Movie Title- Diamond Ring part 1
Produced by– Tade Ogidan
Directed by- Tade Ogidan
Written by- Tade Ogidan
Cast- Richard Mofe Damijo
I must confess that I love reviewing our retro movies, it takes me back to when things were simple; the good old days. I recently saw one of the classics from one of Nigeria’s finest producer and director- Tade Ogidan. This guy was one of the very few who know their onions and has made a mark in the industry. His movies are sensational and he makes sure to invest a lot in terms of budget because he believes in quality production.
Diamond Ring is a great movie, fantastic storyline and plot, awesome characterization from some of the most talented actors in Nollywood. The 1998 film captivated movie enthusiasts and it was probably one of the first shot in two continents. Split into two parts Diamond Ring tells the story of a young boy- Chidi (played by Teju Babyface) the son of very rich Igbo parents (Richard Mofe Damijo and Shola Sobowale) who didn’t really have time for him and his sister because of their busy lives. Chidi, only fifteen got admission to the university same time as his elder sister who is eighteen. It was a thing of joy and pride for his parents that their fifteen-year-old is brilliant enough to study in a tertiary institution.
So off Chidi went to the University of Lagos, a young boy away from home and the supervision of his parents, he was having the time of his life enjoying his new found freedom. A likeable lad and brilliant for that matter, he made friends easily. Bimbola (Bimbo Akintola) came into his life more like a big sister, but their relationship was sort of awkward. He loved her as if she was his girlfriend while still seeing her as a big sister because of the age difference and vice versa. This got me thinking, what would’ve happened if they’d actually dated? Wel, we’ll never know.
The love Chidi had for Bimbola drove him to join a confraternity in school, the brotherhood XG. Being naïve and unassuming he thought he was protecting her. Lami his room mate and friend introduced him to the group and convinced him to join. Lami even spilled the beans that Bimbola was held bound by a lecturer who threatens her with failure unless she sleeps with him repeatedly. Chidi reported the case to the VC, his father’s friend but nothing was done about it, meaning that the VC also had his own shady dealings. This no doubt angered him coupled with the fact that he was appalled by the living conditions of students on campus. All these strengthened his will to join, he wanted to make a change and for a moment he thought he actually did.
Things went bad when he was asked to open a grave of a lady as part of his brave test to finalize his initiation into the fraternity, they went beyond that. They stole the jewelry belonging to the dead lady and that was the genesis of his troubles. The most important being the Diamond Ring of the lady which he was convinced to sell. Things started getting bad when he fell seriously ill and all his friends started dying, they had to take him home where he confessed to his parents as to the true nature of his ailment.
Okay enough of the plenty stories. Here’s what I find interesting about the movie. The aunt that could see beyond the ordinary was pretty scary, I mean who has such relations? One look at you and they know if you’ve stolen meat from the pot or not. Buki Ajayi played the role well. RMD was phenomenal in the Igbo man character and Sola Sobowale as usual was good. But I kinda felt her portrayal of an Igbo wife was not convincing enough. Of course Bimbo Akintola didn’t disappoint at all, but the person that got a standing ovation from me was Teju Babyface. His performance was just splendid, he played the role of Chidi so well that I even thought he was Chidi for real. Liz Benson was cool as well.
Production was okay, sound was cool but the boom mic kept popping up at the edge of the screen. Not good for production. I loved the dialogue, for me it was rich and engaging but the soundtracks was a no no for me. They could’ve done better. Effects was a total no. Make up was so wrong, the ghost of the dead lady was not scary at all, they just plastered white powder on her face and a fan close by to blow her hair backward to give it that windy effect but it was unreal and a bit annoying not to mention laughable and her audio was poor as well.
While we wait to review the other half of this movie, it is pertinent to note that this was a great movie and spectacular job from Mr. Tade Ogidan.