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Kuki, a divorced Italian socialite, changes her life after a serious car crash. She accepts a marriage proposal from Paolo Gallmann, a man she doesn't know well, and she moves to Kenya with him and her young son to start a cattle ranch. Challenges beset her, not the least of which is Paulo's love of danger and his leaving for days on end to hunt and fish with pals. She must face fierce storms, roving lions, venomous snakes, and murderous poachers, and she must find accommodation with a neighboring tribe. Her mother entreats her to return home. Can Kuki live her dream, tame Paolo, guide her son safely past the perils and errors of youth, and serve Africa? Written by
Boy this movie went to video quickly, and now I understand why. It nearly breaks my heart to have to give a thumbs-down to such a huge effort of making a feature film. However, it can't be denied that this movie fell apart from the beginning. I simply did not care about any of the characters and could not connect with them, no matter how I tried. And it's all due to the writing!
It seemed the actors were trying desperately to make up for that lack of continuity and motivation in the script, and so, often their performances seemed contrived, plastic, and/or over-the-top. I think under the guidance of better writing, these actors would shine like we know they can.
What happened to character development and motivation? Perhaps it died in the car crash at the beginning of the film? Was Kuki an American in Italy, or an Italian? Who was the lady that was with Kuki's mother, when they were trying to convince her to come home? Did Kuki and Paolo really love each other or not? Did the people working at Kuki's house become close with her? Kuki seemed oblivious to them. When did Kuki and Ema start speaking the language? It seemed they suddenly just knew it. Why did Ema want to leave to go to school? Kuki was digging a ditch to help out with the water supply, but then we never see any resolution to that situation. What happened??
One of the sweetest moments in the film for me, was when Ema connects with a little African boy, who obviously has a love for snakes too. He shows the boy around his house and introduces them to the snakes he has, and then we never see the boy again (!).
I also would have liked to see what was in the egg that was mentioned repeatedly within the story. Not having the resolution of that aspect (the egg) in particular, left me angry as the credits rolled.
"I Dreamed of Africa" did have interesting scenery and I believe talented cast and crew, but because the script was so bad, everything else really fell apart.
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