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DIRECTOR: Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat
CAST: Louw Venter, Nico Panagio, Casey B Dolan, Kim Engelbrecht, Casper de Vries, Christel van den Bergh, Jana Strydom
RUNING TIME: 95 minutes
RATING: 3 stars (out of 5)
DESPITE the loaded name, Konfetti is not your usual wedding rom-com, but more a dramedy of too much bubbly.
It doesn’t go for the cheap or stereotypical race jokes and even when the kids are breaking down the happy home, or tent, in this case, it doesn’t stress the obvious sight gags.
So, don’t expect another I Now Pronounce You Black and White.
At the same time it is not White Wedding or Fanie Fourie’s Lobola either; it is not grounded in a large context of the issue that is South African society.
What it is, is a story about a guy who has messed up time and time again and, despite his best efforts to create a perfect day for his best friends… well, let’s just say there is a long history of not getting things right the first time around at work here.
What the film does do is pit the absurdity of expectations around weddings with the reality of real, flawed humans and the way we can just mess each other up.
It does so with its tongue firmly in cheek.
Taking its cue from Louw Venter’s play, The Best Man’s Speech, the film ameliorates the concept and gives us the hoo-ha leading up to the speech in which the best man simply unravels in spectacular fashion.
Lukas (Venter) is determined to hold everything together for once in his life, for his best friends Sheryl (Dolan) and Jean (Panagio) who are finally getting married.
But he has to contend with characters like the odd little man who runs the wedding venue, Barry White (de Vries), the two families who aren’t really on the same page about these nuptials and a bride with a serious case of cold feet.
Then the bride’s arch nemesis turns up in the form of slinky Bianca (Engelbrecht), the substitute wedding singer, and the rings are missing and every bad thing that could happen is going to happen here.
Though set on the beautiful wine estate of Blauwklippen – green, luscious, restful, you can practically smell the fynbos – the film is not set in the lala land of most Afrikaans rom-coms of the ilk of Bakgat where life works out like a Disney movie.
Okay, so Panagio cuts a dashing groom with that gorgeous hair and Dolan’s radiant smile is only overshadowed by her ability to actually keep her eyes open when she’s crying, but their characters do also display a broad streak of fallibility.
These are real people who swear, have sex with the wrong people and make terrible choices.
What keeps your attention is the eccentric but familiar characters and there are plenty, from Albert Pretorius’s pedantic male nurse to Paul Ditchfield’s longsuffering father of the bride.
As the narration promises at the beginning, it all ends in tears and flames and unfortunately the film goes on for three scenes after that, two of which were unnecessary and tear down the delicate and honest moment in what could have been a very good ending.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
To celebrate the nationwide release of Konfetti, Tonight is offering 5 lucky readers the chance to win a delightful Konfetti hamper. Each hamper consists of a bottle of Blaauwklipper Cabernet Sauvignon; a bottle of Chenin Blane; a Jimmy in Pienk DVD, and a Skeem DVD.
To stand a chance of winning, all you need to do is answer this simple question:
Who plays the wedding singer in Konfetti?
E-mail your answer, as well as your name and contact details, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Tonight Konfetti Competition in the subject bar. The competition closes on Tuesday, April 22, at noon. Only the winners will be contacted.