MOVIE REVIEW: EMERALD AND WILD PASSION
I told myself I’d never watch a Nollywood movie ever again except by recommendation. So on a boring evening not too long ago, a young friend of mine brought Emerald and Wild Passion over. I did watch them, old though they were, and even penned a review. Here goes:
Do you believe in fate? Do you believe that two people can be destined to be together such that no matter how hard circumstances work to prevent it, they end up with each other? These are the questions that the Nollywood movie, Emerald and its sequel, Wild Passion, strive to answer. Woven around this theme is the story of a love affair that is said to have spanned two lifetimes and counting. And perhaps, to justify the centuries-long storyline, the filmakers dragged the picture out long enough to test the viewer’s patience, resulting in four parts, two for Emerald, and another two for Wild Passion.*
However, it is this metaphysical element (more on that later) that makes the story intriguing. Beyond that, it becomes the story of another affair with passion, feelings of betrayal and lust for vengeance. Central to the story are Max, played by Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, a married man who feels bound to a single girl, Emerald, played by one of Nigeria’s prominent actresses, Genevieve Nnaji.
Emerald, while shopping with her cousin, Becky (played by Tonto Dikeh) for antiques with which the latter will open a shop bought an emerald ring, which turned out to be enchanted. It opened her up to dreams in which she saw herself in love with an unhappily married Max in another lifetime, a romance that unjustly ended in tragedy.
In the present, the said Max is a stranger her paths only recently crossed with. Pretty soon, a relationship blossoms between them, although Max is …, you guessed right, unhappily married, just like in her dreams. Their feelings for each other are haltingly portrayed at first due to the guilt felt by Emerald and the pressure plied by Max’s wife. They do get into some kissing and fondling, but thankfully it doesn’t get out of hand.
The retro segment (depicting a previous lifetime), however, is so endearing. There you see Genevieve playing the sassy, taunting girl we’ve seen her interpret convincingly in many movies over the years. Her slim body and ageless looks are great assets for the task. Max, on his part, does the earnest pursuit. Max’s costume will crack you up (I think that big Afro wig needed a little more grooming).
Some great acting too from the lady who played Emerald’s mum. She and Genevieve conveyed the warmth and closeness between mother and daughter superbly.
I must commend the generally modest dressing of the cast except for two supporting characters (one of them played by Tonto) who showed a little more skin than one would care for (bursting cleavages).
For Christians, there are certain issues to bear in mind if you do watch these movies. You probably know that the notion that people can reincarnate and, perhaps, pursue their dreams from previous lifetimes is not biblical. To be fair to the movie, the girl, Emerald, also struggled with the idea to some degree.
“… it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” – Hebrews 9:27.
There is a brief appearance of an old lady in the film ostensibly as a salesperson in the shop where Emerald bought the ring when she came to return it due to the troubling dreams she’d had. The lady it would seem was a spirit or had magical powers, because she convinced Emerald it was no accident she bought the ring, that it was destined to be hers. This ring, she claimed, would guide Emerald in the present to correct the injustices she and Max suffered in the past. Sounds very fascinating, but highly dangerous in real life. We are to avoid mystical objects that serve as gateways to the supernatural realm or convey hidden powers to us in order not to be manipulated by evil spirits.
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:31 (ESV)
“There shall not be found among you … anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this. – Deuteronomy 18:10-14 (ESV)
“Many of those who thus believed came out of the
closet and made a clean break with their secret sorceries. All kinds of witches and warlocks came out of the woodwork with
their books of spells and incantations and made a huge bonfire of them. Someone estimated their worth at fifty thousand
silver coins.” – Acts 19:18-19 (MSG)
Our guidance should come from the Holy Spirit and the word of God or brethren drawing from these two sources.
Then there’s the whole idea of having an affair. You know that on this, the Bible does not excuse those who are unhappy in their marriages, maybe because those marriages were arranged. Romantic love is wonderful if we find it but we’re not allowed to entertain it beyond the boundaries of marriage. Our relationship with God is more important than the pleasure of any exciting physical union.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” – Hebrews 13:4
It’s always a pleasure for me to see Genevieve in any movie, so the technical lapses like the unnecessary and tedious flashbacks and the spiritual red flags notwithstanding, this one, for me, was a winner.
*The movies, packaged by De-Zeen International, Divine Touch Production, were written by Chisom Juliet Okereke and released in 2009.
Which memorable movie have you watched recently? (It could be Hollywood or any of the other …woods.)
Do share the title and some takeaways from it with us in the comments?
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