Director : Frank Rajah Arase
Producer(s): Mercy Johnson-Okojie
Starring :Mercy Johnson-Okojie, Nancy Ameh, Odunlade Adekola, Paul Obazele, Saheed Balogun, and Sam Dede
Genre : Drama/Historical
Release Date : January 24, 2020 (Nigeria)
Awesome-O-Metre : 7.0/10
Revue of THE LEGEND OF INIKPI
The Legend of Inikpi is set in the ancient Kingdoms of Igala and Benin where the Igalas are under siege from the Benin kingdom. In order to guarantee the safety of the Igala kingdom, the gods require the ultimate sacrifice of the beloved princess, Inikpi.
The legendary tale of Inikpi has fascinated me since my mom told it to me when I was 6 years old and there have been a couple of failed attempts to bring this story to the big screen. I sincerely hoped this one would be a worthy attempt…and IT WAS! This adaptation is amazing, and this is largely due to the incredible production and color grading which was so appropriate and regal. Also, the way that the producers stuck to the accurate story shows that a great deal of research went into the film especially as it showcased the Igala culture with accuracy.
Another highlight of the film is the haunting music/singing which is so chilling that the ladies who sat close to me at the cinema couldn’t hold back the tears till the film ended. This brings me to the cast who were outstanding in their roles. Mercy Johnson as the Queen put in a spectacular performance and so did Nancy Ameh as the Princess Inikpi and Paul Obazele was fittingly regal as Oba Esigie of the Benin Kingdom.
Though the cast were one of the highlights of The Legend of Inikpi, I was unsatisfied with the performance of Sam Dede as the Attah Igala. His acting wasn’t bad, but he didn’t exhibit enough charisma as the father of the Igala and was outdone by the performance of Paul Obazele. He is the pivotal character in this story, and I desired a more powerful performance. Also, since he isn’t Igala, he mispronounced a lot of names…including that of the Princess. Another character that was miscast is Saheed Balogun as the diviner- his performance would have been more powerful if only he spoke any Igala. I am not faulting his acting, but I felt that character could have been so much more.
The Legend of Inikpi is a worthy adaptation of this fantastic tale and it’s such a rich story so much so that when it was presented at the National Theatre during the FESTAC and got a standing ovation. I feel the next story that should get such a big screen treatment is Queen Amina of Zaria. That’s another fantastic tale about a great Nigerian heroine.
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