Privileged Nigerian-American teenager Eze (Antonio J Bell) arrives in Lagos to find that his two-week stay is a lot longer than he imagined. In fact, it turns out that he has been sent there indefinitely by his mother so he can be toughened up and reminded of his Nigerian heritage.
Staying with her sister Grace (Tina Mba) and with no return date set, Eze decides he must find a way to secretly return to the US. Eventually falling in with Grace’s internet scammer son Pius (Chinaza Uche), Eze thinks he might have to found a way to buy a plane ticket back. However, even when it comes to family, Eze discovers that it’s hard to tell whether you are playing or the one being played.
… Nigerian Prince is an engaging hustler movie with an equally sharp, critical eye.
In what is commendably Netlfix’s on-going mission to broaden your cinematic palate, director Faraday Okoro’s Nigerian Prince is an engaging hustler movie with an equally sharp, critical eye. As the film itself quickly establishes, Nigeria is a country where everyone is on the make, and Okoro’s story wastes no time into pulling both you and Eze into a loud embrace with barbs on the inside of its palm.
Now with Eeze forcibly enrolled into the story’s school of hard knocks, Pius (as played by the excellent Chinaza Uche) introduces Eze to internet scamming as a way of life. Bound together by their separate agendas, Eze, the spoilt fish of water, and Pius, a big fish drowning in a shrinking pond, both must now exploit the situation to escape their respective destinies.
More deliberately cinematic than Chuko Esiri’s Eyimofe / This Is My Desire (where everyone is pulling each other down to get ahead), Nigerian Prince does boast both strong performances and a more than solid sense of direction. Finding an attractive balance between melodrama and social commentary, Nigerian Prince, unlike the scam from which it takes its name, won’t necessarily promise you millions but it won’t rob you blind either. Take it the astute Spike Lee backed project that it is, and you won’t go wrong, my friend.