DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Film Review: Tsotsi

Tsotsi (15)
Dir. Gavin Hood

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Winner of this year's “best foreign film” Oscar, Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood, is a powerful, heartfelt film that throbs with conflicting emotions. It seems that on the mean streets of South African shantytowns redemption just comes once…

"Tsotsi" the word might mean “gangster”, but Presley Chweneyagae plays the lead role with such authentic dangerous charisma that it might as well mean “prince of the streets”. Hailed and followed by his crew (Boston (Mothusi Magano), Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe) and Aap (Kenneth Nkosi)), Tsotsi spends his time in various criminal pursuits including a terrifyingly plausible murder on a packed commuter train…until a fateful carjacking changes his life forever.

Spoiler alert: Whilst a new BMW is a fine catch for Tsotsi, he gets far more than he bargained for when he discovers that there is a baby in the back seat… Acting against his surface criminal nature he keeps the baby even though he is utterly clueless about how to look after the poor (but very cute) little tot. Maybe the baby awakens in him memories of his own childhood and his mother, which he has determinedly repressed, but one thing is for certain – Tsotsi’s life will never be the same… Indeed, having gained a ‘son’ Tsotsi's violence dries up, because hell, it’s damned hard work being a parent – especially a single one!!

Many have compared Tsotsi to the excellent City of God, which also brought a bleak world of violence and crime to the big screen in a powerful way.
Tsotsi really is a gorgeous, riveting, poignant, and thrilling piece of filmmaking. Classy storytelling, which explores not only South African poverty and crime but delves into a man’s soul as few films ever have before. This is a film that deserves the tag line “Truly unforgettable”.

Darkmatt Rating: öööö (every man can change)

"what is the darkness that evey man hides in his soul? and can it be overcome by innocence?"

Darkmatters: H O ME

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Matt, superb film. The cinematography is superb and the careful thought of framing can be seen in every shot.

Chweneyagae is very strong, as are many of the cast.