Style that still lets the bride shine...
NOTHING FOR MAHALA
DIRECTOR: Rolie Nikiwe
CAST: Thapelo Mokoena, Marius Weyers, Lilian Dube, Mmabatho Montsho, Jamie Bartlett, Kenneth Nkosi, Shoki Mokgapa
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
THE MODERN fable Nothing for Mahala is a funny comedy with a strong moral message.
Directed by Rolie Nikiwe (who directed the first Heartlines movie) with a script by Darrel Bristow-Bovey (Hard Copy, Sokhulu and Partners), the film is set in Joburg.
It must be pointed out, though, that this must have been filmed during the December holidays because that is the least amount of traffic seen on Jozi streets, ever.
Instead of manic crazy downtown, we get some Randlord mansion on a hill that has been converted into an old-age home.
Picture it: hazy summer mornings complete with the sound of sprinklers and the orphans next door trying to steal fruit from the garden at the bottom of the property.
Now, contrast that with the fast-paced life of Axe Gumede (Mokoena), a wannabe property mogul who is borrowing money hand over fist to keep up appearances because, as he has been taught by MTV, anyone who is someone drinks expensive alcohol and drives a flashy car and blings it up.
Thapelo Mokoena is a pretty boy and he knows it. He plays up the charming aspect of Axe Gumede, who is sentenced to community service at an old-age home where he is confronted by the idea his grandmother (Dube) has been trying to teach him – that money isn’t everything.
At this point the film becomes a clash-of-cultures kind of story and all sorts of familiar faces of the likes of June van Mersch, Annabel Linder and Dorothy Masuku pop up to create some very individual and quirky old people.
Then there is Marius Weyers as Hendrik, the cantankerous old guy who has his own sad secrets, to remind us that sometimes you make mistakes no amount of money can fix.
Throw in Warren Masemole and Casper de Vries as loan sharks for deadpan comic relief, plus a strong soundtrack, and the film is well on the way to pleasing a wide audience.
Another pleasant surprise is that Nothing for Mahala handles product placement well – what you see makes sense, and isn’t as egregious as what pops up on our soapies.
Just when the storyline starts getting dark and serious and Axe has completely dug himself into a hole which is realistic, things take a rainbow nation turn and a couple of “Viva”s later, everything gets sorted.
Still, this is our own clichéd happy ending we are seeing, so chalk one up for the good guys.
If you liked Blitspatrollie or Jozi then you will like this.