Nollywood has a rush tradition – quickly get the most from the people whilst in the euphoria of popular work of yours. This is why movies like Issakaba got to part 6. Producers are often in a rush to cash in on brand gains so much at the expense of value. The most important item on a movie production plan is the story. Everything from plot to cast centres around a good story. Also, a good story is not a one-liner, like “Igbo man wants to marry Hausa girl, parents refused, QED.” A good story is profound, must have dept, can translate into great scenes that can give viewers experiential value. How movie makers make up for this lack of dept is lineup a buzzy cast, at least that willl endear their fans to go check it out.
Chief Daddy is a typical example of this ‘Nollyavidity’ projects, just get something to the market even regardless. This film features almost every big name in Nollywood. That would be the first attempt by the producers to make up for what they knew would be a bare film. EbonyLife Films won the hearts of Nigerians with ‘The Wedding Party’, a follow-up flick of which leveraged the fancy generated by the how the love birds in the movie, got hitched for real. Moviegoers couldn’t get enough of the thrill of the film and other EbonyLife Films productions. As expected, the producers saw the need to follow up with another big movie, particularly for 2018 Yuletide. But the gloss intended with the bogus casting couldn’t hide the obvious truth that they could do a lot better.
Chief Daddy,, is a movie about a of billionaire industrialist and socialite,Chief Beecroft, whose death revealed his promiscuity. Chief, a flamboyant benefactor to a large extended family of relatives, household staff and assorted mistresses, had instructed his lawyers, played by Richard Mofe-Damijo and Dakore Akande, to have his family organize a grand funeral for him before his will is ever read. Following, his surviving wife, Lady Kay (played by Joke Silver) had to contend with mystery kids and spouses of Chief’s, who showed up shortly after the announcement of his death. Despite this the family was suppose to force a truss, while trying to honour his last wish for a groovy funeral.
Falz the rapper, played Femi, Lady Kay’s only son for chief. He was more invested in his music career than his father’s business and wealth, and such has had a long acceptability battle with his parents. It wasn’t strange that all the drama about Chief’s will was taken with levity by him. Folarin was in his usual character in his work, mixing streets with class and having quite some show time in this movie that quickly flipped through an array of A-list actors.Others weren’t quite involved in the story thought the movie featured a host of them, whose roles weren’t beyond one to three scenes. EbonyLife had quite a big roll-call of superstars on this work. From veterans like Joke, Patience Ozokwor,Richard Mofe Damijo, Rachael Oniga, Kate Henshaw, Nkem Owoh, Ini Edo, to contemporaries like Funke Akindele, Zainab Balogun, Nedu, Chigul, Dakore Egbuson, Linda Ejiofor, Bisola Aiyeola, Mawuli Gavor, Beverly Naya, Shaffy Bello, Lepacious Bose, Mawuli Gavor, Uti Nwachukwu and many others. Yeah, you can call it star-studded.
Chief Daddy is a comedy film, as its producers called it, but the humorous scenes were rather too deliberate. Like having a Kate Henshaw trying to crack you on the same wavelength as natural, Funke Akindele? Not so funny! This is not to say discredit some really brilliant delivery by some individuals. Of course, good actors will almost always be good actors. Nkem Owoh who plays Chauffeur Donatus is one. Joke Silva (Lady Kay Beecroft) is another. Even the young Zainab Balogun (Ireti Beecroft) brings some brilliance with her. Funke Akindele, Kate Henshaw and Falz were too loud to be taken seriously for what this film tells us they are: children of a multibillionaire. You can almost forget that Ini Edo was in this film, besides the scene were her endowered backside was unnecessarily emphasized. Beverly Osu, MNet’s ‘Hush’ star, Mawuli Gavor, besides making it to the movie poster, were probably only just there for props. Bisola, Chigul, Nedu only had few comedy skit seconds. The movie just had too much coming at you with that, “you that big star from that big movie, she is here also”.
Niyi Akinmolayan, the movie director, seemed to be on the sidelines in the making of the film. There were a lot of scenes that shouldn’t have made it through the tape roll. It seemed the actors were just told to ‘come do your thing’. Couldn’t be quite better, understanding the herculean task of managing the ego flux that would have permeated that set. How do you tell a RMD to re-shoot a scene, when all he probably had for you was 60 damn minutes and been gone? The roles were quite too little for the size of the superstars lined up.
In general, Chief Daddy is not the best we have seen in recent times, even judging by EbonyLife’s standard. Of course, great picture quality, sound, lighting, cinematography – it’s the award-winning Mo Abudu’s project anyways. But most viewers expected so much more, as this is a sort of sequel to a very success previous year’s work. On the contrary, Chief Daddy was on an anti-climax.
Just like every other film from the stable of EbonyLife Films, the highlight of Chief Daddy was a ceremony, the Funeral. So the big budget party happens again, with all the Naija glamour, dancing and funfair. It’s beginning to look like the EbonyLife folks just like to party and put it together in a film for us to go see at the cinema. The movie was all dandy, but failed the chief role of giving moviegoers an experience they have never had. And really, that should be the basic benchmark of any movie produced for cinema screening.
The average rating for this movie is nothing more than a 3.5.
You can still see Chief Daddy on Netflix.
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