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JIMMY IN PIENK
DIRECTOR: Hanneke Schutte
CAST: Louw Venter, Gys de Villiers, Terence Bridgett, Tinarie van Wyk Louw, Gérard Rudolf
CLASSIFICATION: 7-9 PG
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
A LIGHT-HEARTED bit of froth filmed around Cape Town, Jimmy in Pienk is surprisingly fun.
Like Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, Jimmy in Pienk has a title that does it no favours. While accurate, it is cumbersome and suggestive of slapstick.
The surprise is that writer/ director Hanneke Schutte has created a film which celebrates diversity and makes fun of conservative thinking, but not by being mean or rude towards anyone.
The humour is more quirky than slapstick laugh-out-loud.
Look out, though, for comic relief in the form of a mismatched pair of loan sharks – David Isaacs gives new meaning to the concept of holding down more than one job at a time, while Garth Collins is a narcoleptic strongman with delusions of, if not grandeur, his ability to scare people.
Essentially a fish out of water story, the film follows khaki-wearing, bearded farmer Jimmy Bester (Venter, pictured) as he tries to save the family farm by tracking down his black sheep uncle.
Turns out the uncle isn’t so much a black sheep as a pink one – and still miffed about being thrown off the farm as a teenager.
Oom Buks (Gys de Villiers plays both the moffie caught in a Boer body and his über-straight brother) – or rather Frederique, as he is now known – insists that Jimmy enters a hairdressing competition to win the prize money honestly, because that is the only way he will help.
Of course, this being a film, the competition is actually a cheesy reality TV show, and much of the non-farm action takes place in De Waterkant, Cape Town’s own little pink village.
If the uncle wanted his nephew to feel like an outcast, he didn’t have to insist on the competition – Jimmy just strolling around De Waterkant already fulfils the stranger in a strange land criteria.
What Oom Buks doesn’t realise is that Jimmy has his own take on things, relishing as he does the creativity of sheep shearing.
Of course, he meets the campest of camp hair stylists in the form of Terrence Bridgett, who plays Bunny.
Bunny teaches Jimmy that there’s more to gay men than just grooming and Gayle-speak, while Jimmy, in turn, teaches his new friend how important it is to be true to yourself.
The film is grounded by narration by Sharlene Surtie-Richards, who provides the strait-laced viewpoint, in contrast with all the flamboyance and hair-flicking, while Jimmy’s natural acceptance of what happens around him is a refreshing take on conservative farmers who walk around with tins of rusks under their arms.
The film is subversive in the way it doesn’t hit you over the head with a message about how “gay people are just people”. It simply tells a story about a farmer who is out of his element, and then allows you to come to your own conclusion.
And you get to laugh with someone, and not at someone, along the way. Bonus.
If you liked Fanie Fourie’s Lobola or White Wedding you will like this.