Film: Paradise Stop (Indigenous)
Director: Jann Turner
Featuring: Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo, Vusi Kunene, Sonia Sedibe, Nick Boraine, Bonginkosi Thwala and Mary Twala
This crime caper is a triumph of good fun and marks a welcome shift away from “issue-based” South African film-making.
Paradise Stop, made by the trio who ran away with the box office two years ago when they released White Wedding, proves that South African film-makers can make good genre films.
They can make films that people are prepared to spend their hard-earned money on because they deliver on
humour and entertainment.
Paradise Stop is set in a one-robot Limpopo town where hot-shot cop Potso Mogopudi (Rapulana Seiphemo) has been put out to pasture by his big-city superiors.
He’s trying to make a new life for himself and his family, and befriends Ben Khumalo (Kenneth Nkosi), the father of his daughter’s best friend.
Ben runs the local truck stop, the Paradise Stop of the title, and while he may look like a jovial legitimate businessman, he’s really a truck hijacking skelm.
Potso is about to discover that his new best friend is a master criminal and that his wife, Moshidi (Sonia Sedibe), is running around, cheating on him with the fat, convertible-driving mayor.
What White Wedding did for the South African road trip movie, Paradise Stop does for the crime caper.
Full of hilariously silly situational humour and a host of perfectly timed comic performances, this is a great film to help you wind down after a tough week.
Sedibe is too awful as Potso’s wife, Bonginkosi Thwala is more of a hindrance than a help to Ben as his right-hand man, Diesel, and Nick Boraine milks it as the safari suit-wearing handyman neighbour with a crush on Ben’s wife.
The story is written by Nkosi, Seiphemo and director Jann Turner, and it is evident in the dialogue that the three spent quite some time getting it right.
In fact, the strength of the script is the foundation on which this film is built.
It also boasts strong direction that never allows the actors to go too over the top and, though it does get silly, it never beggars belief.
The film never trivialises the crime South Africa faces, and the characters who do wrong do penance and those beyond redemption get retribution.
Locals will have a good cackle at the endless weird South Africanisms in this home-grown action adventure.