Comments on articles tend to be bad, and if you are lucky, just decent. They are seldom outstanding though, as seen of these ones which are critical of the article they respond to. Basically what's happening is that the critic does offer a decent review, summarizing the story nicely, but then resorts to unjustified criticism. That is sad, especially because I found the movie quite good. Read them (the comments), for they are better reviews than mine.
I am still going to given mine of course, by mentioning two main things I really appreciate about the movie:
- The portrayal South Africa (my home) is quite authentic. There was good research effort involved, to the point of even using the now-obsolete cash. The behavior and the utterances of Black people wasn't screwed up either (as it so often happens when foreigners set a movie here). The one complaint I have is that the white guys aren't convincing as South Africans, and there doesn't seem to be any real effort to mimic local accents. I even thought that the real life Club members were foreigners.
- I was amazed by the performance of one local actor, Patrick Shai. I've never given kudos to the guy, though he never got a heck of a lot of chances to strut his stuff (the local movie industry is nearly non-existent), but he really shined here, and gives the movie's best performance. I also find his character to be the movie's most interesting because, regardless of him being among the leaders of a small group of tribal killers, he also happens to have a soft side... literally a savior of one heroic guy. Watching him was a serious relief since I was concerned that these guys would be some sort of faceless aggressors/victims. Sure about all of them were, but at least there was him, and one other guy saddened by the death of wife and child.
This is an important movie, and it's sad that it hasn't achieved the popularity it deserves. I'm still not going to claim it's a masterpiece because, other than that performance, I'm not sure I wanna give it a repeat viewing. It's not because it's unpleasant. It just feels that what kept me glued were moments that won't be so thrilling second time around. I don't know, I'll see.
- That scene depicting vulture and child in hungry Sudan should not have been attempted, or at least removed from the movie. It adds nothing to the movie, and too iconic a moment of history to be given such a lame attempt. For one, the child in the movie didn't look as bony.
- I was left hungry for further exploration of the political climate of South Africa, beyond the unconvincing angry Black guy criticizing the White guys from profiting from taking photos of those in pain. In fact I think it's this sort of thing that makes the 'unjustified' criticism I mentioned above make some sense. Such things tend to only dawn on me some time after the movie has ended.