Movie Review: On Bended Knees, By Efeturi Doghudje

Director: Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Cast: Chioma Akpotha, Seun Akindele, Chet Anekwe, Francis Onwuchei
Genre: Drama
Year: 2013
Duration: 113 mins

Kemi Williams (Chioma Akpotha) has been married to Reuben Williams (Seun Akindele) for 15 years until he got his calling to move back home and shepherd his folk. Kemi became her husband’s backbone but soon got tired of all the church activities. She decides to get a job in an advertising company and while there, begins to develop feelings for her boss, Ebube (Chet Anekwe.)

On Bended Knees initially reminded me of the 1997 movie, Out of Bound, which starred Bimbo Akintola and Richard Mofe Damijo but that notion soon dispersed.

Pastor Reuben wanted to be everything to his flock to the detriment of his marriage and even if he were not married, it is an act that is not sustainable. This behavior eventually led to envy from his fellow pastors. Akindele has been on my list of actors to watch for some time, but in his role as Head Pastor of a church, his acting seemed like overkill.

When it came to chemistry, Akpotha and Anakwe were not convincing at all. Chioma appeared stiff and uncomfortable in the romantic scene ruining the enjoyment of those scenes for the viewer.

Also, in playing advert people, their acting seemed contrived and unconvincing. Even the script and costumes do not do justice to the advert industry; the viewer is expected to believe that advert agents wear suits all the time thanks to Anakwe’s character, Ebube.

As usual, there were the unnecessary scenes. Although one can argue that they sometimes gave a clear understanding of what to expect in the movie, I say, do away with them and make the movie short and concise. Scenes like the one of Kemi bonding with her boss’s daughter, Gloria, and extended takes of Pastor Thomas were some of those that could have been edited out of the movie without ruining the storyline.

The young actress who played Gloria was apparently not well coached before filming as it was not only difficult to hear what she was saying; but she seemed continually distracted by someone giving her on-set coaching behind the camera.

The hero of the movie, who saved it from being a total bomb -acting wise – was Francis Onwuchei who played Pastor Agu, a colleague of Pastor Thomas.

A version of this article first appeared on; it is used here with permission.

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