Diamond Kingdom is probably one of Frank Artus’ best performances, at least the first part was, and this coming from a staunch anti-Artus advocate – if there’s such a thing.
The movie, as summarized by the Igwe character in this movie, tells the story of a young man’s rise from grass to grace, the obstacles he faces and how he overcomes them.
There are a couple moments in the movie that I’m tempted to believe were well thought out, however, I’m not blind to the fact that they might just as well have been mere coincidences. For instance the movie starts off with an Igwe who has been absent for a long while and returns to his throne. The Igwe is played by Pete Edochie, an actor who has been absent for a while and now has returned to his throne (acting). Watching Mr. Edochie once again is an amazing feeling. There is no Igwe like Pete Edochie. And it’s about time an actor other than Olu Jacobs played Igwe again.
The movie is ridiculously slow paced. It’s a four part movie squashed into two parts but it still retains the length. Each part lasts a whole two and a half hours, so after the movie you feel like you’ve lived this life with the characters. And the movie is… loooonnnnnnggggg. There are a lot of overly prolonged scenes, an endless array of unnecessary shots, scenes that add absolutely nothing to the movie and just when you think it’s over they tell you ‘three years later’ and the story continues.
But! But if you have the time it’s enjoyable. It’s one of those movies that is frustrating to people who want to get it over with and a treasure to those who have time on their hands. It was a mix of both to me but after a while I was over it and ready for it to be over.
Most of my fascination with this movie comes from Frank Artus. Like I said earlier, I absolutely cannot stand Mr. Artus, or should I put that in the past tense because in this movie there was a different Frank. Maybe because he really didn’t speak much in the first part or because he was playing a konk villager? Whatever it was he had an appeal. I think it was more a case of an appealing character than anything but one must not undermine Frank’s effort in bringing the character to life and he did it quite well in comparison to his previous roles.
Ngozi Ezeonu as a villain was fantastic, she becomes the character and my aggravation towards her character is a 100% genuine throughout. I still hold, however, that Nollywood just does not know how to punish villains. Was watching a movie the other day where the villain was punished at the end by being tied up with chains in a cave in the middle of nowhere, and he was just left there. And at night rats come and feast on him. That’s how you punish a villain! None of that handcuffs-sent-to-prison rubbish. Especially after sitting through five hours of movie time, the least you can do is punish the villain properly. Throw her down a mountain top, tie her to a brick and throw her into the river, push her into a coffin of nails, do something!
I will however add a disclaimer though that this movie is very Igbo. It appeals to those with Igbo sensibilities or those who enjoyed the old-style of Nollywood movies mainly. It is 99.9% story telling and .1% production.