Film Review: Catching Feelings + Cape Town International Film Market and Festival 2018

catching feelings movie pearl thusi
Image credit: imdb.com

The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival (CTIFMF) opens today, 9 October 2018. CTIFMF will take place across venues at the popular V&A Waterfront, and will last until the 19th of this month. To join in the celebrations, I’ve decided to review last year’s winner in the category Best South African Feature Film, Catching Feelings by director, writer, actor and comedian Kagiso Lediga.

Starring Pearl Thusi and Lediga himself, this film will speak to every South African and will give international viewers a glimpse into the lives of memorable characters. Media Update describes the movie as a film that “aims to introduce the audience to characters and conversations that they will recognise from their own lives”. For me, it does exactly that.

The story
Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, the film follows Max Matsane (Kagiso Lediga) and his wife Sam (Pearl Thusi), married professionals. Max is a lecturer and writer and Sam is a journalist. Where things between them was once exciting, it seems romance has now come to a halt. For Max, his love life is not the only aspect he finds disheartening. The state of our country annoys him to no end. When the couple meets another writer, the controversial yet happy-go-lucky Heiner (Andrew Buckland), their lives take an interesting turn (whether’s it’s good or bad you’ll have to see for yourelf).

The review
I really loved this movie ā€“ it kept me interested from beginning to end.

Romance (possible spoiler alert)
The direction Max and Sam’s relationship is moving towards, is apparent from the beginning. I held on to ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’, hoping for a different outcome. In the end, it’s up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

The race issue

Why must your racialise everything? It’s so unnecessary.

In conversations with his best friend Joel (Akin Omotoso) Max continuously questions the relationships between the different races in South Africa. When visiting Cape Town, he finds the social setting quite segregated. And when talking about adoption, he asks Joel why mostly black babies get adopted. What about the white babies with no homes? He further questions why (people like) Heiner leave the country for greener pastures. At some point Sam asks the question, “Why must you racialise everything?”

Too much of a tipple
Alcohol is a huge factor throughout the story. At some point Sam asks Max if he realises that he’s been drunk every single day. With South Africans known for our drinking and it being #Ocsober, this really hit home.

To sum up
While Catching Feelings has humour and romance, it also tackles real issues that ordinary people deal with on a daily basis. Issues such as trust, sex, feeling worthy (or not), having a purpose, what has become social norms, and of course, race.

This is a well-thouht-through movie. If you haven’t seen it, make haste! Click here to see the trailer.

[7/10]

Back to the festival
Don’t forget, CTIFMF 2018 opens today, and screenings will run at the V&A Waterfront until 19 October. Click here to view the schedule. This is a festival not to be missed!

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