Jozi crime caper fails to hit the spot

2011-09-02 11:26

How To Steal 2 Million (Indigenous Films), Charlie Vundla’s debut feature film, has its share of problems. The most pressing is a lack of script development, a common ­problem in our home-grown film industry.

However, Vundla captures a few good, gritty images of Jozi, seeking out the city’s underbelly with his two hoodlum ­characters – Jack and Twala.

Jack (Menzi Ngubane) has just finished a five-year stint in jail for a job he pulled with his best friend, Twala (Rapulana Seiphemo), who has repaid him by stealing his fiancée (Hlubi Mboya).

Jack’s attempt to go straight is thwarted by the nasty Twala, who bullies him into one last job – to steal 2?million bucks. To do it, he trawls the pubs to find a light-fingered partner, Olive (Terry Pheto). Here’s the kicker: the mark is Twala’s dad (John Kani).

The idea is good, but the execution is poor. There is far too much moral ambiguity and audiences aren’t likely to take kindly to Vundla’s resolutions, which offer far too much absolution to bad people.

Another problem is the film’s failure to develop its female characters. They are cardboard cutouts. Mboya’s a devious ­alcoholic ’ho and Pheto’s a dipsomaniac who picks pockets for a living.

This film would have benefited from a few more script rewrites and a long, hard think about how the punishment must ­always fit the crime.

Rating: 5/10

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