Saturday, April 22, 2006

Movie Review: Tsotsi

Tsotsi is a deeply moving human drama. Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) is a young gang leader in Johannesburg who lives a life of poverty in the townships. He is a nasty piece of work with a very big "chip" on his shoulder. In the beginning of the film we see him and his gang go for forays into the white middle-class areas of the city. But his anger and violence are not reserved for them alone - he has no qualms about hurting his own people as well. Then, one night, he steals a car, shooting a woman in the process, and everything changes. After driving out of town, he hears a cry from the back seat and discovers a baby. What is he to do? He decides to keep the baby, puts it into a shopping bag, and takes it home. As the simple story progresses, we see the heart of Tsotsi exposed. Totsi is a deeply moving, sensitive, profound drama about class, culture, love, choices, and the way circumstances can sometimes push people to do things they thought they might never do, and that change them forever. Tsotsi won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this year - and deservedly so. The acting from Chweneyagae is excellent, underplayed, and sensitive. A movie with deep compassion for the plight of so many living in the townships of South Africa. My Rating: **** (out of 5) Positive Review 'What a simple and yet profound story this is.' - Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times Negative Review 'More calculated than a Starbucks sampler CD, the picture could win the up-from-hardship award.' - Lisa Schwarzbaum/Entertainment Weekly Content Warning Language and some strong violent content

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