So…well…uhmmmm….ja…hmmm….(under my breath): I’ve never watched a South African movie. Well, yes, ok, fine, I have seen the inescapable Gods Must Be Crazy and Leon Schuster ones…but a “proper” movie…I’m (now) embarrassed to say, I’ve never taken the time to watch. As they would say “Skande!!!” (Disgrace)
For some reason, the poster of Afrikaans film Vir Altyd (2016) is what drew my attention, right back when it came out on the big screen. It looked so appealing. Last night I could resist not more. And oh my, oh my…what a beautiful story.
It goes something like this: Hugo (Ivan Botha), having been travelling the world for reasons that become clear later on, returns to his hometown. Co-incidentally and unbeknown to him, this is on the weekend that his childhood best friend is about to get married. Nina (DonnaLee Roberts), however, is abandoned at the altar. Determined to carry on with her special day, she decides to take the planned honeymoon trip to Mauritius regardless…with Hugo along to keep her company. Together with two other couples taking time out on the island, the various stages and froms of love are explored, all while Hugo and Nina‘s relationship re-develops.
Yes, the ending may be predictable, but, that’s what I want from a romantic drama. Most importantly, the journey taken from opening to closing credits is what is absolutely wonderful in this one. A different setting for a change, a great backstory, everything worked so well.
One this is for certain, I’m definitely going to watch more South African movies. Not the heavy ones, but more of these…the ones for pure joy and escapism.
PS: It comes with English subtitles if you don’t know Afrikaans.