After her father dies, Botswanan Precious Ramotse decides to sell her inheritance - 180 cows - and move to the capital Gaborone and open a detective agency. From a young age her father had trained her to develop her memory skills and she has a keen sense of observation. Business is slow, but Precious soon has a secretary, Grace Makutsi and fits in well with her neighbors. Slowly, clients begin to trickle in: a woman who thinks the man who claims to be her father - he had abandoned the family when she was just a young child - is actually an impostor; a woman who thinks her husband is having an affair - a view Grace enthusiastically generally supports since she thinks all men are liars and cheaters; and a factory owner who thinks an employee claiming compensation for an accident is scamming him. Her interest is also drawn to the case of a missing boy but she she must face a powerful local gangster to get the information she needs. Written by
I am a fan of the books and I have been expecting Hollywood to make a shocking mess of this for several years. The most important thing is that this is a labour of love, not a meretricious exploitation of a "pre-sold property". Thank goodness it fell into the safe hands of Anthony Minghella. A lot of things happened on screen much earlier than they happened in the books but I think that is probably justifiable - in film you have to get the main characters introduced early on. I'm not wholly happy with Mma Ramotswe's hairdresser neighbour. Mma Makutsi didn't wholly convince me but her humanity likewise takes a long time to come across in the books. I missed the wonderfully tough lady from the children's home with her fruitcake -but maybe she will come in later. The feel of the African scenery - human and physical - was, if anything, richer than my imaginative version. What about Mma Ramotswe herself? I'd say that they have more or less got her right. I didn't imagine her being quite so smiley and cheerful, but then I'm a miserable so-and-so from the high latitudes. Of course her rich inner life can't wholly come across on screen. SO GO AND READ THE BOOKS! For anyone who hasn't read the books - they are the easiest books to read on the whole planet. I thought the back-story with her dad and ex-husband Note was very nicely handled. I shall certainly continue to watch. AMS you are a genius. AM why aren't there more like you?
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