Movie Review: Doctor Bello



So I finally watched this movie last night. Forgive me, it’s just hard to get new Nollywood movies in the backend of nowhere. Where I live 🙂

The story initially centres around Sam, an 8 year old boy living with cancer in New York. Dr. Durant (Isiah Washington) is his oncologist and a Nigerian nurse (I can’t remember her name and honestly can’t be arsed to re-watch and find out) is one of his caregivers. When his condition deteriorates, he goes into a coma for about three weeks. Around this time, Dr. Durant’s wife (Vivica Fox) quits the marriage because she feels that he no longer gives her attention after they lost their 10 year old daughter to cancer 3 years previously.

Clutching at straws, Dr. D (get your minds out the gutter) goes with the nurse to see Dr. Bello, a Nigerian doctor in Brooklyn. They sneak him (Dr. Bello) into the hospital, where he administers a mysterious drug to the ailing child who fully recovers the next day. The Medical Board puts Dr. D on one year’s suspension for breaching hospital protocol, fire the nurse for refusing to reveal the identity of Dr. Bello, and later incarcerates Dr. Bello himself.

Six months later (Naija!!!), Dr. D helps Dr. Bello get out of jail to discover that he (Dr. Bello) is terminally ill with cancer. Dr. D then embarks on a journey to Nigeria to get more of the mysterious drug from the “Garden of Life” in order to save Dr. Bello’s life.

In Nigeria, his investigations lead him to Dr. Lambo, who is none other than the writer, director and producer, Tony Abulu, who decided to pull a Tyler Perry on us and act in his own movie. I bear him no real grudge though; Dr. Lambo turns out to be a rather fun character who communes with trees.  He it was who tutored Dr. Bello, it turns out. He tells Dr. D that he must climb the mountains of Idanre and figure things out for himself. Dr. D sets off with Eniola (Genevieve) who is Dr. Lambo’s assistant.

Bhet of kess, on the way there, their car had to jam a mango-seller girl. When the driver does a bunk, Dr. D is arrested. This was just a rather unnecessary part of the movie which killed time and attempted to inject a bit of humour into it all. UNNECESSARY.

Before he climbs the mountain, Eniola takes him to Chief Idowu for some preparatory rites. While a bunch of them dance and chant around a fire on a beach at night (Naija and winsh winsh tins sha), Dr. D battles and strangles a masked assailant who turns out to be himself. The symbolism here is that he has faced and conquered his fears. He is ready.

So, dude goes off to climb the mountain, springing up energetically. I’m like, “Dude, it’s not by jumping like a field goat, ehn, oyinbo“. So he gets to the top, crosses the “Gate of Clouds” into his destiny. Nollywood fully strikes here, with weird animations; planets and stars floating unrealistically by. He is met by his late daughter, Amy, and Dr. Bello, who tells him that his journey has just begun, and that he cannot go into the light with them.

That’s how our man came back down from the mountain o, to report to the waiting Eniola that he found peace while up there.

In the final scene, he kisses Eniola, with Dr. Lambo standing by, and it becomes obvious that he now also has the power to commune with trees. That is how the movie I bought N1,000 ends, with these three laughing away.


Important Observations:

– Dr. D went to the Garden of Life, but we didn’t see the magical tap from which he was to fetch and bottle the cure for cancer.

-From the minute the plane landed in Nigeria, it was MTN billboard this, MTN banner that. Seriously. MTN is shite. That they sponsored the movie or whatever gives them no right to do this, or include a weird advertorial line into the script.

-Casting Jimmy Jean-Louis as a Nigerian though… His French accent kept popping up. #Issokay.

I honestly don’t even know how many stars to rate this movie. I think I enjoyed gisting you guys more than I enjoyed watching the darned thing. Anyways,

I’m yours,


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