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Review: ‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling

The strangest Afrikaans film I’ve seen yet.

Starring: Deon Lotz and Brumilda van Rensburg

Plot: ‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling is a story filled with humor, pathos and razor-sharp social commentary on the life of a white Afrikaans family and their mongrel dog in a down-at-heel suburb. The central theme deals with their desperate, sometimes clumsy and strange attempts to adapt and survive the ‘post 1994′ era. Included is the individual family members’ struggle to come to terms with themselves and their circumstances and maintain peace amongst each other, their neighbours and the authorities. Through the eyes of the Beeslaer family’s dog Tsjaka, one follows the struggle to adapt and accept the ever-present hope of a better life. One gains intimate insight into characters and situations and experiences the ‘sweet and the sour’, the brief moments of hope, excitement and pleasure. Also, one accesses the constant desperation and hopelessness of dog and human, caught in an economic and socially challenging environment.

Remarks: I was really looking forward to watch this film. The number of great actors on the bill excited me but the execution of the film was very confusing. Firstly, the film is narrated through the family dog, Tsjaka. In the film, Tsjaka falls in love with a ‘classy’ dog from another neighbourhood all while dealing with the crazy antics of the Beeslaer family. Now, the family deals with a lot of drama and most of it is quite funny but why the story was told through the eyes of the family dog confuses me. The casting for the film, however, was fantastic and each and every actor did a fantastic job brining their character to life. That being said, there isn’t much of a storyline to this film – especially for a film that’s an hour an a half long. Most of the time I was asking myself what the hell was going on and I left the theatre asking wondering what I just watched. The movie has too many inconsistencies and, unfortunately, this isn’t a film I would recommend.

Rating: 2/5

‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling releases January 8th, 2016.

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