When SKIETS, an enigmatic, beautiful stranger walks into small rural township tavern and demands a beer, TK, a charming local lothario sets out to seduce her in order to prove his prowess ...
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When SKIETS, an enigmatic, beautiful stranger walks into small rural township tavern and demands a beer, TK, a charming local lothario sets out to seduce her in order to prove his prowess to the locals. When she spurns his attentions, he falls head over heels for her and seriously starts to woo her. However, Skiets is a dark horse and breaks TK's heart when she returns to the tavern the next night on the arm of MUGZA, the local hood! But...when Mugza discovers that Skiets has stolen his car keys and intends to make off with his most precious possession, he erupts. TK steps in to defend Skiets and before he knows it he is on his way to Johannesburg and the bright city lights with her - in the car that Mugza treasures above all else! Step in Gumede, a sophisticated, wealthy and dangerous crime lord who takes them under his wing when Skiets catches his eye. Skiets recognizes the type and is reticent to accept Gumede's money but TK is only too happy to spend it without any thought of the ...Written by
2014 continues to be a great year for SA cinema as we see more and more SA films, with decent budgets, hitting our screens. The latest addition to the roaster of 2014 SA films that includes Four Corners and iNumber, just to mention a few is Hard to get. Is it a worthy entry? Lets dig in
Hard to get is Zee Ntuli's first feature film. Ntuli got a lot of positive attention for his superb short film Bomlambo; a drama about a kid who is sent back to our world from the world of the spirits and put a a strain on a coupe relationship. That short film was very restrained and handled the supernatural elements with grace. Hard to get is on the other side of the tipping scale loud, brash and very show-wee
Ntuli is going for Bonnie and Clyde nihilistic youth experience; laced with sex, violence and booze. The film looks beautiful. Ntuli needs to be accorded for giving it a cool look, the warm pallete works for it. The slo –mo action scenes will convert a lot of action die hards and the South African pop music will endear the film to the youngins. The fact it has Pallance Dladla ( Tempy Pushas, Isibaya,Intersexion fame) as it's lead ,already scores with a legion of fans who love pretty boys with a body on screen.
Yet this film belongs to the new comer Thishiwe Ziqubu as Skiets ; our femme fatal/Mshoza of the piece . Who kicks the plot into first gear. Ziqubu is able to emote tough, sexy, vulnerable and do subtext so well. She sizzles. Whilst Dladla ,although does a good job at his part the material(ie script) is not asking a lot from him. I got a sense that Zee Ntuli sees Dladla as his Taylor Lautner of Twilight Saga . Any chance to have the man stride around half naked, showing off his well sculpted body is taken, the ladies are surely going to appreciate his efforts.
So the actors look good, the picture looks really good, the humour is on point and the dialogue is on point and you can never go wrong with Israel Makoe as a villain but unfortunately the story lets down this film. The story implodes once it hits Jo'burg and a second antagonist is introduced, which takes a way from forward momentum in the story or even pathos. It almost feels like Ntuli and his writing partner where not sure if they want to tell a Bonnie and Clyde crime story set in SA, a Bonnie and Clyde love story , or a Jim comes to joburg story, or a True Romance ala Tarantino with all sorts of under word figures. It becomes messy and at times very clichéd.
That's not the only problematic thing about Hard to Get, the other issue is it's contribution to gender portrayal in SA. Skiets is a strong assertive ,street smart woman who suffers all sorts of abuses from men in the film and there's little to no retribution for that. In a country with such high rates of femicide, domestic abuse and general disrespect for women, during womens month nogal, you'd think the film would be more circumspect about such stuff . I not saying don't portray the verbal and physical abuse we dish in SA but ,it's never addressed in anyhow in the film and its naturalized as if it's okay.Yet for me the mortal sin is how the Character of Skiets is almost spoiled by very clichéd move by the writers that goes contrary to how she has been set up as a person.
If Hard To Get had come out before iNumber Number,I would have said it is a somewhat positive step in production for SA films and not so good story telling but iNumber Number showed that we can do excellent production and story telling. The story really lets down this movie that could have been greater than what it is, if some details and story choices were scrutinized better. Other than that its loud, pretty to look at,it will make you laugh but has no substance or good momentum in its story,it will probably do well at the box office but I wonder what will it be it's cultural significance.
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