Ballade vir 'n Enkeling

2015-03-20 12:03
 

What it's about:

Based upon the book written by local author Leon van Nierop, and the 1980's TV series it spawned, this drama focuses on the mysterious disappearance of celebrated writer Jacques Rynhard (Armand Aucamp), and the investigative hunt for him launched by journalist Carina Human (DonnaLee Roberts). Christia Visser, Rolanda Marais and Jacques Bessenger co-star.

What we thought:

The well-known theme song from the popular Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling brings with it a tsunami of childhood memories. Although I can barely remember what happened on the TV show, I do remember evenings in front of the TV with the family while the song unintentionally became an anthem of being blissfully lost in my youth. 

Homework books scattered all over the carpet as the smell of mom’s cooking hung in the air. At the end of a busy day this was where it all came together. Where drama, comedies and horror tales were shared all whilst the mystery surrounding Jacques Rynhard’s disappearance played itself out on the small screen behind us. 

Now, so many years later, it’s back. And like the characters in the feature film I too have grown up and moved to the big city where I now work in a busy media office. The irony of which immediately made me smile.

Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling the film has to do in two hours what its TV precursor luxuriously did in 13 episodes. It’s at this point that I take off my hat to director Quentin Krog who managed to successfully complete the task at hand without breaking the tension and suspense surrounding the popular storyline. 

The film’s success is boosted further more by two distinguishing factors. Firstly by the absolutely jaw-dropping cinematography – the likes of which I have never seen in a local production. Tom Marais deserves all the praise that comes his way. The smooth and creative jumps from past to present and from one scene to next transports the viewer from the city streets to the train tracks without any effort whatsoever. 

The second contributing factor is the cast. Not a single Afrikaans pop star in sight as the main cast is made up of stellar actors who know how to dig deep and deliver raw and real performances that will leave you with a lump in your throat. Each and every one of them is so comfortable in their character’s skin that you can’t help but get pulled into the drama, twists and unexpected turns. 

Three actors really stood out for me. Christia Visser’s young Lena reminded me of the lead actress in some kind of indie subtitled French movie I once watched. She gave an energy to Lena that was both unexpected and absolutely delightful to watch. Rolanda Marais gracefully continued Visser’s work as her depiction of an older Lena helps the viewer to fall even more in love with the story that unfolds in front of you. Lastly it is the handsome Armand Aucamp’s breakthrough performance as writer Jacques Rynhard that gives the film its romantic hero it so rightfully deserves. 

Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling has officially raised the bar for all local productions and it will be hard in future to accept anything less than this. I had almost forgotten how beautiful Afrikaans can be and this film artfully, tastefully and oh-so-romantically reminded me of it. Viewers can rest assured that the legendary TV show from the past has been brought back to life in the most beautiful way you could possibly imagine. 

Read more on:    movies

JulieMK 2015/03/20 11:32 AM
What a lovely review. I have never been a fan of SA films purely because of the pop star casting and resulting dreadful performances. After reading your review,I look forward to watching this movie.
Janice 2015/03/21 8:44 AM
I am TOTALLY enjoying the Afrikaans Classics - Meeulanders; Konings (on at the moment) - on TV3 on Wednesday !!! I believe our local productions - past and present - are worth having a look at more carefully. There's talent right here !
Breeds 2015/03/21 11:04 AM
Saw the movie last night, and you're so right: this quality has not yet been seen from a SA production. Great storyline, fantastic cinematography and talented actors make this film one that compete with the best in the world! Proudly SA!
Sulet 2015/03/21 10:53 PM
I just saw the movie tonight and must concur with this review. It was amazing! Well done to everyone involved!
Sulet 2015/03/21 10:53 PM
I just saw the movie tonight and must concur with this review. It was amazing! Well done to everyone involved!
Eileen Koeberg 2015/03/22 7:23 AM
eileenkoeberg73@yahoo.com
Eileen Koeberg 2015/03/22 7:29 AM
What an awsome movie !Brilliant performance by Armand Donna Lee and all the other actors !and a brilliant review !aptly put !something went wrong with my previous comment sooru my email landed up there !
Eileen Koeberg 2015/03/22 7:30 AM
What an awsome movie !Brilliant performance by Armand Donna Lee and all the other actors !and a brilliant review !aptly put !something went wrong with my previous comment sooru my email landed up there !
Yvonne Pietersen 2015/03/22 10:45 AM
Outstanding review, can't wait to see the movie
Yvonne Pietersen 2015/03/22 10:46 AM
Outstanding review, can't wait to see the movie
John Bartlett 2015/03/22 11:38 AM
Have not seen the movie, yet but remember TV series very well. My BIG problem these day with trying to watch any movie or Tv series in Afrikaans ,is the annoying subtitles.
Inge Venter 2015/03/22 6:37 PM
The review is 100% descriptive of this most beautiful film! Everything synchronised - the film really sets a high standard - and not only for locally produced films, but it also challenges overseas productions. So tired of US "romantic" films!
Bernard Burger 2015/03/23 5:20 AM
Seen the movie last night, wat an absolute fantastic and brilliant production!! Well done Leon van Nierop and team!
Bernard Burger 2015/03/23 5:21 AM
Seen the movie last night, wat an absolute fantastic and brilliant production!! Well done Leon van Nierop and team!
Melissa 2015/03/24 4:00 PM
Saw the movie. And i loved it! Brilliant & great actors. Well Done team! :)
Wikus Swart 2015/03/25 2:22 PM
To the author - maybe you are thinking of Amelie? the French Indie you mentioned...
Johan von Mollendorff 2015/03/27 12:11 PM
Absolutely brilliant! Excellent cinematography and "out of this world" acting. Feeling proudly South-African. Great review Herman Eloff.
Morne 2015/04/01 1:29 PM
It's a great film but I question the authenticity of this review. Kyknet was the major funder of this movie and Channel 24 and Kyknet are both owned by Naspers. Therefore it's in Kyknet's best interest to have good reviews of the film published to drive audiences to their own product.
Ant 2015/06/29 2:05 AM
watched the movie in Australia, and unfortunately had my kids with me. The shocking themes and scenes used in the film could have been avoided. We got up and left. My message to parents is rather avoid it.
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.