In true Schuster fashion, Frank & Fearless which opens in cinemas nationwide on November 23 follows the winning recipe of side-splitting comedy and humorous social commentary of Leon’s previous successes like There’s a Zulu on my Stoep and Mr. Bones.
Together with co-writer director, Gray Hofmeyr, takes it to the next level by introducing a relevant and engrossing story and a depth of emotion which sets it apart from anything else previously produced by this iconic filmmaker.
"Frank & Fearless was an extremely difficult movie to make, and the script by Gray, myself and Geoff Newton, was developed over a period of four years. Gray and I worked together for the first time on ‘Sweet and Short’ in 1991, and have made nine movies together since then. We are old Troopers, and the one without the other is like a soldier going into battle without his rifle.
"We are confident that this latest offering tops all our previous efforts, and that the kids of this world and their moms and dads will be engrossed by this film,” explains Schuster.
Set in Africa, the movie takes you on a thrilling adventure as a loveable old man, Sonny Frank (Leon Schuster), and a ten year old rural African boy, Fearless (Themba Ntuli), set out to kidnap the ambassador of a South-East Asian country in an attempt to stop rhino slaughter.
They are joined on this mission by two four-legged friends, Reini a baby rhino whose mother was killed by poachers and Fearless’ big and faithful black dog called Dog. When things go terribly wrong, they have no choice but to take on a platoon of merciless poachers, who are led by the terrifying ranger turned poacher, Dolf (Kenneth Nkosi), with whom Sonny has a past. The emotional heart, of course, stems from the characters’ individual journeys.
“Setting a comedy in a milieu as tragic as the rhino crisis was a controversial decision. However, I believe that comedy and tragedy can run seamlessly side by side, complementing each other and enhancing the emotional roller coaster ride, provided the performances and the story are 100% honest,” says scriptwriter and director Gray Hofmeyr, who has not only been in the industry for decades, but has also won numerous awards for his work.
Aside from brilliant cinematography and the most beautiful surroundings, the movie also boasts impressive performances by the star-studded cast. Leon Schuster is brilliant as an insecure railway chef and collector of indigenous spices, while newcomer, Themba Ntuli (Meerkat Maantuig), nails his role as a complex African child who is terrified of his own shadow.
Kenneth Nkosi (Tsotsi), Khanyi Mbau (Happiness is a Four Letter Word), Jennifer Steyn (Goodbye Bafana, Madam and Eve) and David Dennis (Soul City) can also be seen in the film.
Frank & Fearless promises some incredibly funny laughs combined with a powerful message and some heartfelt personal revelations that audiences of all ages will be able to relate to.
“Our hope is that the message of this film will reach all the children of the world and encourage them to ‘stop people killing our wild animals. Eating their body parts does not make you healthy, it makes you evil.
"Be a force for good. Save the wild animals of our world.’ My personal hope is that specifically the children of South-East Asia will see and love this film,” says Hofmeyr.