When you strike gold, you keep on digging for more gold. You don't change your strategy and start digging for silver. You stick with what works for you.
Comedy has become gold for Nigerian filmmakers at the cinemas, and it doesn't seem they will stop digging soon.
'Chief Daddy' is a new attempt to strike gold. It has everything in the Nollywood 'Almighty Formula' to ensure that it becomes a hit.
It has an all-star cast led by some of the most bankable talents Nollywood has to offer, Joke Silva, Patience Ozokwor, Nkem Owoh, Funke Akindele, Rachael Oniga and others.
Falz, Nedu and Chigul are in the movie for rib cracking responsibilities. Ini Edo and Mawuli Gavor for sex appeal. With a December release date, 'Chief Daddy' has all the trappings to be a big hit. But is it?
The Niyi Akinmolayan directed movie is about Chief Beecroft who plays the titular role. He is the head of a dynasty which threatens to fall apart minutes after he dies.
Not only do his relatives fight for his wealth but the fruits of Big Daddy's philandering past make an already delicate situation tenser. The reading of his will and the events leading up to his burial make heads and egos clash.
The movie scores a high mark in depicting opulence and wealth. Some of the camera work is impressive and perhaps some of the best work we might see on the big screen this year.
If comedy is your thing, then this movie will make you laugh. Although they play small parts, the combination of Nedu and Chigul who play the role of street-smart coffin sellers are a delight to watch. The timing of their gags is spot on.
And Nkem Owoh, a genius of Nigerian comedy both on and off the screen expertly brings humour without breaking a sweat or forcing it.
Unfortunately, the trio of Nedu, Chigul and Nkem Owoh are not enough. Chief Daddy is slapped with comedy that goes nowhere.
The humour in this story doesn’t exactly drive the plot home, neither does it make it engaging. The story is sidelined for cheap humour and that’s a shame because the story has so much potential.
In the movie, Falz plays the hero and villain. His act of lampooning urban British culture scores some points but sometimes the act is a drawback.
The plot moves as if it is headed for a spectacular crash of conflicts but this never happens. What we get is an anti-climax with a weak resolution.
With a stellar cast of experienced Nollywood heavy hitters, Chief Daddy is an example of the parts being larger than the sum. The talents at hand are not fully utilized that’s why the cast fails to deliver a strong performance.
Then there is the issue of overcasting. There are a lot of notable names in this movie with minor roles. Obviously, it’s a PR trick to get as many people as possible to watch the movie when it’s released.
This gimmick has become tiresome. Sadly it does not seem Nollywood producers are done using it.
Big Daddy fits in the mould of recent cinematic releases, big, ambitious and glamorous. It also features the failings of the new wave, overcasting, shallow comedy and a weak plot.
However, these failings haven’t stopped these new big Nollywood movies from flopping at the cinema and neither will it stop Chief Daddy.