Film Review: The Gift

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599x400.jpg

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599×400.jpg

FOR the most part, our society, through the family as its nucleus, pretends that everything is ok while secretly suppressing the nature of reality as is. The family is caught up by a yearning for opulence as a mark of prestige and progress or the wish itself to have more, by far and large the in-escapable feature of modernity. Often awesomely this situation, the acquisition of material comfort that is, is erected to the ire of those closer to home, our family members. If it does not breed jealousy that drives a wedge between siblings it draws us together artificially due to the material benefit boons it heralds

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dEF’Rating: The Gift

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599x400.jpg

Thembi Seete as Bontle Shona Ferguson as Thabiso in The Gift. Image source, http://citizen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/11/Page1A_2-599×400.jpg

The Gift continues the Ferguson’s crusade on their close scrutiny of our contemporary South African family when it is pitted against the demands and expectations of the world’s prying eyes. We’ve seen this concern in their telle novella, The Wild and their consistent drama series’ offering Rockville. The present work is shot with the same camera work intimacy characteristic of Rockville and the invasion of privacy approach or allow me to refine an expression I have used just now – ‘prying eyes perspective’ that has become characteristic of their work signature. There are moments you feel like you’re eaves dropping on what is being said or spying on what is happening when you view their work. While this film’s narrative is unoriginal, it is the flair with which perspective is given to the cracks of Motaung’s family as an organism that propels the film to stand its own ground in the annals of South African films; the work is freshen up in the way the cracks themselves are revealed and teased out from unexplored perspective. This perspective is the very deep seated conviction on how one sees and locate themselves within the family nucleus. The Ferguson’s The Gift delivers an interesting 4dEF’Points out of Five: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ /

Autumn

 

26 April

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015

mmutleak@gmail.com

follow @mmutleak

Brenda Ngxoli

There is a scene in the last episode of the season finale of Rockville S3, Episode 13 (Ferguson Films), Lindi (Mbali Mlotshwa) and Gladys (Brenda Ngxoli) are at the Clinic for Lindi’s abortion. Brenda Ngxoli gives a powerful performance as she lets her skeletons out that she aborted a baby during her teens and as a result she can’t conceive. Her barrenness, which in hindsight, it is suggested, she brought unto herself was a source of ridicule in the community and would later cause her to lose her marriage as she trotted along through life keeping the secret to her husband that she aborted a baby during her teens. As she relates this darker chapter of her life you can’t help it but be moved. It is Gladys the loose woman, the drunkard, who speaks here, however as much as the viewer may think ill of her that, ke le kgawate, unable to hold on to other people’s secret. You will feel for her. For her human condition is brought to the spotlight for our scrutiny. Overarchingly, the viewer will find and feel an ounce of sympathy go towards these troubled women as tears roll down their cheeks drenching the hospital’s floor. But, from a performance text perspective, the solicited sympathy will linger a little a while on Gladys for as long a time as the scene persists due to the pain that has reared forward within her character and insist on staying in the midst of the event of this series’ episode. Such are the acting prowess of Brenda Ngxoli. Err, the Fergusons, he e, he e, he e, he e, he e; he e man (I almost said – go monate go ba wena); mara you get my drift. We look forward to the next season already.¶

1 April

Autumn

© mmutle arthur Kgokong 2015

Masasa Mbangeni

 

In the ‘Soapie Universe’ jiti ke gore we are yet to come across a female character who does not have to be devious to get our attention. So le wete le, Masasa Mbangeni (Thembeka Shezi on Scandal!), does a good job of making sure she does not live up to her name; she won the outstanding lead actress award at the Royal Soapie Awards. 5dEF’Points out of 5.

30 March

© mmutle arthur kgokong 2015

Andile Sithole

 

Some characters, though intended to be flat, defy that role and seep towards the un-dismissible troupe. Die bra, Andile Sithole (Ndumiso on Scandal!) wins best supporting actor at the Royal Soapie Awards this past Saturday. 5dEF’Points out of 5.

 

30 March

© mmutle arthur kgokong

dEF’Rating: Lucky

Sihle Dlamini as (Lucky) and Jayashree Basavaraj as Padma in Luky (2012). Image source: http://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/1879/aae663e2216842748177e84be976ac05.jpg

Sihle Dlamini as (Lucky) and Jayashree Basavaraj as Padma in Avie Luthra’s Lucky (2012). Image source: http://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/1879/aae663e2216842748177e84be976ac05.jpg

AN emotional tour de force, Lucky (2012) shines a torch within our darkened hearts to lobby for our compassion for children who falls through the cracks of our flawed social fabric. The journey that Lucky Ntlantla (Sihle Dlamini) undertakes to find his father following his mother’s sad passing walks us through an exploration of those very cracks. He is alone. This film reminds us just how easy it is for the world to swallow a child in the face of no family support network. Its ambiguous ending does not remedy or allay our concern for the boy, it acerbate the terrifying grip.

Avie Luthra’s Lucky lashes out a hard wake up snot klap of 4dEF’Points out of Five: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ /

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17 March

 

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015

mmutleak@gmail.com

follow @mmutleak

Ayeye, O grand Joe?

YOU gotta love The Bomb Shelter television and film Production Company. Here are the klevas who’ve been pushing the envelope ever since the appearance of their ground breaking work Yizo-Yizo. While I cannot claim that I am a fundi when it comes to South African television production companies’ prowess applause klap-klap have to be given where they are due. For now The Bomb Shelter takes center stage. Until I am conversant with the oeuvre of these klevas’ work collectively I shan’t spew a crit’ at what we’ve seen so far coming out of their finesse touch. I came of age on a diet of Yizo-Yizo, was aware of Jacob’s Cross, later on, Watched Zone 14 to come nice, albeit when it got routinized it bored me to the core. It is yet to be seen what Ashes to Ashes, the upcoming E TV’s tellenovella will do with the sub theme of undertaking on a grander scale. A Soap Dish war fare at prime time is waged and remote control sojourn questioned around the living room! But back on track towards the point that the present jotting is trying to make. Isibaya cemented The Bomb Shelter as a formidable force as far as envelope pushing is concerned.

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