The South African film industry is one of the most creative in the world today. With the production of exciting projects like Queen Sono, Blood and Water, Savage Beauty, How to Ruin Christmas, and many others, it isn’t exaggerated to mention them when it comes to how they enthusiastically showcase the art of filmmaking. Collision, like a slew of other South African films on Netflix, has been added to the list. The South African film, Collision, is one of those films that attempts to spark a socially conscious discussion on class marginalization and the harsh reality that immigrants seeking a better life in South Africa encounter.
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Directed by Fabien Martorell (Trees of Peace), Collision involves individuals, each loosely connected to the other as they collide in downtown Johannesburg on Freedom Day. There is Johan (Langley Kirkwood), an ex-soldier, and his wife Diane (Tessa Jibber), who race against time to save their kidnapped daughter, Nicky (Zoey Sneedom), before she is sold as a prostitute overseas in an illegal trafficking market. Cecil (Siphesile Vazi), Nicky’s boyfriend, and his dishonest friend, Thando (Mpho Sebeng), who, after mixing with the wrong crowd, also strive to get Nicky back. And there is Bra Sol (Vuyo Fabula), the kidnapper and street gangster in the middle of it all. However, somewhere else in the city, there are angry locals who riot to kill foreigners (mainly Nigerians and Zimbabweans) for stealing their jobs and businesses. Collision revolves around these threads of events happening all at once.
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The crime thriller states the economic situation in South Africa. Almost all the characters involved are drawn into the mess because of money. It depicts a virulent state of South Africa as people will go to any lengths to get money. Moreover, the movie portrays the enormous gap between the rich and the poor and how the locals hurl the blame of this derisive situation on the immigrants. Class marginalization, racism, and corruption are some of the themes the story aims to explore and lean on to tell its story. However, it falls apart midway. Seemingly under control in the beginning, but once the movie reaches halfway, it fails to resurrect itself or pique viewers’ interest. Albeit the fact that the terrible acting does it no good, the movie breaks apart totally after the kidnapping ploy. In the end, it turns out to be a film that you either watch because of an actor of interest or keep watching to see how the convoluted plot finishes. In my case, I continued because a review was needed.
The 1hr 39min movie moves from one topic to another without any clear direction, and when we finally reach the climax, it falls flat. At the end of the film, the sequence depicting the locals’ uprising against the immigrants does not correspond to the movie’s main plot. At this point, it seems we have two movies in one. Perhaps the director’s aim was to cramp the tense situation of immigrants in the film to present a more diverse social theme. Coupled with these many setbacks, the acting is the final deathblow that shatters the already meandering plot. Apart from the social themes it delves into, the movie presents nothing more. Collision is a miss for Netflix in making an addition to their strong library of South African films.
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- This is the first South African film I have seen that I didn’t enjoy one bit. I guess there is a first for everything.
- In a way, I am somehow glad the shop owner’s story ended like that, even though the cost was too high. I detest unreasonable people.
- I wonder how many Thandos there are in South Africa. It is probably a popular name like ‘Amaka’.
Collision is streaming on Netflix.