Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tsotsi Film Review


Tsotsi is a South African film that was released in 2005 after being directed by Gavin Hood. In Tsotsi, a young thug takes on more responsibility than he can handle and must deal with the consequences. Tsotsi lives in the projects in South Africa and only relies on Aap, Boston, and Butcher for friendship. They go around robbing people, drinking, playing craps, and even kill on occasion. One night Tsotsi robs a very wealthy politician of her car and after driving for several miles, he realizes that her baby is in the back seat. Knowing that he can’t bring it back for fear of being arrested, he decided to keep the baby in his car, which is not very good. He forces a young woman named Miriam to help him take care of the baby because he is incapable of doing it himself. As the film progresses he starts to develop a soul and other positive qualities that forces him to really reflect on the life he’s been living. Tsotsi starts to realize he has to bring the baby back, but how?

     The most important theme in Tsotsi is decency. I think this was made pretty obvious when Teacher was asking Tsotsi in the bar if he has decency. He didn’t at the point, but Tsotsi did develop decency as the film progressed. Teacher had decency enough to leave the group and know that killing was wrong. The family was decent enough to not having Tsotsi shot dead when he tried to return the movie. Miriam had decency enough to help out a baby and thug who she had no attachment to. Another theme in Tsotsi is poverty. Tsotsi and his friends lived in poor conditions, with a huge city just a short drive away. It was kind of weird how there were two totally different living conditions right next to each other. Your wealth also creates some sort of caste system. It seems like the people in the slums got no respect from the police, but the wealthy political family who was trying to find their baby was able to talk down to and yell at the police without fear. I think another underlying theme in Tsotsi is the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. I’m under the assumption that Tsotsi’s mother was dying of AIDS. I think this because of the way she looked and the way the father did not want Tsotsi to touch her for fear that he would get sick as well.

     I would have to say that this is probably my favorite film from the whole semester. My favorite part of the movie was definitely the music. I didn’t understand a single word that they were rapping, but it sounded good and the instruments sounded perfect for what was happening in each scene. The plot was a little predictable at times, but I feel like all the little subplots kept me interested enough to not get bored. The timing was perfect so slow points like talking or walking didn’t seem to drag on at all. The acting was well done and Tsotsi definitely gave the best performance. The actor who played him really showed every emotion possible throughout the course of the film. I would definitely watch this movie again.

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