Saturday, March 18, 2006

Film - Tsotsi


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The parentless leader of a gang robs a woman of her BMW and is shocked to find a baby in the back seat. This troubled, remorseless criminal ends up caring for the child, but when a police sketch of him appears in the newspaper, he has to decide whether or not to return the child or keep it. His attachment to the child is obvious and it seems to give his meaningless life some purpose and it helps him deal with his less than ideal childhood.

The acting was strong. I felt anger towards the gang leader Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) for his crimes and attitude towards people. The film provided some insight into his troubled beginnings and his childhood, with a mother dying of a disease, possibly AIDS, and a cranky father, whom he escapes from.

The visuals are so realistic that they must have filmed right in the townships, with dusty sheet metal builds and dirt roads adding to the ambience.

The pace of the film is not as quick as I would have liked, but it does pick up towards the end. The tension at the end kept me alert, but the film ended with the viewers left to ponder the fate of the Tsotsi. I can see some people finding this film dull do to its lack of surprises and plot twists. The film really doesn't have a plot as much as a message that beneath every rough exterior lies someone who wants to be loved and has the ability to express compassion.

My rating for this film is 3/5. Tsotsi recently won the Oscar for best foreign film.

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