Nneka The Pretty Serpent is another leaf from the 90s movie. It is a remake of the 1994 horror mystery film with the same title. Directed by Tosin Igho this movie had Idia Essien playing debut into Nollywood as she played the lead role.
The movie, Nneka the Pretty Serpent starred other A-list actors such as Beverly Osu, Chioma Chukwuka, Zack Orji, Beverly Naya, Shaffy Bellow, Ndidi Obi, Bimbo Ademoye, Bovi, Kenneth Okoli, Larry Gaga, Ramsey Nouah, and others. Nneka the Pretty Serpent centers around the life of Nneka. After her parents were murdered, Nneka encounters the Queen of the Coast who offers to help her in revealing the identities of the people who killed her parents. This changes the course of her life as she sets out on a mission of revenge. With this, she is welcomed into the world of wealth and luxury, but she is not prepared for the price she has to pay for all she has done.
Firstly, the storyline is good. There was the beginning, where we saw the birth of her pain and anger, the middle where she capitalized on that anger and let herself be a vessel, and the end where the consequences of her action and the fruit of her anger played out. The storyline was good because even without watching the first Nneka the Pretty Serpent, there is an understanding established in this remake, that cancels any need to know what happened in the first one. Asides from that, every other thing is wrong with the storyline. Starting from the soothsayer (Waje) Nneka went to meet in the beginning. Who was she?, how did she know Nneka? these questions were left hanging. The love story of Tony (Kenneth Okoli), and Nneka; okay let’s say he has been coming to the bar, so he that is how he met her, asides that he didn’t know anything about her, and all of a sudden you are in love with, and you want to marry her.
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Again, the part of the story where she saw his wife’s picture and ring in his car, seriously do people who have such cherished memories carry them in their car just like that, where it can be accessed by any and everybody! Please was I the only one who thought that Femi Branch disappearing in the beginning and appearing after his friend has gone, was fake. Still, on the storyline, another part that just didn’t make sense was when the body of Udoka Ojukwu (Larry Gaga) was been examined. The doctor was removed her gloves and coat and started using her bare hands to touch the dead body. She was even eating in the same room, please how does this make sense!. Let’s not even talk of the habit of not holding a biro by Inspector Daniel (Bovi). Whoever scripted these parts of the story and added these little habits to the characters, left a huge loophole in the entire story. It was so obvious that the fact that he doesn’t carry a pen around will eventually lead to something. Still on the character of Inspector Daniel (Bovi). This character was too fake, his personality could have been better if a better actor had played the role. From the beginning, we could tell that he was playing a character and not embodying the role.
From his voice to his facial expression, it was a no-no. The lead character, Nneka (Idia Essien) could have been better. This was one thing that was obvious from the beginning to the end. Idia Essien is a good actress but not yet a fantastic one and what was needed for the character of Nneka was a fantastic actress. Her gesture, actions, facial expressions just name it, was flat. In fact, she literarily had the same facial expression from the beginning to the end. Let’s even leave the expression and talk about that Igbo language. Her Igbo accent was terrible, even Ada played by Bimbo Ademoye that is Yoruba had a better Igbo accent than she did, my Gawd. You mustn’t give an Igbo girl the character of Nneka but please ensure she gets the accent right. The character of Nneka fell short of our expectation, period. Speaking of the character of Ada she was amazing as usual. She was natural and we are not surprised because Bimbo Ademoye always delivers. The characters of Zack Orji, Chioma Chukwuka, were aptly played out.
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To the most part that usually adds life to a movie but was absent in Nneka the Pretty Serpent was the special effect. Please who was in charge of the special effect makeup. From the moment we saw the face of the lousy landlord (Charles Inojie) in the beginning, the foundation told us he is not as old as he looks. The snake bite, the wound on Dr. Fatima Awolowo’s (Shaffy Bello) body, in fact, all the scenes where there were injuries, the injuries looked downright fake. Come on, the red didn’t even look like blood, some injuries had a lighted shade of blood while others were darker. Now you see the fight scenes, which took Nollywood back 15 years down the line. Are people still doing fight scenes this way, so fake, the highlight of the fight scenes was the scene where Nneka and Inspector Daniel fought, just absolutely fake. While the special effect make-up was fake, the beauty make-up was beautiful and apt. Neat is the right word to use. The make-up on Nneka and the Queen mother was perfect, the hairstyle once again, perfect. Another plus is the musicality. The words to describe it is seamless and on point. It depicted the culture and the mood of each scene. The cinematography was great. This smooth blend from one scene to another was beautiful, the quality and clarity of all the scenes could even pass for a Hollywood movie, with how great they looked. Just lovely. The play on colors especially where they gave us a clear difference between the past and present, the spirit world, was super cool. The setting was on point also. The first scene to the last scenes gave us a better understanding of the characters and what to expect from them at that moment.
Nneka the Pretty Serpent fell short of our expectations but it wasn’t a totally bad movie. The high points of this film helped to show that all hope is not lost after all. We would give this movie a 5/10.
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