The Place For The Latest Movie Reviews
Cast: Rapulana Seiphemo, Jeffrey Zekele, Ronnie Nyakale, Shelley Meskin, Robert Hobbs, Motlatsi Mahloko, Jafta Mamabolo, Daniel Buckland
With dreams of making enough to buy his seaside dream house, young Lucky Kunene (Rapulana Seiphemo) adopts a small-time criminal lifestyle that balloons into big-time crime, attracting the attention of local law enforcement and stoking the ire of a powerful drug lord.
It makes you wonder why this award winning film took so long to make it to our shores. Originally released in 2008 this is a gritty, violent and fascinating film. Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema is the story of a young gangster's rise to power, it also paints a devastating picture of how and why crime has spiraled out of control in the new South Africa. The film begins in Soweto in the early 1990s, two teenage boys, Lucky Kunene and his best friend Zakes are introduced. Lucky is an intelligent, ambitious youngster from a poor single parent home who is accepted into university. After he doesn't get a bursary he tries to earn money through several legitimate schemes. None of which succeed. Eventually he and Zakes are sucked into crime though their relationship with Nazareth, an angry disaffected, former ANC guerilla. Soon they're hijacking cars. But after a botched robbery and a near fatal encounter with the police, the lads must flee to the "jungles" of Hillbrow. Cut to five years later. Lucky and Zakes are operating a pirate Taxi and scraping by. It's a dangerous life and when armed rivals steal their taxi, Lucky decides to return to crime. This is a riveting film as we watch how an innocent youth from Soweto, a victim of circumstance, turns to crime and works his way up to become the hoodlum of Hillbrow. I can't sit here and say how accurate the film about South Africa's criminal underworld is but the film claims to be based on true events so I found it to be a pretty disturbing depiction. The film has a lot going for it including a cast that delivers wonderful performances, it also has an excellent script that keeps you glued to the screen.
I can't say this will be a film for everyone but I found it to be one of the best crime films that has come along in some time. It's a fast-paced, gritty, violent film that is pure entertainment. This is the story of how a intelligent kid with the same hopes and dreams as anyone else; an education, work hard, get a degree and live his dreams through legitimate means, succumbs, despite himself, to a life of crime because it is his only course available. It is a sad, moving account of modern South Africa and a film I highly recommend not missing. The DVD comes with Special Features that includes:
Making Of Featurette
You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
**** Out Of *****