Posts Tagged ‘Kajal Bagwandeen’

Durban Family Reunion

A South African Indian Family Drama along the lines of Death at a Funeral

3 Days to Go

Director: Bianca Isaac

Cast: Leeanda Reddy, Kajal Bagwandeen, Lilette Dubey, Jonathan Boynton-Lee, Jailoshini Naidoo, Rahul Brijnath, Tumi Morake, Kiara Govender

In my 2019 bid to support South African cinema, I went to see a local film 3 Days to Go directed by Bianca Isaac. 3 Days to Go is basically a Durban Family reunion film focusing on a slightly dysfunctional South African Indian family whose father passes away unexpectedly.

As the mother and now grieving widow of the family brilliantly played by Lillette Dubey last seen in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel calls her children together for a Hindi burial, the siblings are forced to confront the strained relations between them as well as the twisted rivalries which have developed of the years.

The Cast of 3 Days To Go

Local stars Leeanda Reddy, Kajal Bagwandeen and Jailoshini Naidoo (Keeping up the Kandasamy’s) play the three sisters Janet, Melissa and Amy while there is naturally an irresponsible gambling brother Riki played by 31 Million Reasons star Rahul Brijnath, who unknowingly puts the family in danger.  Top Billing TV presenter turned actor Jonathan Boynton-Lee stars as Reddy’s love interest.

The best scenes in the film are between Reddy and Boynton-Lee whose natural screen presence holds the film together. Lilette Dubey does a reasonably good job portraying the matriarch Laksmi Isaac considering that she has acted opposite Dev Patel, Dame Judi Dench and Richard Gere in the Marigold Hotel films.

Director Bianca Isaac could have done with some editing as the middle of 3 Days to Go, as the plot seemed slightly directionless and melodramatic, however, I did like the ending of the film especially with the entire family on Durban beachfront overlooking the warm Indian Ocean.

On that note, Bianca Isaac could have showed off more locations in Durban in 3 Days to Go, but perhaps it was due to budgetary constraints or lack of directorial imagination.

3 Days to Go is not a brilliant film, but it is a good attempt at a South African family drama with a uniquely Durban twist. However it does point out that the South African film industry is miles behind the international films being released. But as with all burgeoning industries, this unique and multi-faceted film industry does have lots of potential and is a step in the right direction.

3 Days to Go get a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and will have a distinctly local South African appeal.

The films translation beyond the borders of South Africa will be severely limited, due to the insular and mostly provincial cultural references. Recommended viewing for those that love South African melodrama.

Horrors Imagined

Shadow

Director: Dayakar Padayachee

Cast: Kajal Bagwandeen, Zahir Bassa, Lihle Dhlomo, Geaneviv Pillay, Tazme Pillay, Joshua Milne, Yateen Dayaram, Ismail Ganie, Rizelle Januk

Please note Shadow is classified as a short film.

Shadow had its world premiered at the 7th Annual Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival http://www.dglff.org.za/ and  directed by first time Durban based Dayakar Padayachee who explores the psychological effects of guilt, bullying and hidden sexuality through a distinctly horror formula. Shadow is a short horror film created by Dayakar Padayachee and co-written with Edgar S. Rochev.

Shot on a limited budget and using local Durban locations, Padayachee’s first time film is an achievement in developing a story which includes the diversity of Durban’s population as well as giving ample opportunities for rising young actors.

Shadow focuses on a teenage schoolboy Tyrone Sharma whose parents are on the verge of a divorce, while he is grappling with his own sexuality and bullying at school. He confides most of his fears with his best friend.

Shadow also explores the hidden agendas and secrets that parents keep from their children while tapping into the angst ridden anxiety of a conflicted teenager whose life slowly unravels as he starts seeing a ghostly apparition which haunts his own inner turmoil resulting in a dramatic ending.

While the sound quality in Shadow needs to be improved, Shadow is an immense achievement for a first time director. Dayakar Padayachee’s achievement and his definite film sense should be applauded.

Padayachee’s passion for telling fascinating and diverse stories relevant to a contemporary 21st century South African cinema going audiences will benefit the rapidly developing South African film industry as a whole and I look forward to seeing more films from this innovative director.

Shadow as a short film gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and generated phenomenal South African interest especially in Durban when the film was released online in late 2017.

 

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