Saturday, 25 June 2011

Film Review: Ek Joke Net

Rating: 6.3/10- Good

South African cinema has two great pranksters in Jamie Uys and Leon Schuster. Can Ek Joke Net hope to create room for a third?

Director: Stefan Nieuwoudt. Screenplay: Stefan Nieuwoudt, Danie Bester, and Dries Scholtz. Starring:Andrew Thompson, Solomon Cupido and Morne du Toit. Studio: Film Factory. Age Restriction: 10MLV. Running Time: 95 minutes.

It looks like Stefan Niewoudt, in this his second film, looks set to take up his position next to these SA comedy greats.

First up, the movie is very much an Afrikaans production with various ooms and tannies making up a lot of the prankees. That in itself is amusing with the various nuances of the Afrikaans speaking population revealing itself. For example, I had no idea how many big manne take their wives takkie shopping with them. Nor did I realise how many big manne call said wives when it looks like trouble might be brewing. Nor do I have any idea who Dozi is (still don't).

What’s refreshing is also seeing a film which could literally have been filmed in your own backyard. The opening shots of Nelson Mandela Bridge and its seedier underside, set the tone for the skollie Ronny (Andrew Thompson) who is the chief culprit in most of the pranks. As for the pranks? We have the topical – response to contentious political comments on coloureds, the scourge of piracy and the recent local election politicking. We have the bizarre – foot fetishes and ghost scenes. We also have Shoprite as a willing accomplice to two of the more amusing pranks, proving that going grocery shopping may well be hazardous to your blood pressure.

What is of some concern is the tendency for most of the unsuspecting victims to resort to threatening to ‘bliksem’ or making good on their threat. How quickly we seem to resort to skopping and dondering. Even worse, one of the poor sods seemed more than happy to make himself scarce after he’d witnessed a crime committed.

Ek Joke Net is relatively harmless. To its credit, it doesn’t go for jugular, or make crass comments. The pranks are funny, with some more successful than others. But the trick with these ‘candid camera’ movies is the response of the victims. Mostly it’s priceless. It’s almost worth the price of the ticket for the ‘lions’ scene alone. Or Frenchie and his pride. I laughed myself sore.

I have no doubt that Ek Joke Net 2 is in the making.

Verdict: Entertaining.

Ek Joke Net is in cinemas now.

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