"How do you start over once you have betrayed a nation's trust?" The news of Hansie Cronjé's involvement with Indian bookmakers and his resulting public confession rocked the international ... See full summary »
"How do you start over once you have betrayed a nation's trust?" The news of Hansie Cronjé's involvement with Indian bookmakers and his resulting public confession rocked the international sporting community. An unprecedented rise to glory was followed by the most horrific fall. A tarnished hero fueled the nation's fury. Hansie, once South African cricket's golden boy, had been stripped of everything he had held dear: a glorious captaincy, the support of his former team mates and the respect of a nation. In its place the stinging rejection of cricket administrators and the humiliating dissection of his life on international television, made his retreat into depression inevitable. Hansie's bravest moment in finally confessing his involvement with bookies had suddenly become a tightening noose around his neck. Hansie explores the very human drama of a man who, after losing everything he has worked for, begins the painstaking journey back to choosing "life". The journey is cathartic. We ... Written by
Mike Atherton won't be impressed with this awful, pious nonsense
HANSIE with Frans Rautenbach, Sarah Thompson, Brandon Auret, David Sherwood, Eric Nobbs and Sybel Coetzee, directed by Regardt van den Bergh . Rating: 3/10.
BORN into a priviliged white world and graced with a mercurial talent for cricket, the late Hansie Cronje rose to great heights, but a combination of greed, boredom and arrogance led to him accepting bribes from bookmakers while serving as South Africa's test cricket captain. When he was caught out, Cronje denied his crimes for a while - and received the full support of Dr Ali Bacher and the Minister of Sport. But it was obvious the millionaire cricketer was lying, and he quickly changed his story. Soon he was weeping before the King Commission and telling how "a love of money" had led him into temptation. From here we see Cronje struggling with guilt and angst, while his faithful wife Bertha (played by America actress Sarah Thompson, who's beautiful but battles to do a South African accent) offers him unconditional love and support. Soon it becomes clear that while the Devil made him do it, the Lord (with a little help from Peter Pollock) will save the day. "Hansie", scripted by Frans Conje (Hansie's brother), is no doubt well-intentioned, but not only is it sentimental, overlong and cliché-strewn, it teaches us nothing we don't already know, and offers absolutely no piercing insights into the title character. A fascinating film could have been made about Hansie Cronje, but this isn't it. Perhaps someone impartial should try making an in-depth television documentary about the man. However, fans of director Regard van den Bergh's previous Christian film, "Faith Like Potatoes" (which also starred Rautenbach) and Hansie loyalists might like this expensive local movie (it cost about R42 million), which hammers away with its message about the prodigal son and forgiveness. And Rautenbach's performance isn't bad. As a fanatical cricket lover, Hansie Cronje broke my heart, and I forgave him(even though he didn't have to got jail or return the money and gifts he received). Yet I find it harder to forgive this film, which steals shots shamelessly from "Chariots of Fire", "Rocky" and "Dead Poets Society", and even pinches a line of dialogue from "Trainspotting". "Hansie" isn't recommended to genuine cricket lovers and doesn't have the depth to intruige sophisticated cinema-goers, but it will do reasonably well in South Africa. Overseas prospects appear decidedly limited, and I can tell you now that former England-captain-turned-ace journalist Mike Atherton certainly won't be impressed.
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