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Fanie Fourie's Lobola
Genre Romance

Fanie Fourie's Lobola is better than you think. The title and movie poster conjure up what you'd imagine to be a crass, over-the-top comedy, leaning on stereotypes with a side order of cheeky romance. Thankfully, it's not.

This new South African romantic comedy doesn't insult your senses, it's actually street smart and mature. Fanie Fourie's Lobola is based on the book by Nape 'A Motana. It's a curious journey into an interracial and cross-cultural relationship between Fanie, an Afrikaans "boertjie" and Dinky, a Zulu woman. The film introduces Fanie to the tradition of 'lobola', a custom by which a would-be husband must pay the family of his fiancee for her hand in marriage.

Eduan van Jaarsveldt and Zethu Dlomo co-star as Fanie and Dinky. The two have great on-screen chemistry and deliver performances that carry the fun-loving spirit of the comedy and bring it down-to-earth with sincerity. Their connection drives Fanie Fourie's Lobola, lifting it from what could have been a screwball comedy into something with more staying power.

They're supported by Yule Masiteng as Petrus, Marga van Rooy as Fanie's mother Louise, Molatsi Mafatshe as Mandla and Chris Chameleon as Sarel, a schmarmy pop star. The characters are as comical as Madam & Eve, yet carry enough emotional weight and complexity to exist in Fanie and Dinky's world, reinforcing great casting decisions and writing from Janine Esen and Henk Pretorius.

Henk Pretorius is best known for Bakgat, but Fanie Fourie's Lobola shows another side to this director's comedy range. The film carries the same lively charm as his Bakgat movies, but he uses this to build warmth rather than laughs. While there are some funny South African moments, Fanie Fourie's Lobola is a sweet, sincere and heartwarming romantic comedy rather than a laugh out loud one. The drama underscores a deeper emotional core to the interracial love story.

Fanie Fourie's Lobola is a showcase for contemporary South African music. Chris Chameleon's comedic take on Afrikaans pop sensation, Sarel, sets the platform for a mix of distinctly South African pop music from the likes of Hip Hop Pantsula, Bongo Maffin, fokofpolisiekar, Freshlyground and Jack Parow. Eser and composer Adam Schiff, spent a great deal of time finding music that would complement the characters and the soundtrack injects even more vitality into the film.

Fanie Fourie's Lobola is a crowd-pleaser - a romantic comedy that's fresh, entertaining, heartwarming, street smart and sweet. It's bold to tackle an interracial romance, it's bolder to turn it into a comedy. Henk Pretorius and his team have really turned Nape 'A Motana's story into a fun-loving and well-balanced feature film that proudly showcases our music, our diversity and our people.

The bottom line: Charming

5.69/10 ( 13 Votes )
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