Two men from vastly different walks of life have one goal in common: to win gold. But, there are a few things in their way. One man’s marriage is on the verge of collapse, while the other is on the run from the law. They’ve also never competed as a team. Somewhere along the current of their lives, there’s a confluence of events that changes both of them.
The South African film industry is currently experiencing a sharp upswing with regard to overall quality. Even mediocre films nowadays, for the most part, are coherently written and decently shot. Beyond the River is a great example of how to tell a true-life story with genuine heart, while still addressing all the racial complexities of South Africa.
The fact that director Craig Freimond, who also co-wrote the screenplay, was brave enough to not shy away from the vast racial inequalities in SA as an underlying issue is commendable. The way the film addresses these issues also never feels preachy and is done in a smart way.
The two leads of the film, Lemogang Tsipa (Duma) and Grant Swanby (Steve), have spectacular chemistry and Tsipa’s charisma shines throughout the film. Swanby has most of the emotional scenes in Beyond the River and he delivers an award-winning performance.