30 August 2004 | rbverhoef
This is not a great movie but it uses the differences between the civilized white man against the uncivilized Bushman and with that simple tool it becomes hilarious. Civilized in the white man's eyes, I must add to that. This is one of those movies where every gag works, no matter how simple and silly it is. Most of the time the movie is slapstick comedy the way we see it in Chaplin- or Laurel & Hardy-shorts. We even have the fast forward sequence where people are running away from something.
The movie opens with a look on the Bushmen and a narrator (Paddy O'Byrne) tells us what kind of people they are; friendly and without any knowledge about the world not that far from their Kalahari desert. When they see a plane they think it is a strange bird or even a god. One day a pilot throws a glass bottle out of his airplane and the thing is found by the Bushmen. They have never seen anything that is a smooth and hard as this object and they find it very useful. They think it is a gift from the gods. The problem is that the gods have given only one object and for the first time they have to share something that is very hard to share. For the first time they feel emotions such as anger and jealousy. It is decided that the thing is an Evil Thing and must be thrown of the earth and Xixo (N!xau, a real Bushman) is the one to do that. These early scenes give a very funny view on how the civilized white man has become what he is today.
In the meanwhile we have met Andrew Steyn (Marius Weyers) who does field research not far from the Bushman and Kate Thompson (Sandra Prinsloo) who was tired of her job and now wants to do something with children in Botswana. Steyn must pick up Kate and bring her to the village and this is where the slapstick begins. Steyn is a man who gets very nervous when is around women and with Kate he must be the most clumsy guy there is. We have also met Sam Boga (Louw Verwey) who wants to do a coup but fails and he is now running for the police. We know how all these stories will come together but that is not a bad thing. It only uses the story to show us differences between people, to show that the white man is not necessarily the civilized man and it does this with great comedy.
The Gods Must Be Crazy' with its simple humor works a lot better then most of the modern comedies. The way the Bushmen talk is funny enough to like this movie. Fortunately there is so much more including a little message.