Egoli


What it's about:

Niek Naudé (David Rees) and Joe Smith (Darren Kelfkens) share a history and a secret from their time together in the Angola War in the late 80s. Today, Niek and Joe work for TJ Mokoena, but when Joe discovers the ugly underbelly of Mokoena's business, things start going horribly wrong for the down-and-out divorcee. To complicate matters, his stripper girlfriend Peggy is getting tired of him milking her for money. Niek is Joe's only hope, but he too is still battling demons from his time in the war. His sister Bienkie (Christina Storm) arrives home with marital problems and it seems everyone is worse for wear since the end of the series.

What we thought of it:

Why? Why wrap up 18 years of attachment and nostalgia with this slapgat rush job? It's a huge disappointment for Egoli fans. There's no place for this irrelevant installment in the series' history.

There's been buzz about this film for over three years, but the quality suggests it was just an afterthought. From the English subtitles that don't match the English dialogue to the jarring differences between the indoor and outdoor shots, it's awfully amateur for Franz Marx. One can only conclude that a lack of time and money are at least partly to blame.

I say partly because that's not where the disappointment ends. The plot is as overweight as Nenna (Shaleen Surtie-Richards) who can no longer climb the Windsor Manor (formerly Marlborough Mansions) stairs. Too many tangents crammed into two hours force uninspired and weak conclusions to take place. Affirmative action is a big scapegoat for the drama in many of our characters' lives. Really? There's nothing more complex or compelling that could take place here? It feels so old. It's not even backed up by an actual event. It's just the easiest way to explain their miserable circumstances, I guess.

As a fan of the series, it was a pleasure to visit with one of my favourite TV couples - Niek and Sonet Naudé. Their aggressive relationship has stood the test of time and remained authentic and believable. I would have loved to see more of them instead of the inane bickering between Joe and Peggy, who's really a better stripper than she is an actress. At Teazers, nogal, giving the producers the perfect excuse to cast recently deceased owner Lolly Jackson in a brief cameo.

Background characters like Nenna, Nora, Louwna and Candy haven't changed much and really just set the scene. While Casper de Vries as Pa Duif has the most interesting lines in the entire movie, they're a giggle compared to the guffaws we're used to from SA's funniest. The script is perfunctory at best.

It's an insulting farewell to SA's first soapie. If you loved the series, hold onto your good memories and give this movie-that-should-have-never-been a skip.

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