Love Lives Here- Girl Boss Movie Review

Genre: Romantic comedy

Starring: Thando Thabethe, Lungile Radu, Zola Nombona, Andile Gumbi, Motlasti Mafatshe, Nomalanga Shozi and Nkanyiso Bhengu

Length: 1h 53 min

Director: Norman Maake

Age rating: 16

Girl Boss Rating: 8/10

I’m really loving the South African movies that are being created these days. Growing up there were not many South African movies that would show in the Cinema. However in recent times, if you go to the cinema, you may find a South African movie available to watch, which is great.

Love lives here is a South African romantic comedy. It is set in Durban and there are numerous shots of the coast line, the ocean and the harbor. Being set in Durban, the culture of the characters is isiZulu. Although, they speak mainly English. The music is also mostly South African, which is cool. I like the embracing of South African art.

Official Movie Poster For Love Lives Here

The movie follows a romantic novelist played by Thando Thabethe. Although she is a career woman she wants to get married and have a family. She is progressive but also has traditional values. She is the ideal modern makoti. But, her boyfriend whom she has been dating for 3 years, doesn’t seem interested in the same family values she has. Her well to do boyfriend is played by Andile Gumbi. Who, talks down to her and is mean. The movie starts with Zinhle (Thando Thabethe) coming home early from a writer’s conference and surprises her boyfriend as it is their 3 year anniversary. Needless to say, she finds that he isn’t alone in his house. They break up.

She then tries to continue living her life although she is heartbroken. She links up with her girlfriends and goes to a party where she meets an up and coming photographer. When, on the dance floor a guy gets handsy and tries to grab her butt. She then manages to catch his hand and twist it behind his back in a self-defense physical combat move, forcing him to apologies. The photographer, played by Lungile Radu goes to intervene on her behalf, but she is able to defend herself and has the situation handled.

Scene from the local movie Love Lives Here

After the initial meeting he starts to pursues her. At first, she’s not that interested. Although, she gives him her number. He persists by texting and calling her, he even goes jogging on the same beachfront she jogs at. As, he saw her location pin on social media. She tells him its ‘stalker vibes’ jokingly and doesn’t pay much attention to him because she’s not sure if she can trust him as she’s recently been burned in an intimate relationship. Eventually he wins her affection. The two fall in love and when they make love for the first time, he goes down on her. When this happened, I thought whoohoo, viva la female orgasm! Look at him making sure his partner is sexually satisfied. That’s how you know this guy, is not a typical guy. He is progressive.

The story of the movie is great. I can really go on and tell you everything but I don’t want to spoil and twists and turns for you. The message of the movie is, love is about happiness. Love lives in the heart, be with a partner who you respects you and makes you happy. Don’t date/marry someone just for social and economic progression. Be with someone who actually loves you for who you are on the inside.

South African Actor Motlatsi Mofatshe in the movie Love Lives Here

The movie is actually funny and romantic. The dynamic between the girlfriends is enjoyable. There’s the one friend whose going through a bitter divorce and the other who is a sex positive young woman, she is free with her sexuality. This is great because it’s her body, her choice but I did think okay, there needs to be a mention of condoms here. There are sex scenes in the movie and not one mention of protection or birth control and I just felt there was a teaching opportunity missed. It is also unrealistic as there should always be the when were you last tested for HIV, condom, birth control, contraception’s, discussion.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. I found it relevant as people my age are getting married now, and it is a topic that is pertinent for young career woman. What kind of partner do you want to create a life with? Do you even want to get married? When you get married, if it is to a man, what gender roles are you going to fulfill? For example, in the movie when the character Andile Gumbi plays, finishes his beer, he says “babe my beer is empty”. As if Thando Thabethe’s character must drop everything and go fetch him a cold beer. Would I go fetch the beer in a relationship? These are the questions we need to negotiate when settling down in a modern South African relationship.

Watch the official trailer here

Love Lives Here Official Trailer

The Movie ‘Us’, Girl Boss Review

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Elizabthe Moss

Length: 2 Hours

Written, Directed and Produced by Oscar Winner Jordan Peele

Girl Boss Rating: 8/10

Jordan Peele

The thriller (well Jordan Peele claims it’s a horror – so it is a horror) we have been waiting for has finally hit South Africa’s cinemas. It officially made its debut at 8pm on the 23rd of March at selected Sterkinekor cinemas across the country. As you can imagine seats were limited, and that meant that they were quickly sold out. But if you missed this debut, don’t worry It will fully return in the next week, and that time it will be available for screening at all Sterkinekor cinemas nationwide. 

I love horror movies; the suspense just gets to me. This was no disappointment. In the past I have never built enough courage to actually go view a horror/thriller movie at the cinema, but this is freaking Jordan Peele man, a legend amongst many other black Hollywood directors, I had to book my seat, I had to show up, and I did.

‘US’ is a build up but not a sequel from his 2017 film ‘Get Out’ that Peele won a best original screenplay Oscar for. So you can imagine the anticipation surrounding this release, because damn, ‘Get Out’, we all thought was the one. It was just so brilliant, so genius, so well played, just a beautiful orchestration that played on all the human senses. That, I feel, is what makes a great thriller/horror film, a film that plays on our senses as an audience, particularly sensory deprivation.

Sorry, I got carried away…

Description

‘US’ follows a typical family of four on their vacation to Adelaide Winston’s beachfront family home, where she grew up as a child. What her family does not know is that she had a traumatic experience that has haunted her to the point that she went mute. Her family, oblivious to her traumatic childhood experience, just wants to fully get into holiday mode, but her fears quickly surface and that is when it all goes down. Her fears become a reality, and soon they are left fending for their lives.

Plot Twist – Spoiler!

A part of me likes it, but most of me hates it when there is a sudden plot twist in a film, particularly towards the end. Ambiguous endings are just the worst, but the end of this movie will have you questioning your intelligibility. There had to be an explanation released afterwards, because it’s genuinely a ‘what the fudge’ moment. The answer as to who really is the villain is based on perspective and that will require your introspection.

What I Enjoyed The Most

This film will have you at the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie. It is thrilling, exciting, anxious, hilarious, and scary all at the same time. Of course being a Jordan Peele movie, you will have a good laugh. I kid you not when I say that watching this film in the cinema will just add to the ‘fun’ of experiencing horror movies. The whole audience is with you, experiencing the same emotions with you, some more than others. Spoiler! I also loved that it does not have your typical heroic ending – you know where the good guys always win, although it might seem like it, but it’s not the case. However as I mentioned, you will be left to determine this on your own.

What to look out for

I would recommend that you pay close attention to Red’s narrative, from the second she says “once upon a time”, there are plenty of subliminal messages in her story, and this will help you get a better picture of the tethered version of the story.

But this is a definite must-watch because firstly ‘its freaking a Jordan Peele Production’, but more importantly because the true message of the movie is something we should all think about, although most of it is a fictional creation, but what really happened to the network of abandoned, underground tunnels across America… Oh, Peele alerts you about this at the start of the movie.

Watch the trailer here

Us- Official Trailer

Girl Boss Movie Review: Captain Marvel

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch

Length: 2hrs 4mins

Girl Boss Rating: 8/10

Marvel Comics is on a roll! I am not biased, and I will not contribute to the DC Comics vs Marvel Comics debate, but Marvel has me tickled and excited in this first half of the year. I absolutely loved Captain Marvel and I am eagerly awaiting Avengers: Endgame next month.

Description

Brie Larson plays a kick-ass extraterrestrial, female warrior from the planet Kree, who is eventually caught and tortured for information by the enemy Kree has been fighting, the Skulls. As the enemy tries to extract information from Brie, she starts to have memory flash backs, which eventually lead her back to Earth. She escapes from captivity and hunts the enemy, who saw in her memories that what they are looking for is on planet Earth.  This is where the movie starts rolling as Brie comes to find out that she was human born, Carol Denvers and was considered to have died on assignment working in the US Air force.

Official Movie Poster

On Earth whilst chasing the Skulls, Carol Denvers comes up against Nick Furry (Samuel L Jackson) who is working for SHIELD. They end up working together to avert a catastrophic war from taking place on Earth, and Carol Denvers essentially becomes the founding Avenger, Captain Marvel. Who Nick Furry can call when Earth is really in trouble.  We saw him call Captain Marvel at the end of the last Avengers Movie released 2018.  The movie has all the action you can expect from a sci fi action movie.

Things I Loved About Captain Marvel

I loved that there is a female lead, surrounded by other strong female characters.  Carol Denvers is not a sidekick of a male, although she reports to a male captain whilst she believed she was from Kree.  Her story-line is believable and so is empowering to women watching. I loved that her best friend, who was with her when they were trying to break into to the US Air Force as females, is black, and she also plays a strong character that flies spaceships; although we don’t get to know more about her history or character, she reminds me of General Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) in Black Panther. And off course with regards to representation, the movie also has Samuel L. Jackson as (Nick Furry). I also love that a woman wrote the script and directed the movie.

Things I didn’t like about Captain Marvel

It takes a while for the movie to really get going, you could miss the first 20 mins and still catch on just fine and not miss any essential plot/s.

Why you should watch Captain Marvel

  • It’s a complete stand-alone movie that doesn’t require that you should have watched other Marvel Movies, it doesn’t require you to have any knowledge whatsoever about other Marvel characters or Avengers.
  • It will make you a believer in the idea that you don’t have to lose your  “feminine” traits to be a kick-ass superhero and that women can be superheroes just as we are.  For some reason the world of superheroes is quite masculine.
  • It will definitely make you want to watch the Avengers Franchise, which I think is pretty cool.
  • I believe Marvel is not a “made-up” world, I believe these things do happen and will make you question reality and perception of power.

Red Room – Movie Review

Grab some popcorn and a drink on your way into South Africa’s first thriller film because you’re bound to be entertained throughout.

Red Room stars the very talented Khanyi Mbau and follows the story of a new mother who, due to a series of unfortunate events, ends up in the middle of a sex trafficking plot. This thriller stays one step ahead of its audience throughout and it extends its shelf-life by being one of those movies that are completely different when watched the second time around. Its elements of mystery are balanced out with some comedic moments and dramatic turns.

We had no idea what to expect going into this movie as the trailer is about as mysterious as the storyline itself. However, not knowing what to expect is exactly the way movies should be experienced, as it elevates the possibilities for surprises and memorable moments. This movie does that very successfully.

Although sex trafficking occurs in the film, the heaviness of the topic is not explored. We’re showed a few girls in captivity but the attention is not placed on them. The focus of the movie is on the main characters and their experiences and agendas. Khanyi Mbau touches on this in our red carpet interview with her, explaining that storytelling should be allowed to be fun, without always being too serious and educational. Which is what we experienced with this film. Not edutainment, but pure entertainment. Its plot twists and turns challenge the audience to be open-minded and the beautiful cinematography expands the sense of possibilities within the story, making it feel like a high-budget, international film.

The cast is very talented, I personally enjoyed the performances of the villains in this story. Special attention is paid to details that you could miss if you don’t pay close attention. Its an experience that we recommend for anyone interested in seeing South African stories told in a new and exciting way. It’s incredible that our film industry is allowing for more experiments in this way. Trying new things and expanding our style of storytelling is what will ultimately propel us forward as African artists.

Check out Red Room this weekend and let us know what you think!

Girl Boss rating: 7/10

#BossingUp with Cici Twala

Cici Twala chats with Zani Tsabedze about her upcoming thriller movie, Red Room (starring Khanyi Mbau), inspiration for her second album, and how she healed from abuse. Find out what makes her a Girl Boss in this 15 minute #BossingUp convo.