Posts Tagged ‘Rahul Brijnath’

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.

Slick 31 Million Reasons

31 Million Reasons

Fantastic Heist Film

31 Million Reasons is part Jackie Brown part Slumdog Millionaire and is set in Durban, Chatsworth and the surrounding areas and focuses on the daring heist of R31 Million from a cash holding facility in Pinetown back in 1997 , dubbed the SBV Robbery. This sleek action heist film based on the book by Naresh Veeran of the same name, premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in 2011 and is brought to the big screen by the producing team of Ross Garland and Brad Logan who make up Roguestar Films responsible for such South African hits as Spud and Confessions of a Gambler.

31 Million Reasons directed by John Barker shows Durban in the opening sequence as hot, sexy and sleek as there is a wonderful opening shot of the palm-tree lined Esplanade, making Durban look its best in a truly Miami-style crime thriller with Barker playing homage to movies like Bad Boys and Jackie Brown. The film focuses mainly on the South African Indian community and follows the adventures of crooked cops in Chatsworth and a shady gangster in the city centre, who plan to rob a cash holding facility in Western Durban. The gang of thieves include Ronnie Gopal played by TV star’s Jack Devnarain, Reggie played by ECR deejay Neville Pillay and theatre personality Hamish Kyd playing Uncle.

There are 31 Million Reasons to go to the cinemas and see this fast paced and entertaining film, with great acting, slick directing and some wonderful Cameo’s by Ben Voss and Jason Fiddler whilst showing off Durban in a truly spicy, cosmopolitan, sometimes sleezy light as a sultry and vibrant African port city.

Like any heist films there are those that get away and those that are caught and while the thieves are trying desperately to conceal such a large amount of cash there is a sharp detective Sashwin played by Meren Reddy who solves the daring crime.

31 Million Reasons is a great testament to the blossoming and diverse South African film industry which will be a sure to attract a wide audience on commercial release and is thoroughly entertaining. Highly Recommended like a Durban Bunny Chow!

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