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Tarina Patel thrilled as Netflix’s ‘Collision’ continues to exceed expectations

Tarina Patel. Supplied image.

Tarina Patel. Supplied image.

Published Jun 25, 2022


Johannesburg - While prejudices of several forms affect people from all corners of the globe, love and family is all that ultimately matters.

This was the essence of the proudly South African movie ‘Collision’ which debuted on Netflix last week.

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It has since been ranked in the top three of the most watched movies on the streaming platform in the world after it was released in 192 countries.

And while the movie’s producer Tarina Patel is thrilled with how well it has been received around the world so far, she admitted that it has even exceeded her expectations.

“I couldn’t imagine the movie being so well received, because as a producer, you sit too close to your project and you can never really gauge what the next person can objectively think about it,” she told The Saturday Star this week.

“Everyone who makes a film thinks it’s the most amazing story and that everyone will love it but most times this is not the case but the fact that people are loving it and feel the same way about the story that I do is pretty amazing.”

Tarina Patel. Supplied image.

The new action and crime thriller tells the tale of a corrupt businessman and his socialite wife racing to save their daughter from a notorious crime lord over the course of one fateful day.

Their mission “collides” in dramatic fashion as the film also delves into racism, classism, xenophobia, gangsterism and poverty against the backdrop of Johannesburg society.

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“It truly is a South African story because love and family is all we have; those are things we should choose to focus on,” Patel believes.

She added that while she loves South Africa and all its people, she could not shy away from some of the darker issues the movie unpacks.

“I have lived around the world and I have travelled extensively but when I come back to South Africa, I am reminded of the realities of our society because there is simply no escaping it.

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“I am in tune with the pulse of people because of the objectivity I got from time in other countries and I know that issues like crime is a problem but through ‘Collision’, I wanted to better understand it and I wanted everyone else to better understand it so that we can all do our bit to improve society.”

“Collision”’s stellar cast includes some of South Africa’s best talents including Tessa Jubber, Langley Kirkwood, Bonko Khoza and Zoey Sneedon.

But Patel said she was also determined to include other world-class talents from around the globe.

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“We had so many external influences, like some of the film’s music was done by a 100-man orchestra, we had a French film-maker, the writing and script had strong American influences and the edit and post-edit were done in Canada so the calibre of people involved was incredible in order for the movie to fulfil its global vision.”

Despite the international talent, Patel said that locals working on the movie also benefited from this experience.

“It took nothing away from jobs because South Africans were able to learn from them and the skills transfer has empowered South Africans and we will get to a point where we build our own industry and won’t need to bring in talent.”

Patel is a global celebrity in her own right first after entering the entertainment industry at just 16. Since then, she has jetted off around the globe to star in several films, series and commercials, including one of her latest stints on “The Real Housewives of Johannesburg”. The psychologist, model, and humanitarian is also acclaimed for her time in Bollywood and is a familiar face on South African films and soapies such as “Generations: The Legacy” and she has even been on the cover of Elle, Dossier, FHM, Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

Tarina Patel. Supplied image.

But while she admits that being a producer is one of the hardest jobs in the world, she said that this is one of her favourite roles to date.

“Being on set is when I am at my happiest.”

Patel is determined to use this role to infect deeper meaning into society and she believes that she achieved that through her work on “Collision”.

“I want to tell South African stories to the world and my intention is to be the most powerful female producer on the continent.

“I gravitate to certain stories because it is the essence of who I am, and when it comes to producing, I see that as a huge accountability because I am telling specific stories with strong messages which can hopefully inspire change.”

Patel is also cognisant of the power that storytellers hold, and by working with a platform like Netflix, she is able to deliver a message to every corner of the world.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, industries collapsed but entertainment flourished because the one thing people had available to them were stories and as a storyteller, you want to entertain but also impact and effect change through this art form.

“I want to use my celebrity status to make people feel like they can relate to stories and characters, to start conversations and to ultimately create change.”

Tarina Patel. Supplied image.

Despite the success of “Collision”, Patel also admitted that she and her team had to overcome many obstacles during their journey which spanned over several years.

“We shot during the height of Covid when we were in lockdown and there was a curfew, many times in the Johannesburg CBD and had to deal with the impacts of the KwaZulu-Natal riot as well as load shedding and water cuts.”

But now that “Collision” is available to people from around the world to watch, Patel is proud of their journey and she believes that the movie will continue to be received well.

“I just want people to watch it because it is a good story but I want South Africans to watch the movie because it’s an important story and it’s one of our own.”

The Saturday Star

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