 

Characterisation

Ramsey Nouah is one actor and director who ‘knows his onions’ in the business of production. He took his experience in Nollywood to pick the right cast to deliver the role. It was beautiful to see Kanayo O. Kanayo and Kenneth Okonkwo in this sequel 27 years after its first production. Nnamdi Okeke (played by Swanky JKA) will blow your mind in this film. His Igbo mannerisms, facial expressions will tell you he took his time to get into character. Munachi Abii, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Enyinna Nwigwe, Kalu Ikeagwu and Nancy Isime also starred in this sequel, and the end product is mind-blowing.

 

A review of Ramsey Nouah's "Living In Bondage: Breaking Free
Actors and actresses from the set of “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free”. Photo: Instagram / @ramseynouah

 

The comic relief is on another level. You can’t help but laugh at the conversations between Nnamdi and his cousin, Tobe. The cinematography in the film is top-notch; the lights, sound, and aerial views of Lagos and Imo State are simply exquisite.

 

The soundtrack will also make you fall in love. It’s been announced that the soundtrack album, produced by Larry Gaaga featuring A-list artistea which includes Flavour and Davido, is in the pipeline already.

 

“Living in Bondage: Breaking Free”, however, had its shortcomings here and there.

 

For example, there were no subtitles in some Igbo conversations. Maybe it was an oversight, but the director should have bear in mind that people coming to see the film are from different cultures in Nigeria. It was somewhat difficult watching it and looking lost at some point because you don’t understand what is being said.

 

Also, the interpretation of the script by the characters went below expectation at some point. When Andy Okeke went to Nnamdi’s office to reveal he was his father, Nnamdi didn’t act surprised. For a man who does not know his father from birth, he acted too cool and uninterested. The director must have been pleased with that cut, but he should know how conversations like that turn out in real life; the emotions had to be real.

 

Nevertheless, “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free” is worth every naira at the cinema.

 

Ramsey took the 1990s to the future and created magic with it. It was evident from the script, the use of African prints by the actors and actresses, as well as the near-perfect fusion of old school and new school music. The use of luxury cars and state of the art architecture to portray wealth was simply out of this world.

 

[qodef_highlight background_color=”Pink” color=”Black”]Question 2: What actors/actresses played as Nnamdi Okeke and Andy Okeke?[/qodef_highlight]

 

The message in the film comes at a time when the quest for wealth is on the increase, and young people are ready to do anything to make it big.

 

On a scale of 1-10, I would personally rate “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free” a solid 8. It is a film I would rewatch in cinemas again, this time with friends and family. This film, like Genevieve’s “Lionheart”, deserves an Oscar nomination, but let us not push our hopes, we don’t want it disqualified because of “too much English”.

 

So visit the nearest cinema closest to you, and have a feel of this masterpiece. Be sure to let us know what you think about it when you’re done!

Charis Ebiaghian

A creative writer ready to dish out juicy stories as they drop. When she is not writing, she is probably thinking of what to write next

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