Monday, January 7, 2019

Film Review | Lionheart

Lionheart is a transport company based in Enugu in Eastern Nigeria, which has transported Nigerians around the country for years. Ran by Chief Ernest Obiagu (Pete Edochie), with the assistance of his daughter, Adaeze (Genevieve Nnaji), Lionheart is a much-loved company based on family values.

When Chief Obiagu suffers a small bout of illness, he is forced to step away from his position as MD. The obvious choice for a successor is of course Adaeze, but to her disappointment, Chief Obiagu's younger brother Godswill (Nkem Owoh) is brought in to run the company instead. Godswill comes in with his own style of management and a few sweeping changes - all with good taste.

Chief Ernest Obiagu with Adaeze and Godswill
However, things turn grim when an external audit reveals the company's large debts. And so the countdown begins to save Lionheart. The journey sees Adaeze and Godswill hit wall after wall as they scramble to find a viable solution in thirty days. This is until chance will have them run into the handsome Hamza Makaino, son of the very successful entrepreneur Alhaji Danladi Makaino and owner of Makaino Motors, a fleet of buses in Northern Nigeria. 

How will this off chance meeting benefit Lionheart and Adaeze's position in the company? What does the future hold for Adaeze and Hamza?

Adaeze and Godswill need to find a solution

Barriers Broken
What I love about Lionheart and many of the recent Nigerian films is the beautiful camera quality and cinematography.  It's a progressive film, whose main themes are gender equality and family. I like that Genevieve's character, Adaeze really possesses a quiet strength. She persisted throughout with grace and poise. She didn't portray the super bitch, or the helpless damsel or any of the other stereotypes so often depicted in African movies. I also enjoyed the brotherly love displayed between Chief Ernest and Godswill - a far cry from the warring siblings vying for possessions and position.

Although someone with a discerning eye may have been able to notice something subtle slowly warming up between Hamza and Adaeze, her redemption didn't rest on being able to bag a man, and for that, the writers get my utmost respect. At last,  African cinema is changing the narrative!

I give major props to whoever was in charge of wardrobe because they did a stellar job! From the natural hair to the African inspired fashion, everything was on point. 

Language  Barriers 
The film features three languages: English, Igbo and Hausa. Before watching the film, I heard complaints by many who had watched the film in the Silverbird Cinemas (in Nigeria and Ghana) about the Igbo scenes not being subtitled and thus alienating more than half of its viewers, which put me off initially. This was until I saw that subtitles exist on Netflix.
However, whoever understands or even recognises Igbo would have noticed the language incorrectly subtitled as Hausa (sort it out Netflix!)

My parting thoughts are that Lionheart, produced and directed by one of Nollywood' s treasures, Genevieve Nnaji (Adaeze) is a quality piece of work. If you are a fan of Nigerian films of old then you'll enjoy seeing all the veterans together on one screen. It's heartwarming,  it's relaxing (you know there are some films that just stress you out?) It contains humour, and it's perfect for the whole family. 

Director: Genevieve Nnaji
Film length 1h34.
Age rating: PG



  1. This sounds like a great film with a gripping storyline! Definitely one to watch; I'm looking forward to watching something uplifting. Thank you for sharing! Angharad x

    1. Thank you so much for reading!it's a lovely feel good movie which will definitely lift your mood.

  2. counting down to watching the movie with a friend of mine...should be fun, thanks for sharing :-) Happy new year to you too, love reading your blogs on new authors, good job!

    1. 12:29 PM
      Oooh! I hope you both enjoy it. Please come back and me know how you found it. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy the blog

  3. I have watched Lion Heart and really enjoyed it. Definitely agree with you on everything you said.
    Happy new blessed year to you Madeline. :-)

    1. Hello sis. I knew you'd enjoy it 😁😁. Many happy returns Missy May. I pray 2019 brings many blessings your way!

  4. I can only imagine the effort that went into the making of this film! I've heard very good things about it and so plan to give it a watch sometime soon :) Have a lovely weekend Madeline! x

    1. Me too Gabrielle. So much thought went into the detail. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Have a wonderful week ahead.

  5. I agree 100 percent with every word you've written Madeline. I also enjoyed lionheart thoroughly for many reasons. First of all Genevieve is and has always been my favourite Nollywood actress. The film appealed to all my senses.I love the natural hairstyles and makeup, wardrobe, strength perseverance. I particularly the way Genevieve maintained respect to her parents and her uncle but still delivered in the end.

    I watched the movie without subtitles and was a bit disappointed that I couldn't understand everything but that still didn't take away the love and respect I have for the writing and acting of this beautiful African film.

    1. Thank you Patience. I know how much you enjoyed the film. Genevieve is a very graceful lady so I can imagine the role came very easily to her. Yes it was a fantastic display of African respect and poise. Thanks for reading!

  6. I have just finished watching this flick, I think it was quite a breath of fresh from the Nigerian movies of old .... finishing up my review on it.

  7. Now this sounds like everything I'd say about Lionheart too. You saw what I saw, especially the natural hair and fashion pieces (oh, the styles in Ankara. Oh my G. I love them!). Nice review, Madeline. :)

    P.s Any major reason for changing from Disqus? Please tell a sis. Thanks.


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