Just at the mention of the name Lucious Lyon many movie lovers will turn their heads and want to know exactly what you are talking about and maybe join in the conversation. This is simply because there is a new movie in town that seems to have registered perfectly well in the minds of many who have watched it, but not without passing its message which though partly hidden, comes out clearly.
I do not command a standing as far as knowledge about movies or even their evaluation is concerned, i actually do watch not so many of them, maybe until everybody is talking about it and i have to visit the movie shop after a long time, just like it happened with the Empire. And therefore, these are my humble thoughts concerning this ‘Empire’.
I write this piece from my Christian faith and understanding of the actual African society values and practices. What is depicted in this movie is not new, and it is also not the first time that it is being portrayed, it is only that it is well orchestrated and coiled within the particular scenes of this movie such that everything comes out interesting and almost perfect. For instance, did you notice that the lady singing at the very beginning of the first episode has such a beautiful and a strong voice? Now that’s good singing right there, not to mention those of Hakeem and Jamal his brother.
Allow me to first appreciate the way in which the whole concept around the movie has been executed. The locations, the actors, the camera shots, the directing, the continuity, the editing, the transitions, everything is just fantastic. Lee Daniels and Danny Strong the brains behind the Empire properly earned their money.
Andre Lyon health condition gets worse after his father fails to vote in his favour to become the company’s next CEO, after which he is put on medication and assigned a music therapist named Michelle White, who also leads a singing team in a church. In the process of helping Andre, Michelle takes him to the church where he seems to regain his health and find his purpose in God.
At one point while talking to his dad in his office, Andre tells him, “There is always something missing. A void that is filled with darkness, but now I’m getting to know my God. And He is sealing this void with a higher purpose.”
Andre brings out the fact that without finding your purpose in God, there is always am emptiness inside a person that remains dark and void.
Lucious immediately trashes of these words saying, “There’s no higher purpose than being a maker of music, that’s the voice of God.”
These are utter lies that Lucious speaks, dismissing his son’s new identity he has found in God, a clear indication that he neither respects nor honours God.
In another incidence, Lucious is in need of his son Andre back to the Empire. Andre has been away in his new found life in church where Michelle White led him, and he seems reluctant to go back to the Empire. Upon seeing her, Lucious cannot believe that the young church-girl has managed to influence her son to that extend.
“Is this the little angel who has got you down here?” He laments, “Let’s see who is more powerful. Your God or your Daddy.”
Lucious goes ahead to pretend on Michelle that God has spoken to him while she was singing, and he wittily lures her into the Empire alongside his son Andre.
Lucious Lyon boasts himself as more powerful than God both by his words and actions.
Naomi Campbell features in this movie starring as Hakeem’s girlfriend. However Lucious doesn’t like the fact that Hakeem is dating this ‘old’ lady. He calls her in her office and asks her to leave Hakeem alone and vacate the Empire. And here once more he makes some controversial statements.
He says to her, “Do you know how God made man in his image, I am making Hakeem in my own image. God didn’t need help and neither do I.”
Lucious makes himself equal with God, that he can do things on his own.
As the family music business continues to flourish amidst many challenges, the Empire is set to become the first black owned entertainment company to be publicly traded in the New York stock exchange. Lucious invites journalists to come and experience what he terms in his words,” The brand new Lucious Lyon sound.”
“So you can witness as the Empire becomes synonymous with the American culture, and Lucious Lion becomes a god.”
Then Snoop Dog takes up after him and says, “And while he is God, then I must be Jesus.”
This is pure blasphemy as Lucious and Snoop both declare themselves God and Jesus respectively.
At the end of the 12th episode which is the last episode for this first season, Lucious Lyon is arrested and put in jail for murdering his friend and business partner Bunkie Williams. These are his last words behind the bars, blasphemous ones indeed.
“You may think you have gotten away with it, but don’t fool yourselves, this is only the beginning. If streets couldn’t defeat me, if diseases couldn’t defeat me, even God can’t kill me. The day will come when Lucious Lyon will return.”
What a proud character is portrayed right there.
Apart from blasphemy, acts of sexual immorality, murder, idol worship and other manners of evil, all are well orchestrated yet disguised and camouflaged with good music, talented actors as well as fine production. Hakeem the youngest son sleeps with his father’s ‘concubine’ or rather fiancée. Jamal is gay and gets intimate with his partners on several occasions.
The Empire might not be so evil or explicit to be banned or even censored by the authorities, but the message behind this movie is one that is misleading, evil and destructive.
God speaking in Isaiah 42:8 says,
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Anyone who tries to compete with God or tries to make himself equal with Him is only paving his own path towards destruction. In as far as God is merciful and loving, He is also a consuming fire.
The sin of blasphemy has serious consequences, such that if anyone sins against the spirit of God he has no place in the kingdom of God. See Mathew 12:32. The devil and his agents could devise new and appealing ways of spreading his agenda, but let us be wise and alert lest we be entangled in the schemes of the devil.
These are my own and personal opinions and are subject to err and omissions. However the truth of the Word of God remains and about that i am not apologetic.
Ephesians 5: 15-16
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Comments are welcomed.