Here’s A Recap Of The First ‘Living In Bondage’ Movie

November 12, 2019

After languishing in development hell for years, a sequel to the two-part 1992/1993 Nollywood blockbuster drama thriller, Living In Bondage, was finally released this past weekend. Even though the movie’s makers have confirmed that this movie’s narrative will mostly stand on its own, there are still plot elements from the original movies one needs to know before seeing the new one – so as to not get lost when certain references are made.

This is why I’ve made this recap for those who’ve never seen the originals or have seen them but need a refresher.

As soon as the movie starts, we meet the protagonist named Andy Okeke (played by Kenneth Okonkwo) and his wife, Merit (played by Nnenna Nwabueze). They’re hella poor and all their efforts to change this have proved futile. Andy has just gotten what looks like yet another outstanding bill and is now delivering a super depressing monologue while giving the audience a peek at his chest in an olive green button-down shirt.

He moans about how his business partners (who he just quit his fifth job to join in a trade) all have their shit together (have bought new cars, houses etc). Merit comes in with dinner and tells him that she’s not bothered by their poverty because she knows that God’s time is the best. Andy rolls his eyes at her, which makes her confess her fear that his desperation would lead to him getting involved in get-rich-quick schemes. Andy dramatically declares that he would never do such a thing.

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.

The frustration of being scammed in a bogus investment scheme by someone he thought was his friend, coupled with the stress of Merit being indecently propositioned by different men – including her boss (played by Francis Agu), who actually tries to rape her at some point – drives Andy into a deep depression. Determined to get rich by any means necessary, he asks his best friend, Paul, for “his secret”. Paul is a wealthy, slick-talking man whose outfit in every scene he’s in never lets you forget that you’re watching a movie made in the early 90s.

Get a load of that track suit.

Andy joins the cult and sacrifices the person he loves the most: Merit. On her death bed, a couple of days after the ritual, Merit clocks that Andy has done her dirty even though she stuck by his side through thick and thin. She delivers a monologue that basically boils down to this:

Ghost Merit picks Andy’s traditional wedding to his mistress, Ego (played Ngozi Nwosu) as the perfect time to debut her new look as a discount La Llorona. (Dressed in all white with chalk all over her face.) Andy passes out after seeing ghost Merit, which gives his new bride the idea to run off with all the money she can find lying around the house (₦2.2 Million). Andy later marries a woman – who’s more gold digger than human – named Chinyere (Jennifer Okere). Chinyere steals a ton of money from Andy and attempts to run but suddenly keels over and dies. This is where we find out that Chinyere has been poisoned by her friend named Caro (played by Ngozi Nwaneto) who learned of Chinyere’s plan and wanted the money for herself. On her way to the airport to go start a new life in another country with the money, Caro is the victim of a hit-and-run accident and dramatically dies at the side of the road. All these events play out with the quickness of an SNL sketch, making the whole thing unintentionally hilarious.

Meanwhile, Andy returns to the cult to report his dead wife for not leaving him the fuck alone. To put Merit’s soul to rest, the cult engages in a sacrificial scene that would’ve made PETA lose their minds.

They slaughter a real-life goat onscreen and bathe Andy in its blood.

I will forever respect Kenneth Okonkwo for actually going through with this.

This doesn’t work and ghost Merit returns in the form of a prostitute Andy goes three rounds with before revealing her true form. Andy goes back to the cult and is like, “What the hell??” and is told that the reason Merit’s spirit is now more persistent than the T-1000 in Terminator 2 is because she was innocent in life. He’s also informed by the cult’s madam that the only way to get rid of Merit’s spirit once and for all would be to:

Faced with a lifetime of being haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife or a lifetime without eyesight and a penis, Andy understandably loses his mind. He puts on homeless-chic clothes, goes to live under a bridge, and begins eating handfuls of garbage until he runs into Tina (played by Rita Nzelu), an ex-prostitute and current prayer warrior princess. It’s revealed that back when Tina walked the streets, Andy had drugged and presented her to the cult as a sacrifice –intending to pass her off as Merit. Tina takes him to her church where, after his confession and an intense deliverance session, the members of the church assure him that his sins have been forgiven.

Living In Bondage: Breaking Free is currently in cinemas. You should go check it out. Remember to check back for our review of the movie.

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