I know, it’s been a while both King of Boys and Lion Heart were released but it is so hard to forget the buzz and impact they had before, during and after their cinema runs. If you have seen the movies – multiple times as I have, you would easily catch yourself trying to compare and if possible, pick a favourite.
The plots in both movies are almost polar opposites but also eerily similar. While ‘Lion Heart’ follows Ada (Genevieve Nnaji) on her journey to save her family’s company from bankruptcy and a hostile takeover, ‘King of Boys’ shows Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale) struggles as she attempts to leave the streets for high profile politics.
‘Lion Heart’ spends time building family bonds and solving business problems in a cool, calm, collected manner. ‘King of Boys’, on the other hand, approaches similar themes with more street credibility, rawness and in the most relatable manner. The latter shared a story that a majority of Nigerians can share a joke about; this sold me.
Both Kemi Adetiba and Genevieve Nnaji, producers of ‘King of Boys’ and ‘Lion Heart’ respectively scored massive points with the strong female leads in the movies. They also had a similar casting pattern of music stars – Reminisce and Illbliss for ‘King of Boys’; Peter Okoye and Phyno for ‘Lion Heart’. The movies also had a plethora of veterans with Sola Sobowale and Jide Kosoko leading in ‘King of Boys’ while ‘Lion Heart’ had Pete Edochie, Kanayo O Kanayo, Chika Okpala and Onyeka Onwenu.
Personally, I was on the edge of my seat all the times I watched ‘King of Boys’ as there were several twists and turns. The suspense was well written out making the movie length worth the time. It will be bias not to note that ‘Lion Heart’ is a predominantly family feel-good nollywood movie and it is a personal fault that I walked into the cinema expecting a thriller.
Still, it felt like I had seen the movie over and over as it reminded me of the ‘home videos’ I watched in the 90s and early 2000s except the better camera and lighting. It is really good movie that reminds you of your Nigerianness so much that you laugh at yourself. There I was, wearing my younger self, expecting Nkem Owoh to do something terrible as I had seen him do in other movies. He was safe just like everybody else in the movie. I don’t like safe plots just like a lot of us. Kemi Adetiba understood this and came prepared. Genevieve Nnaji remained as sweet as usual and gave us something to calm our nerves, exposing the beauty of family. But if I could pick one, ‘King of Boys’ can take my money over and over again.
Written by Ejike Emmanuel
Edited by Anita Eboigbe