Nollywood Movie Review – Unconditional


Uche Jombo Studios

Ratings – 4/10

Review by – Vivian Nappier


“Unconditional” tells the story of a mother struggle to find her missing child that was kidnapped and illegally adopted.

 Uche Jombo Rodriguez plays the role of Gina, a mother who spends 11 years in search of her missing child;Amanda/Isabella. I was not so keen on the character; it seemed like the usual personality trait played by Uche in almost all her characters, despite it being a different role (Cry when sad, Shout when angry and extreme facial reactions 50% of the time).

 Dakore Akande plays the role of Mrs. Peters, The adoptive mother of Amanda/Isabella and a vicious one at that. It was refreshing to see Dakore back on-screen and she did not fail to disappoint. For once, it felt good to actually watch a Nollywood Actress that could deliver her lines and emotions without the need to demonstrate with her body how she feels.

Chika Chukwu plays Ada, Gina’s sister in-law who was in charge of the child when she got missing. Chika is also a singer with a soulful voice and I actually enjoyed her performance on-screen. I am looking forward to seeing her in other productions.

Isabel Aghahowa plays Amanda/Isabella, the missing child. It has always been a struggle with child actors/actresses in Nollywood so I will go easy on Isabel and hope with more acting lessons, she gets better.

 Comedian and Actress, Lepacious Bose plays Olajumobi, The owner of an adoption agency who derives pleasure belittling her assistant Aiwumuagbonrie and everyone around her, including her stay at home husband; Rufus, played by Bayo Bankole. Lepacious Bose seemed to have a few difficulties concentrating on her scene without looking into the camera and I wasn’t sure if she was crying, being sarcastic or actually laughing in the scene of her telling the story of how she adopted her assistant. The real problem was the length of the scenes. Every scene with this character dragged on for way too long, especially the scene with her bullying her husband for eating the fish in the house. It was so long that I actually made a cup of tea, watched an audition video and read a couple of emails before the scene ended or should I say moved on to the next scene with the same couples and another round of the same wife bullying husband scenario!!!

Other Nollywood favorites were featured in the movie, like Ruth Kadiri who plays Aiwumuagbonrie; the imposter, and Annie Macaulay as Tega; her follower.

The beginning of the movie was a bit off, it actually started in the form of a trailer; I finally realized I was watching the actual movie 2 minutes in.

I enjoyed the scene in the police department, although it dragged on a tad bit too long, it also emphasizes the ridiculousness of the Nigerian police force, always neglecting their duties.

The story was not believable especially the kidnapping plot. I am just trying to understand how we the viewers are supposed to believe that on a free road, with just your car in sight and you by the side with a little girl

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You don’t hear a single sound when two people creep up to your car, open the door, unbuckle the child seat belt and take out the child

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Even when you looked in the car, while the child you helped was back in her seat?

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And all this happened with the other child in the car??print 3So we are to assume the baby just said “dada! Take my sister?!” I am really confused on that plot! Oh and by the way, how did they know that there were other children in the car?

The movie took 28 minutes just to show a child went missing and Olajumobi is a bully that owns an adoption agency… Nollywood really need to work on speed.

The transitions from one scene to another were really odd, especially the transition sounds (was that even necessary?) every time! The shaky camera was very distracting.

Sound, sound, and sound endless issues! The sound was bad; it was a battle of the remote with me turning up the volume to figure out what everyone is saying and swiftly turning it down when the ridiculous sound effect comes up, to emphasize the drama of the moment especially during the scream battles. I kept wincing every time this happened. I feel this is something that could easily be handled in post production.

I had a serious problem with this line “A Nigerian child in a secondary school has emerged as the mathematics quiz winner?” announced by a Nigeria newscaster, talking about a secondary school in Abuja with all Nigeria children, in Nigeria… why was it necessary to say a Nigerian child?

I don’t understand how an agency will still be in business 11 years later if the owner was careless enough to let her assistant into personal records of clients, forge signatures from files and rip people off. Even after it has surfaced that false adoption transaction happened?

Completely random, but I really love how no one aged after 11 years. Also, not sure if it was a production choice but, I got confused on why Story/Screenplay is listed as Uche Jombo and Producer/Executive producer as Uche Jombo Rodriguez?

After watching “Unconditional”, I was left almost conditioned to believe Nollywood sound will not get better. I still have hope on that. Some stories had no resolutions, especially the story of Olajumobi and Rufus. Every story should have a beginning, middle and ending but this lacked both a middle and ending.

What do you think?

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