What it's about:
The only cure prescribed for a broken heart is a heavy dose of love and some Christmas pudding. Dr Louis van Est is a professional when it comes to the anatomy of the human body, yet he knows nothing about the condition of the human heart. As a GP, he is not the stereotypical clean cut doctor; in fact he retreats home to his laptop where he escapes from his bland life to a world where a certain ?Natgrassterrekyker' inspires him to explore a part of his personality that he has always known to exist. Ella Gouws, a straightforward, straight-speaking thirty year old, has been wounded by love one too many times ? and won't let anyone close enough to break her already broken heart, again ? apart from her online chat buddy with whom she shares her dreams, thoughts and philosophies?.
What we thought:
It’s Christmas time and all through the land, people are getting jolly and festive and grand. And as with any other December time…okay wait. I’ll stop. I promise not to rhyme.
It seems like the Christmas spirit got hold of me and I can’t but help to spread the festive cheer.
But sadly it has to end right here.
I’m going to have to turn into the Grinch for this review. I don’t want to be the one to spoil Christmas, but Trouvoete is about as cheesy as the intro to this article.
This Afrikaans movie with its Christmas/wedding theme is sadly not what it could have been. Not even close.
The film reads like a Verimark ad and is stuffed with shockingly obvious product placement. The worst by far I’ve ever seen. In fact in some scenes the product placement actually leads the dialogue and whole scenarios are created around a sponsored product.
I of course understand that the product placement funded the film, but if the integration of the products into the story-telling is so disruptive the motive behind making the film should be relooked.
Darrell Roodt, the genius behind films like Yesterday and Sarafina, offers up sloppy Christmas leftovers.
The script seems like it was written in a rush and maybe even completed while filming already started. This definitely reflects in some of the characters that appear on the screen. They are lifeless, lack depth and are riddled with clichés.
The best example of this is probably the two gay characters in the film. Both, yes both gay characters, are portrayed as over-the-top flamboyant hand-flapping caricatures. As a gay man myself I find it frustrating that in this day and age gay men are still being portrayed as fluffy lapdogs on the big screen.
But, of course, not all is lost. There are some highlights to Trouvoete. The first is the lovely Lizz Meiring. Her short little cameo is hilarious and comes across natural and effortless. We definitely need to see more of her on the big screen.
Then there’s Bouwer Bosch. (First a little disclaimer. I know Bouwer well and I’m a fan of his work. This made giving this film a negative review so much more difficult. But I have to be honest when reviewing films or my integrity will be questioned.) Bouwer is a breath of fresh air. He’s funny in a Steve Carell way. His brand of humour is fun to watch and extremely entertaining.
Other strong performances include Lika Berning (Magriet), Erica Wessels (Ella) and Stefan Ludik (Xander). They do their best with what they were given and I applaud them for that.
Trouvoete had good intensions that got smothered in bad advertising. It’s definitely no Christmas gift but rather just a lump of coal.