Five things to know about Kagiso Lediga’s new film

PHOTO: Gallo Images/ Getty Images

DRUM was lucky to get a sneak peek of the movie recently. With the likes of Akin Omotoso, Pearl Thusi, Andrew Buckland and Kagiso, who also wrote and directed the film, we couldn’t wait to share what’s in store for movie-goers.  

Here are five things about Kagiso’s Catching Feelings.

It’s both truly refreshing and surprisingly familiar.

The movie couldn’t be further from a Hollywood narrative, and couldn’t be closer to home.

The flick is about an everyday South African who has become part of a rising black, young middle-class. Kagiso’s character, Max, questions the “hip” gentrification of Johannesburg’s Maboneng, Newtown and Melville.

But despite his criticism, it’s in the community of the bars and nightlife that Max truly fits in with the crowd.

“I’m South African, I’m allowed to racialise everything,” Max says. 

From Johannesburg’s striking jacaranda trees to landscape shots of the Ponte Towers, the film shows Joburg in a truly unique and refreshing light.

 Kwesta’s hit, Spirit, features in the film.  

One of Mzansi’s biggest tracks is used for a scene that shows both endearment and racial disparity. Catching Feelings also highlights the problem of prostitution in Jozi.

Both Max and Heimler (played by Andrew Buckland), a famous white writer who gained literary fame in his post-apartheid writing, go to Soweto where Heimler visits a brothel – just as he did in the old days. Max waits outside but finds himself relishing in the endearing, lively street-party scene of the Sowetan community.

In this scene Kwesta’s mega hit, Spirit, plays in the background.

 Is that a tattoo, Pearl?

Fans of Pearl Thusi are certainly in for a treat. Her character, Samkelo, is more often than not in revealing lingerie and in one scene, after a night with Max, we get a sneak peek of an edgy tattoo on Pearl’s lower back. Whether the ink is real or for the movie, we’re yet to find out.

 There’s some animation.

The movie opens to an animated epic on infidelity, voiced by Kagiso. The scene shows the comedian’s creativity and doesn’t give away the dark romantic comedy that lies ahead. However, the animation doesn’t speak well to the rest of the story thematically so we’re on the fence about this one. 

 The story is darker than expected.

Catching Feelings shows a sequence of infidelity that seems all too familiar in the world of young adults in Johannesburg’s gentrified business districts. Samkelo is a hard-hitting journalist married to writer and lecturer Max. The flick also addresses Mzansi’s blesser culture when Samkelo interviews a popular politician, and shows the day-to-day problems of a modern young, black middle-class.

From living in the suburbs to having life insurance and being one of the only black people in a restaurant surrounded by non-black people who assume you’re the waiter, Catching Feelings shows all the pressures a young black man faces in this thought-provoking, dark rom-com.