Movie review – Oh schucks! Not again

2013-03-03 10:00

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Film: Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (Ster-Kinekor)

Director: Henk Pretorius

Featuring: Chris Chameleon, Connie Chiume, Zethu Dhlomo, Eduan van Jaarsveld, Lillian Dube

Rating: 4/10

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola offers up that old, clichéd tale of white and black South Africans getting to discover each other. This time through an unlikely love affair.

Undeniably cute and quirky, the film is almost 20 years out of date.

The narrative and visual appeal belongs to that stock of local buffoonery that gave us everything from There’s a Zulu on My Stoep to Sgudi’s Nice.

Directed by Henk Pretorius, who was responsible for the Bakgat! franchise, Fanie Fourie’s Lobola stars silver screen newcomer Zethu Dhlomo as Dinky and Eduan van Jaarsveld as the laughable Fanie.

The plot starts with Fanie struggling to find a date to his brother Sarel’s wedding. Sarel is played by Chris Chameleon, who is a popular musician in the film as well.

A twist of fate places Dinky in Fanie’s path and this chance encounter shapes their destiny.

She’s a focused 24-year-old girl from the township living with her single father. Her dream is to become a business woman.

Fanie is a 29-year-old Afrikaans man-boy struggling to grow up. He runs a car upgrade studio from his mother’s garage. However, he prefers to call it a gallery and himself a panel artist, not a panel beater or a mechanic.

The two characters form a neat contrast, with both their parents hoping they get married to someone of their choice.

The tensions and twists that follow amount to a barrage of usual clichés and racial stereotypes of the comic South African experience: the white boy attempting with comic effect to speak township lingo, the parodying of white prejudices and the well-meaning black servants that try to help them along the road to reconciliation.

Once you come to terms with these, you are confronted countless times with the “spectacle” of the multiracial kiss.

The historically offensive image of sexual relations between black and white is employed for good measure, too?.?.?.?almost seven times.

This is a simple contemporary romantic comedy about love, and the clash of contrasting African traditions and modernity.

It’s about what happens when age-old Zulu customs collide with the ideals of Afrikanerdom in the context of a love affair of two youths who couldn’t be bothered to defend either.

The actors do a good job within the limits of a tired narrative, a factor that makes Lobola worth seeing when it opens.

The film is the first offering from Once Upon a Story, a script development initiative that aims to bring South African stories to the big screen. The film won the audience choice award at the second annual Jozi Film Festival.

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