Saturday, 28 May 2011

DVD Review: Paradise Stop

Rating: 4.8/10 - Forgettable

Paradise Stop is a South African film set in a small town in Limpopo. It is based on the story of a policeman trying to do his best to fight crime and his friend, who is on the opposite side of the law.

Director: Jann Turner. Screenplay: Jann Turner, Kenneth Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphemo. Producers: Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo and Jann Turner. Editor: Tanja Hagen, Adam Broer. Studio: Stepping Stone Pictures. Starring: Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo, Vusi Kunene, Bonginkosi Thwala, Charmaine Kwenyane, Sonia Sedibe, Madhuvha Madima, Rea Rangaka, Matshepo Maleme, Nick Boraine , Lucky Legodi , Keketso Semoko, Mary Twala. Age Restriction: 10V. Running Time: 91 Minutes

Thousands of trucks carrying freight cargo pass through the N1 freeway that links Johannesburg and the countries northern border which enters into the rest of the continent. Ben Khumalo (Kenneth Nkosi) runs a truck stop along this route, Paradise Stop. This stop is equipped with a bar, restaurant and ladies to entertain the truck drivers.

However, in the background Ben is running a criminal business of hijacking trucks and stealing their cargo. Ben has a happy family life and is doing well for himself. His family thinks he left all his shady business back in Johannesburg and would not be happy if they knew he was still involved. One day Ben’s old boss from Johannesburg shows up and bribes him into doing a big hijacking job for him.

The job has a few troubles and Ben is trying to fix things up while hiding from his wife and friend, the police officer Potso (Rapulana Seiphemo). Potso is a good man who is only wanting to do the right thing in his life. He was transferred from Johannesburg to this small town police station and his wife is not happy. His marital problems upset him and you feel extremely sorry for him as he tries his best.

The characters are all eccentric, especially Ben, and a great sense of humour. This story portrays the lives of people in present day South Africa and all the good and bad that come with it. It is a real story that could easily be on the headline of tomorrows newspapers.

Unlike many South African films it does not come across as low budget at all. There are no extremely well done effects and scenes but it is not bad. The only issue is that almost the entire film is in sub-titles as they speak in African languages. It is probably better that way as it makes it a more real portrayal.

Verdict: This film is not the most interesting and the plot does not get you hooked. It is done well enough to pass as a good South African film and may give you a few chuckles. However it is forgettable and could lose your interest before the end credits roll up.

Paradise Stop is available now on DVD.

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