Thy Will be Done – Pedestrian, Bland
Munachi (Mary Njoku), who supposedly died 7 years ago resurfaces and finds out that her husband, Pastor Pius (Ramsey Noah), is now married to Lucy (Mercy Johnson). The controversy that a clergyman is married to two women and the battle in the ‘polygamous’ home are the thrust of Thy Will be Done.
Obi Emelonye (The Mirror Boy, Last Flight to Abuja and Onye Ozi – The Messenger) is behind the contrived and derivative movie, Thy Will be Done, which looks very much like Omoni Oboli’s Being Mrs Elliot; though the latter, with all its flaws, is far better than the former.
The film’s dialogue is bland and conversations are employed in obviously perceivable circumstances, in which pictorial action can do the job. Lucy is conversing with a lawyer and she tells him, “You know you are my legal oracle.” No, he is her ‘medical oracle’. Even unnecessary conversations are enacted. For instance, when Lucy consults a doctor, she tells him, “My husband is a pastor and we serve a living God.” In response, the doctor says, “You are my cousin, Lucy. I won’t lie to you.” Then, someone says, “All books starts (sic) to look the same”.
In the film’s opening scene, the way Munachi pours the tea away means that it must have poured on the General (Jide Kosoko) or was it cold tea? When Pastor Pius honours the invitation by the organization, which investigates the Munachi/ Itunu case, does it mean there is no intercom in the office to communicate with another member of staff, who could fetch Munachi and is the disappearing act supposed to be part of the film’s suspense? It does not work at all.
The manner, in which Pius reacts when he sees Munachi in her father’s house, leaves one wondering who indeed has amnesia – Munachi or Pius. How come he goes away with her, not asking the relevant questions?
A policeman puffs a cigarette on Munachi’s face; apart from making her a passive smoker, isn’t that unprofessional conduct? How come the wounded robber never seeks medical help? Is he immortal? The robber has the time to change the clothes of someone he killed, to what end?
Unfortunately, no Christian-themed film has beaten Out of Bounds, a 1997 Tade Ogidan film, a Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) production, which was co-written by Tade Ogidan and RMD. In that fascinating film, Pastor Voke (RMD) dates the two women – Tutu (Bimbo Akintola) and Ada (Ayo Adesanya) – who ruin his ministry; but is restored through the efforts of Chief Adigwe (the late Pa Steve Rhodes).
Much as Helen Ukpabio produced Christian movies all the way, several of which had a lot of potential; none matched Out of Bounds’ well-plotted story. The Pope Must Hear This; incidentally starring Ramsey Noah, the story of a randy Reverend Father, who kicked his ball into a bunker when he defiled the daughter of a wealthy parishioner played by Pete Ed0chie; was relatively well-told; but not as interesting as the thought-provoking Out of Bounds, especially as The Pope Must Hear This came after Beyond the Vow, an Igbo film, which told a similar story.
My Cross, a run-of-the-mill 1998 Production by Emmalex Movies, also featured Ramsey Noah as a Reverend Father, who lost every member of his immediate family to a conspiracy orchestrated by a relative, a role that was interpreted by Charles Okafor.
One had expected Thy Will be Done to be an outstanding narrative, but it ended up as a pedestrian work of art. Therefore, it is high time film-makers who practice the Christian religion worked on remarkable Christian films that will be remembered for a long time to come; if for nothing else, a lot has changed in Christendom in Nigeria 18 years after Out of Bounds.
Ramsey Noah, like many A-list actors have cut down on the number of films, in which they feature; so as to concentrate on quality projects that will position them as exemplary artistes. However, Thy Will be Done is a long way from that dream project, which will guarantee that distinction. By my assessment, he is yet to surpass his performance in Dangerous Twins; coincidentally another Tade Ogidan film, which though imperfect, brought out the best in the debonair actor.
It is also worrisome that Iroko TV’s Jason Njoku, his wife, Mary, and their production outfit are deeply involved in Thy Will be Done. Having distributed both interesting and second-rate films, they should have embarked on an exciting project that will take Nollywood notches higher.
Obi Emelonye also has a chance to redeem himself by making a blockbuster film, which will etch his name on the audiences’ minds. If the saying that ‘You are as good as your last show’ is anything to go by, then his last show, Thy Will be Done, leaves much to be desired. It appears that Emelonye fails to improve with every production. The Mirror Boy, (whose success is chiefly anchored on Genevieve Nnaji’s ever dependable shoulders) with its errors, is better than Last Flight to Abuja whilst Last Flight to Abuja is better than Thy Will be Done. Yours truly is yet to see Onye Ozi (The Messenger), his 2015 AMVCA-winning Best Igbo Film. Mr. Emelonye, movie buffs are waiting.