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Introverted and seemingly gentle high school teacher Parker Sithole has a quiet passion for literature and is presented to a new school as a man "of good report". In a local bar Parker meets a mesmerizing young woman and falls for her - but the next day she walks into his classroom and he realizes that the blossoming love which has brought joy into his world is forbidden. Parker develops and obsession with his vivacious pupil and she returns his affections until their love story reaches a tragic end. The film is an intense and profoundly executed thriller following this deeply disturbed teacher who is externally "of good report" and yet hiding a grisly murder which preys on his mind as a local policewoman hunts him, coming closer and closer to the awful truth... Written by
It seems I have a knack for going against most of the praise that critics give to many films. I saw this film at the BFI London Film Festival of 2013, and absolutely honestly, it was probably the poorest film I saw there...and my opinions of the films I watched at the festival are completely polarised. Some were absolutely amazing, such as Lukas Moodysson's "We are the Best!" and Erik Skjoldbjaerg's "Pioneer", others were so bad they were fantastic to watch, as is the case with Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson's "All Cheerleaders Die"....and some were just painful to watch...namely "Of Good Report".
Let me explain why.
Black and white footage, non-linear storyline and a protagonist who does not utter a single word throughout the entirety of the film, it seems that writer/director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka is so bent on making the film look stylish, that it completely undermines the integrity of the narrative; for a premise that could have made for an excellent film. I was also completely unconvinced by Mothusi Magano's performance as Parker Sithole, his constantly blank and lost expression leaving no trace of intelligence for his character.
Now, I am not calling Magano a bad actor, as I have not seen any of his other films, and his poor performance could very well be attributed to sloppy direction on Qubeka's part, and vice versa.
I dislike encouraging people to not watch a certain film, as it is up to them to decide, and I am sure as many viewers would disagree with my critique as the ones who side with it. Having said that, I would not recommend this film at all. Sloppy, over-stylised and just plain B-O-R-I-N-G.
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