A while ago I wrote a rant post about how films based in Joburg always portray this violent side of the city (Four Corners and iNumber Number being the latest additions to the list) and there seldom being a romantic love story (I think White Wedding was the last one I saw). Although Between Friends is not based in Jo’burg, it was good to see a romantic South African film for a change. The last one I had seen before this one is White Wedding.
Njabulo (Siyabonga Radebe) is excited after his father (played by Siyabonga Thwala, ladies) makes him manager of his game lodge and decides to invite his brother, Nkanyiso (Thapelo Mokoena) and their varsity friends over for a reunion. Linda is the author in the group who decided to leave for Canada seven years ago after getting her heart broken by Nkanyiso. Her return forces her to deal with his new gold-digging girlfriend Nisha (Amanda Du Pont) and despite the fact that she has a Canadian boyfriend, her feelings for Nkanyiso never died. He learns this and discovers that he also feels the same about her and pursues her after finding out the truth about Nisha. Other characters in the movie are Portia and Winston (Dumisani Mbembe) whose marriage gets transformed after another secret is revealed. Their relationship will have you lining up to get your Love Conference tickets.
I couldn’t help but think of Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married while watching the movie, but the local twist kept me entertained. What I did not like about the movie was that some of the scenes were not convincing. Thapelo and Amanda were the shining stars for me and I guess it is due to their prior acting experiences. I also felt like the movie was a bit too long (maybe because I am generally not a fan of sitting in cinemas) due to unnecessary scenes.
Between Friends will be screened at the Durban International Film Festival which will be held from 17 to 27 July 2014. Cinema dates are yet to be announced.
Big up to Zuko Nodada for telling a romantic South African story. Hopefully they will garner more support and continue to improve the quality of South African story telling through locally produced films. A special thanks to David Alex from Mad Moth Communications for the invite and hospitality at the preview screening.
Watch the Between Friends trailer HERE.