Based upon the book written by South African author Leon van Nierop, and the 1980s TV series it spawned, this drama focuses on the mysterious disappearance of celebrated writer Jacques Rynhard (Armand Aucamp), and the investigative hunt for him launched by journalist Carina Human (DonnaLee Roberts). Christia Visser, Rolanda Marais and Jacques Bessenger co-star.
Based on the iconic tv series of the same name that first showed on television in 1987 See more »
'Ballade vir 'n Enkeling' is an embarrassing melting pot of bad ideas
I love my home country, South Africa, from which this film spawned. I think it's great that local films are being produced in a more professional way than ever before, but that does not make this a good film. It's being hailed as a great movie, simply for being better made than most Afrikaans films. I know I sound cynical, but this film was recommended to me by a friend, who claimed that it was a thrilling, gorgeous looking movie that I would surely enjoy. It really wasn't.
I have many problems with the film. I think the director and screen-writer worked together to toss as many clichés in as possible, with the hope that it might remind some viewers of what terrible Hollywood dramas feel like. This is probably because, when you watch an average Afrikaans film, it doesn't feel like a movie. It's just not right.
The best aspect of the film was the cinematography, which actually was pretty bland. There isn't focus on composition or meaning in the images, it just feels slightly more professional, because it moves smoothly. This was already accomplished with 'I-number number', a pretty surface level S.A. action movie, that was ignored because it didn't pretend to be amazing. It knew it was simple action, which is good. But with 'Ballade', they think making things look more professional will keep the audiences believing that it is actually of quality. Apparently, it worked.
The clichés and stereotypes continue throughout the film, with needless plot elements shoved in because the director or writer thought; "This is the kind of stuff that happens in real movies, right?". Needless fight scenes, needless romantic scenes, needless plot twists, etc., all just happen with no motivation. They don't develop characters, they just happen. It should perhaps come as a surprise that the screen-play is written by one of South Africa's most respected film critics. Some performances are okay, particularly the lead journalist, but her friend is unbearable. Her character is unnecessary, and similar to a lot of other aspects is there because 'movie'. Some of the performances however, are laughable. The teen friends in particular make for a lot of embarrassment. There are a number of motto's the characters have, that they repeat so many times. It doesn't help that these motto's are extremely generic. There are many scenes and choices by characters that make little to no sense. No emotional connection is formed with any characters, because they're all just cookie-cutter people. They're like the terrible and generic picture that comes with your new frame.
To top it all off, 'Ballade vir 'n Enkeling' has one of the worst endings to a film I've seen in a long time, mostly because of how lazy it is. This is a terrible and in-excusable film, do not see it. Watch 'Noem My Skollie' instead. I'd give that film a 6/10. It isn't particularly good, but it isn't bad either. Either way it'll make for a much better watch than 'Ballade vir 'n Enkeling'. I'm giving the film one extra point for caring ever so slightly about it's production. 2/10.
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