After 7-years, veteran Nigerian television and movie screenwriter, director and producer, Tade Ogidan returns with another supernova, Gold Statue. It is indeed a worthy-wait for moviegoers and industry watchers, because, in the most modest submission, Tade just took Nollywood back on the hit track with this project. This is normal for this US-trained well-rounded CEO of OGD Productions, who has mastered the art of stabling blockbusters, both in drama series and film productions. From his early years at the Nigerian Television Authority, Mr Ogidan has produced and directed landmark works like The New Village Headmaster, The Reign of Abiku, Sunny Side of Life etc. Upon his entrance into Nollywood in 1995, this ingenious producer dropped Owo Blow, which blew everyone away. Other major works from him are Diamond Ring, Out Of Bounds, Raging Storm, Saving Alero, Dangerous Twins, Madam Dearest, and his last, Family on Fire. All these movies won multiple awards and expectations are that Gold Statue is lined up to achieve similar feat. Completed in 2017, but now on the silver screen, moviegoers are packing up the cinemas to experience yet another expansion in Nollywood’s quality film production capacity, as led by Tade Ogidan.
This was the case at the Genesis Cinema, Maryland Mall, Maryland, Lagos on a hot Thursday afternoon. The hall was almost packed to capacity with both young and old moviegoers. This wasn’t John Wick, nor any major Hollywood release, this was a Nollywood movie having a huge turnout, despite showing right in the middle of working hours. There was no doubt that words have gone out about this movie and fans cannot wait to enjoy.
Gold Statue is a comedy adventure drama that follows the adventure of two young men Wale (Gabriel Afolayan) and Chike (Kunle Remi) in search of a gold statue (a titular for the movie) that legend claims to be lost within South-West, Nigeria. The movie centers around how these young men devised all means and risked their lives to recover this statue believed to be a deity, called ‘Yeye’. Wale as Unilag undergraduate, got inspired to go on the quest when his History Professor discussed about its story in class. He soon convinced Chike to join in and the duo began making concrete plans to find the raw gold statue and sell it. Wale whose linage are the custodian of the deity, tried to con his uncle into divulging details of the likely whereabouts of the statue. Uncle Esho (played by Pa Fatomilola Peter), a very traditional man, didn’t cave. Wale then turned to Bryan(played by Kalu Ikeagwu) his school father in secondary school, now lecturing at a UK university. Bryan employed the use of technology to narrow down the location of the statue to Ilesha, Osun State. He went on as an accomplice of the two boys, after finding out the potential worth of the statue to be over $500million. He encouraged them to do all, including committing crimes to gain access to the maximum security prison, where the statue has been pinned to lie beneath.
Wale tried to prevail on his parents to help redeploy his NYSC posting to Ilesha. His scrupulous father, Mr Akin Esho(Richard Mofe Damijo) turned it down despite his mother, Grace’s (played by Sola Sobowale) plea. Wale would later abandon his NYSC posting to join his friend Chike, who had succeeded in his redeployment to Ilesha and had gotten prison as his place of primary assignment. From here on, the duo masterminded the tunneling of the prison yard to reach the statue. This was not without a lot of drama and near-fatal end to their own lives.
CAST, SCENES AND FAVOURITES
As habitual of Tade Ogidan, this movie is cosmic Nollywood. The cast boasts of maestros like RMD, Sola Sobowale, Pa Fatomilola, Nobert Young, Jibola Dabo, Tuji Bamishigbin, Francis Onwuchie, Kalu Ikeagwu, Alibaba, Gabriel Afolayan, Kemi Afolabi, Rycado Agbor, Kunle Remi, Kelvin Ikeduba. It is further spiced with blazing new stars and comedy acts like Lakunle Fawole, Yvonne Jegede, Adeniyi Johnson, Bisola Ayeola, Adeyemi Motunrayo, Etinosa Idemudia, Greg Ojefua , Judith Audu and Woli Arole. Unlike most so called ‘star-studded’ movies, which often is a gloss over shallow storyline, Gold Statue is actually filled with starry acts. Every single name on that cast had an impact and a well defined role. Just like the usual practice of OGD Productions, the popular actors in both English and Yoruba Nollywood, plus general entertainment industry acts, were brought together to deliver a masterpiece. Tade once again, displayed his mastery of video directing on this project.
Picking a favourite actor from this movie is akin to choosing to keep only one of your either eyes. Here you have all cast delivering at premium. From minor to major roles, the best of abilities seems to be the standard. Though Gabriel, Sola Sowale and Alibaba will tie on the most outstanding performance prize. Gabriel alias Okon (his criminal character name), came to this with a bang. He cloned the Calabar tongue so well, delivered some very major scenes exceptionally well and was consistent with delivering the two different personalities of a polished rich and criminal street kid. Of course, ‘Toyin Tomato’ pumped some adrenalin in this movie. You can bet on her hysterical mother-in-crisis role any day. You would almost be given to put a thank call across to your mom, seeing her paint an empathetic picture of what mothers go through when their children are in trouble. Like this part were she had to be feasting the whole prison, because the envious prison gang-leads warned her son to stop bringing in his mother’s food if they are meant for him alone. Sola Sobowale aced this, again! Third, Alibaba! Why this is important to note is because there is a general perception that Alibaba isn’t a good actor. Not in this movie. The king of comedy, who acted as the CP of the prison, gave a hundred percent in his role. He was original, moderate in gestures, very articulate and consistent in character play.
Two scenes stood out. First, the scene where Wale was getting mobbed after being caught while attempting to steal a car, which was one of his ploys to get sent to the maximum security prison. He almost got burnt, but for Chike’s timely intervention. The scene is quite impressive, you would take it for an eye-witness coverage of the usual mob scenes that is frequent around our communities. Gabriel and Chike were at their best here. The costume, make-up, sound, plot and sequence of events would keep viewers pulsated and emotional. The fire that engulfed Chike’s leg while pushing to stop the lighting-up of his already petrol-soaked friend, was quite real.
The second scene is the part were CP Manuel (Alibaba), Wale and Chike were being chased by a team of prison officials and the police, while making away with the gold statue. The chase was a major improvement to the usual drama in Nollywood, when putting up a crime, police stunt. The perfection of delivery is commendable. You see the police helicopter, the cars and trucks all replicating a typical Hollywood fugitive manhunt scene. Kudos to Tade Ogidan for this one.
See trailer here.
NOLLYTRAILERS’ REVIEW & RATINGS
The storyline is original to the extent of its details. There have been several stories of young men trying to steal and sell off deities, but this comes with a very unique angle. Of particular credits is the emphases on the prison scene, which is a major twist to such narratives. Plot and scene couldn’t have been better. The design and set of the prison scenes are at the best of standards. It shows that lots of planing and work was put into this.
Directing/Production was the hallmark of this movie. What else do you expect from a Tade Ogidan, arguably the best TV/Movie director of this time. All actors on the cast gave their aces, even some known for average performances. The mix of character, plot and costume will school other movie directors any day.
OGD production is also know for quality soundtrack. Remember the OGD All Star that emerged for the soundtrack project of the movie Madam Dearest? If you can relate with that effort, you would understand the quality of the soundtrack for Gold Statue, is not any less.
Props and Effect, video quality, audio quality, costume and makeups were all above the current industry levels.
NollyTrailers gives the movie an average rating of 3.9 stars. It is indeed a blockbuster.
We chatted with a few moviegoers (see video below for recordings) who gave their views about the movie. Expectedly, the consensus judgment is that Gold Statue is a great film. All the viewers spoken to gave the movie the highest rating of 5 stars.
Tade Ogidan as quoted before the movie was released “This adventurous movie will take viewers through series of emotions, intrigues, suspense and drama designed for the entire family. It shows the reality of prison life, family issue. It has a lot of history quoted in it. It would be filmed in four locations- Lagos, Ilesha, Dubai, London and would be premiered in key film festivals across the globe..”. Yes, he delivered on this promise. So go see Gold Statue in a cinema close to you. We bet you won’t loose a minute.
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