CRY OF LOVE
DIRECTOR: Faith Isiakpere
CAST: Luthuli Dlamini, Leleti Khumalo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, Victor Masondo and Lindani Nkosi
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
RATING: 2 stars (out of 5)
IF THE movie Fame had an orgy with Akin Omotoso’s Man On Fire and all the Step Up films, plus all the Glee episodes, as well as Stomp The Yard, Sarafina and Hotel Rwanda, and if there was, oops, a baby made during that passionate encounter, it would be Cry of Love.
If you looked at the star-studded cast, it would be forgivable to assume that this local offering was going to be epic, but that’s far from the truth. Cry of Love has the right intentions, but suffers from a script that doesn’t follow the rules of filmmaking in that there is a clear beginning, middle and ending.
Instead, it gets mixed up in several standard African problems that include child soldiers, xenophobia and drug abuse, among others. Yvonne Chaka Chaka stars as a community leader who is concerned about the ills of the world around her. She starts a sanctuary to which she invites youngsters who need guidance and where they can showcase their talents. Soon we see kids from various backgrounds auditioning in front of Dlamini and Khumalo’s characters.
Those auditions alone were so long that you would think the production had no editing budget. If you sat through that you would realise that each kid (and there were lots of them) came with their own set of problems. Somehow the film fails to hide the fact that it is preachy. From the young, white characters who feel victimised for apartheid to the child soldiers who walked through a few countries to get to South Africa, there is no clear indication as to what you are supposed to take from this film.
Oh, and there is also a drug dealer in the mix who is against the sanctuary because he feels he could put the children to better use. All this is not to say Cry of Love is a bad film. It is actually entertaining in parts, as talented youngsters are featured, but it just has too much going on for one project. It is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube that doesn’t have corresponding colours. The best way director Faith Isiakpere could have handled this one would have been one subject at a time. Holistically, seven or more films could have come out of Cry of Love. They should have named this film Legion, for it houses so many things.