This dark dramedy is set in modern day Johannesburg, with the landscape of the city being its own lead character in the film. The viewer gets to look in to the world of a married couple played by Kagiso Lediga, a university professor and Pearl Thusi, a journalist. The couple’s seemingly ordinary lives get shaken up by a visitor who comes to stay with them for a few weeks. The combination of the unexpectedness of the visit and the flamboyance of the visitor’s personality creates a dynamic that soon becomes problematic for the seemingly mundane couple’s regular routine.
The leads are supported by a string of familiar faces as well, the likes of Akin Omotoso, Kate Liquorish, Loyiso Gola, Precious Makgaretsa and Ntosh Madlingozi who all go through their own journeys that intertwine with our lead couple’s lives. The different themes that the cast experience in their lives as the film progresses cover a variety subjects from polygamy, blessers, cheating, divorce to fulfilment in careers, trust, jealousy, friendship and all the small complexities we deal with on the daily with the interpersonal encounters we have with the people in our lives.
What I personally enjoyed about the film was the dialogue in particular. I think it takes real hard work and honest insight on the writers’ part to have the conversations between characters in a film compete with the events that take place in the film. Some scenes are longer than what we might be used to in this genre, and they are so dialogue intensive, which has been known to get audiences bored to death, but they are scripted in such an easy and unassuming way that you don’t feel like you’re listening to dialogue but rather that you’re eavesdropping on conversations happening in peoples’ homes, people at work or people just casually hanging out with their friends at dinner parties. Nothing wrong with some invitation only eaves dropping.
The soundtrack of the movie is also something that definitely caught my attention. A lot of the scenes were coloured with authentically South African beats most of which were easily recognisable from Kwesta, Hugh Masekela and MXO. The original scoring of the film was also beautifully manufactured by Bokani Dyer.
The city of Johannesburg definitely played out its own drama and was a definite contender for the spotlight. The detail of the visuals of the city of Johannesburg were really pleasant on the eye and somehow tugged on the heartstrings of the tumultuous love affair that I have with the city, its buildings, its night life, restaurant culture, busy and vibrant city centre and its romantic night lights that lure you in on most weekends. This, I feel, could only be captured in this manner by someone with a long term love affair with the city itself. Your Secret is out Motheo Moeng.
Lastly, I think you have to be some kind of mad scientist to write, direct and star in the same movie. Your mind needs to work on a plain that we mere mortals only dream of and there has to be a level of either confidence or sheer stupidity to even attempt playing all three roles of judge, jury and executioner. But if you attempt it and succeed at it then we all have to think you knew what you were doing the whole time, right? Congratulations Kagiso Lediga for diving in heart first and showing us the truth in the statement “íf you want something done right, do it yourself.”
Kudos to all involved and let’s support our own.
Writer: Talitha Ndima