Title: Blood Sisters (2003)
Cast: Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Oge Okoye, Tony Umez, and Patience Ozokwor
Director: Tchidi Chikere
Producer: John Nkeiruka Nwatu
Date Released: 2003
The crime thriller series Blood Sisters has captured the hearts of many Nigerians since its release on Netflix.
By putting a new spin on Nollywood stories, Blood Sisters has helped position Nigeria as a major player in the global film industry.
Before Ebonylife Productions collaborated with Netflix to create the hit series, there was a 2003 film with the same title starring Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde.
When Netflix announced plans to release ‘Blood Sisters’, many people assumed they intended to reboot the classic series due to its popularity. While both films have the same title, the storylines, characters, and everything else are different.
‘Blood Sisters’ is the story of two sisters who become entangled in a web of jealousy, hatred, and rivalry.
Interestingly, this is one of the few films that feature both Ms Jalade-Ekeinde and Ms Nnaji, excluding the 2010 film, ‘Ije’.
In honour of a famous saying, “Nollywood to the World,” we’re going back in time and reviewing the classic 2003 hit film Blood Sisters.
The Tea (Plot)
Part one introduces Esther (Genevieve Nnaji) arguing with a friend who accuses her of copying during a test. Gloria (Omotola Jalade Ekeinde), her elder sister, attempts to mediate their dispute, but Esther takes offence and flees. When she returns home, she tells their mother (Patience Ozokwor) that Gloria went out with one of their friends. Their mother is enraged, and when Gloria returns home, she is bombarded with insults.
Esther’s jealousy for Gloria inevitably turns to hatred in subsequent scenes. In contrast to Esther, Gloria excels academically and has a positive attitude. This makes her the centre of attention as men fall over themselves to be her husband. Throughout their adolescence, Esther makes it a point to make Gloria’s life difficult by sabotaging her wardrobe or relationships.
Gloria is now happily married with children, ten years later. Esther, currently jobless, relocates to the city and lives with her sister. Gloria believes Esther has changed but is soon disappointed when she continues to be rude, especially when asked to do household chores.
However, Gloria remains gracious and ignorantly tells Esther about her husband’s (Tony Umez) generosity.
Esther’s envy reaches new heights when she poisons Gloria. Gloria dies due to complications, allowing Esther to make Tony hers. She seduces and persuades him to leave his children with their grandmother in the village.
After a few months, Esther’s mother travels to the city to discover why the children’s father isn’t doing his job. Esther, heavily pregnant, welcomed her with no remorse for turning her sister’s husband against his family.
Kenneth returns his children to the house at Esther’s request. She maltreats the children and makes them do various house chores because she is unhappy with the suffering she inflicted on their mother.
Gloria’s ghost appears, seeing her children’s anguish, and vows to exact revenge on her sister. She causes serious complications during Gloria’s childbirth before blinding her.
Meanwhile, Gloria attempts to match-make a kind teacher (Oge Okoye) with her husband in their dreams to provide the best care for her children.
Kudos to Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde for their outstanding performances in all four parts of this film.
Ms Nnaji portrays a convincingly jealous, entitled brat who is obsessively competitive and will go to any length to outperform her elder sister. While Ms Jalade Ekeinde accurately describes what it takes to be a kind-hearted woman, even to someone eager for your demise.
Patience Ozokwor, one of Nollywood’s mamas, gave an emotional performance that made me cry during one of our scenes. Not to mention the child actor who played Adaobi, whose heart and soul was undeniably felt, particularly during the scene in which she visited her father.
To some extent, the cinematography was also good, especially given the year of production. The shots and transitions are commendable because they stand out from the other films made during that decade.
The themes explored in the film also teach many moral lessons, ranging from the consequences of jealousy to the dangers of being insecure.
Poor dialogue: Please, Producers, hire a good screenwriter. The dialogue was bland, and some lines seemed unnecessary. Many lines appeared to be fillers, adding nothing significant to the story’s plot.
As if the dialogue wasn’t bad enough, there were numerous grammatical mistakes. Seeing this made me wonder if they had ever consulted a script editor.
While the acting was generally good, some scenes reminded me of a primary school play. Aside from the main characters, the other cast members failed to deliver their lines properly or bring more realism to their roles.
If the producers thought that simply dressing Ms Nnaji and Ms Jalade Ekeinde in pinafores and cornrows would convince viewers that they were teenagers, they were delusional.
Instead, they could have cast younger adults to play the adolescent versions of Gloria and Esther.
Lastly, Tony Umez’s character, Kenneth, received no punishment for his actions is shocking. He lives happily ever after with a new wife despite sleeping with his wife’s sister and abusing his children.
5/10. Nineteen years after its release, ‘Blood Sisters’ will still make you nostalgic for the days when Nollywood movies were only available on DVD rather than online streaming. It will also make you laugh, cry, and admire those who paved the way for the new Nollywood.
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