30 August 2009 | blanche-2
Leaving the politics aside, this movie is a mess
There are others on this site who can more aptly discuss the politics present in this film, so I won't do it.
"Simba" stars Dirk Bogarde, Virginia McKenna, and Donald Sinden. It is the story of an Englisman, Alan Howard (Bogarde) who visits his brother in Africa and learns that he has been murdered by the Mau Mau. He decides to stay and work his brother's farm and renew his relationship with Mary (McKenna), an old love who lives in Africa with her British parents. As the fighting goes on, prejudices on both sides are voiced, and Mary and Alan find themselves on opposite sides.
Though the acting is good, the movie is a mess for some technical reasons, not to mention the skewed viewpoint of the film. The producer and director were somehow under the impression that Jack Hawkins was going to star in the movie. Consequently, they filmed in Kenya using a double for Hawkins, who was six inches taller than Dirk Bogarde. While in Kenya, they used a tall blond man as a double for the police inspector, but when they returned to England, they couldn't match him up with anyone. When Donald Sinden walked into Pinewood Studios, he had his hair streaked for another film, and the producer asked him if he would dye his hair. Thus, he got the role.
The landscapes are beautiful, but one is aware that the actors weren't in Africa, and when they're on the screen, the landscapes are projections.
Simba is an interesting film, and as a fan of Dirk Bogarde, I'll watch him in anything, but this isn't a great movie.