17 August 2010 | a666333
This world has been seen many times elsewhere.
For anyone looking for an innovative or breakthrough film here, look elsewhere. This is a formula film with a capital F and you can predict its progress in the first 3 minutes or so. Sometimes that is OK if the ride is exceptional. This time it is so-so.
The upside: Good if standard cinematography/camera work and editing, believable sets. The subplot with the white bank employee and the mixed race cafe owner is more interesting and suspenseful than the main plot.
The downside: This comes from just how much this film relies on cookie-counter elements. No white or Indian male (save one who appears briefly) or conventionally minded woman is allowed to have a redeemable feature. They are quickly established as people that you will not have sympathy for. Likewise the setting in institutionally suppressive South Africa 1952 is just sooo perfect to inject a touch of brutality and righteous indignation and a hint of a political edge to a very tired story line.
This sets the stage for the predatory/touristy lesbian tomboy to enlighten the frustrated housewife. Yawn....
Then we get the blues-jazz piano intro, some poetry, endless, furtive longing glances, the questioning of values and life goals, the symbolic-suggestive one liners, the moments of crisis, the resolution and the folk song over the ending credits. All formula. Been there, done that.