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Central African Rep
Must Watch Videos
Movie review: Copposites
Joseph Mosselson | Thu, 18 Oct 2012
gives a South African spin to the body-swap comedy genre and treats the whole exercise with the determined silliness it deserves. Rob van Vuuren stars as Jan Venter, an alchoholic Afrikaans detective, while Sivuyile 'Siv' Ngesi shares top billing as Alfred Majola, a reformed tsotsi trying to go straight. That is, until their characters swap bodies. Then it’s Ngesi who plays the cop and van Vuuren who plays the tsotsi.
The mechanics of the whole thing aren’t particularly important. There’s a lab with a formula that allows the body-swapping to happen; Jan is working as a guard there after being fired from the force and Alfred agrees to break in and steal the formula to pay off his debt to a loan-shark. There’s a taser involved, and a hilarious cameo from Nik Rabinowitz, but the film wastes little time getting the leads together and letting them do their thing.
Which is a smart move, because
goes a long way on the charm of its two leading men. Van Vuuren is a gifted physical comedian with a wonderful repertoire of facial expressions, while Ngesi slips easily between characters and gives convincing performances as both.
The chemistry between the leads really sells the film, while its manic determination not to take itself too seriously allows it to navigate some of the trickier racial elements of the story. Clichés and racial stereotypes are shamelessly indulged, but all with a sense of fun and democracy. Director Oliver Rodger brings a distinct visual flair to proceedings, and the script produces remarkably subtle moments of wit among the rather broad performances that dominate most scenes.
The reason that the performances feel overly broad is that we never really get much of a sense of who Jan and Alfred were before they switched bodies. This is probably the film’s biggest weakness, although its lack of attention to plotting does come back to bite it in the end, when it struggles to wrap everything up without feeling contrived - something it manages to avoid for most of its running time. Despite these structural flaws, however,
is a lot of fun and a great showcase for two talented young South Africans, both of whom have a big future ahead of them..
opens in South Africa tomorrow (Fri 19 Oct). Check out DStv.com next week for an interview with co-stars Siv Ngesi and Rob van Vuuren.
Must Watch Videos: Copposites
Interview: Rob van Vuuren and Siv Ngesi
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