Die Spook van Uniondale tells the story of the legend of The Ghost of Uniondale. It is a charming romantic family comedy based on true rumours. The movie is filled with original characters such as the charming Cornelius played by Tobie Cronje and the sinister Jan-Dawid played by Andre Schwartz. The princess of the film Marie is portrayed by Tanya van Graan and her love interest Johan played by Ivan Zimmermann. This film is bedazzled with light hearted moments that will make you smile and gut wrenching scenesWritten by
Based on a real life tragedy, Die Spook van Uniondale has an enticing premise, but sadly abandons its more compelling ghost story to focus instead on the mundane courting process of its bland present-day leads.
This film performs best when it contrasts the gloom of ill-fated love with the playful pranking of its ghost cast on members of the mortal realm. However, the story itself lacks substance. While it is hinted early on that Mari's haunting has something to do with her jealous friend's pursual of her surviving lover, this idea is only toyed with and the subplot is trivially dismissed by the third act. Player after player is introduced – some of them even amusing – but character depth is scarce and what little progression exists is handled ineptly.
Some of the material works. Now and then a humorous line might provoke a laugh or two (although frustratingly, many do not). Some scenes involving Johan and Mari's tragedy may elicit a tear or a tight throat. Yet somehow the film keeps bringing the audience back to the present day, which sees boring protagonist Stefan appreciating the local eye candy as he waits impatiently for his car to get fixed. There is little connection between the A-story to the B-story, and this kind of to-and-fro is harrowing when the B-story is much more interesting.
Ultimately, Die Spook van Uniondale seems unaware of its strengths. It struggles to find solid footing, awards too much attention to its present day cast and ends abruptly with very little sense of closure. A wasted opportunity.
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