Living in Bondage is the sequel to the 1992 Nollywood movie, ‘Living In Bondage’ which was a 1992/93 Nigerian two-part drama thriller film directed by Chris Obi Rapu, written by Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor,produced by Ogunjiofor, and sponsored by Jafac Wine. The film was shot straight-to-video,and starred Kenneth Okonkwo and Nnenna Nwabueze in their breakout roles. (Wikipedia)

The Filmhouse                Cinema, Oniru, lekki, Lagos was packed full on Wednesday, October 30, as Play Network hosted the official premiere and press screening for the long awaited Nollywood blockbuster, Living In Bondage: Breaking Free. The special screening, which had handpicked guests made up of movie critics and journalists, is part of the film’s production and release cycle best advantage. (guardian)

Living in Bondage: Breaking Free was written by Nicole Asinugo and C.J. Obasi. The movie was co-produced by award-winning producer, Steve Gukas, Dotun Olakurin and Charles Okpaleke. It stars Actors renewing their roles from the 1992 prequel like Kenneth Okonkwo (Andy Okeke), Kanayo O. Kanayo (Chief Omego)and Bob-Manuel Udokwu (Mike). Ramsey Nouah, who directed the movie also took on the role of the powerful yet flamboyant villain (Richard Williams). It also stars Enyinna Nwigwe (Obinna Omego), Swanky JKA (Nnamdi Okeke), Nancy Isime and Munachi Abii among others. The movie, which has an original score produced by Larry Gaaga that features A-list Afro beat artistes is due for release nationwide on Friday, November 8. (guardian)

In 2015, veteran actor Ramsey Nouah secured the rights to Living In Bondage from Kenneth Nnebue for a possible remake to be filmed in Europe and America as well as Nigeria. The news was later confirmed on Instagram, but appeared to be in development hell for three years.

In 2018, Nouah announced his remake had become a sequel now titled Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, and is set for release on November 8 2019. Nouah, who plays the new cult chief priest, makes his directorial debut. (Wikipedia)

The story centres on Andy’s son Nnamdi, and his vaunting quest for wealth like his father before him. Rapper and former MBGN 2007 Muna Abii also features in the sequel. The movie focuses on the desperation to get-rich quick to the extent of embarking on human sacrifices. In the movie, a young man who desperately wanted to be rich and famous joined a secret cult without knowing the consequences of his action. (guardian)

Without showing a flashback scene, as it’s the case with most Nollywood sequels, Obasi and Asinugo, not taking away from the Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor’s plot for ‘Living in Bondage 1 & 2,’ reminded fans of flick (old and new) the story of Andy Okeke and Merit Okeke (played by Nnenna Nwabueze), the wealth, occultism and the stigma. (guardian)

From the opening montage that sees Obinna Omego driving a little girl into a thick forest to behead her, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ sets an unusual pace that keeps the viewers mind racing back to the events that made the 1992 blockbuster a hit.

Then come Nnamdi Okeke and his pal at a nightclub trying to live the life of opulence they only dreamt about but were only thrown out just after making a mess of their ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it’ belief. Despite the shame, Nnamdi remained unrelenting with his untamed quest for quick money, fast car, easy living. He finds comfort in his cousin, Tubi Nworie (played by Shawn Faqua), who urges him to believe in his abilities. Not long after he reunited with High Chief Omego, his desire for a good life became a reality and his path crossed with Richard Williams, the stylish and flamboyant leader of a global cult, who became his mentor and later his albatross. Just before the reality stared him in the face like his father, who never knew he existed until 27 years later, Nnamdi found love in the eyes of two lovely ladies Kelly (played by Munachi Abii) and another character (played by Nancy Isime).  (pulse)

The well-written plot was matched by Nouah’s directorial skills that depicted Nnamdi’s vaunting quest for the big life in real glamorous and opulent pictures. Though it’s easy for viewers to predict what the story plot will be, the twist to how Andy Okeke became a thorn in the flesh of the brotherhood for the second time after 27 years is where this sequel takes its rightful place as a thorough and well-executed film project. Nouah’s decision to take on the role of the villain, Richard Williams is a no-brainer as he deftly switched from an affluent and world-class billionaire to the spiritual leader of a powerful occult known as ‘The Six’. (pulse)

Nollywood might not be able to fix the activities or effects of occult groups or societies in Nigerian, ‘Living in Bondage’ and ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ have beamed more light on the existence of societies while entertainingly educating the general public. (pulse)

The executive producer of the movie, Dotun Olakore, said: “The movie, ‘Living in Bondage’, is a very powerful story that everybody in Nigeria can relate to and we have brought it into the current times. It has a powerful storyline, so we had to make it perfect and we had to make sure it was modern cinematography as well. The movie is clear to those that have seen the old ‘Living In Bondage’ and those that haven’t. We deliberately wrote a story that will appeal the fans of ‘Living In Bondage’. The movie talks about people wanting to make easy money without paying the price for it. There is moralistic trend to the story which we can also relate to from 27 years ago till date. And so it is an old nollywood classic that we have brought back to the current era.” (guardian)

According to Kenneth Okonkwo, who is a major character in the movie: “After 27 years of releasing the first movie have sustained the tempo to point that modern people with all that they’ve watched started yearning for the movie, Breaking Free: Living In Bondage.” (guardian)

Just as Chris Obi Rapu’s ‘Living in Bondage’ became one of Nollywood’s classics that defined an era, Ramsey Nouah’s ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ is a game-changer that will set the pace for how sequels should be treated and executed going forward in Nollywood. Between 1992 and 2019, a lot has gone down in Nigeria’s socio-political scene as well as the entertainment world. Several events have shaped the existence of an average Nigerian youth who was born 27-years-ago. (pulse)

All these events were carefully thought about by Nicole Asinugo and C.J. Obasi, who co-wrote the sequel, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’. ‘Living In Bondage: Breaking Free without a doubt will enlightened a handful of viewers that it’s almost impossible to break free from a covenant with the occults while relishing in the wealth gotten from being a member. (guardian)

While the writers may have painted Richard Williams as a devil bent on retrieving the debt of the Okeke clan, they also, notably give a hint of another plot, which might make the flick the first sequential trilogy.

The movie is a perfect way for Ramsey Nouah to announce his directorial debut. According to some movie critics, it is a game-changer that will set the pace for how sequels should be treated and executed going forward in Nollywood. (guardian)

In conclusion, Living in Bondage: Breaking Free was a good project to embark on as it will not only sell in Cinemas  but also in other means of movie distribution as it is a classic Home movie that can be enjoyed with friends and family. It also comes with a lesson for young adults and youths who might have been interested in going into the Occultic world in other to make fast money. Also this opens way for more sequels to be made from the Living in Bondage Franchise. Additionally, this might encourage more sequels to be made from old Nollywood classics by giving them a modern spin.

It has opened upon new possibilities in Movie production in Nigeria.

Compiled by Micheal Osuji

Featured Image credit to NaijaGists.com

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