Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee

2013-10-25 13:41
 
Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee
What it’s about:

As one of the country’s top music managers Len van Jaarsveld (Neil Sandilands) had it all: The money, the house, the car and the family. But after he is caught embezzling money, he loses everything, including his reputation.

When Len hits rock bottom, a friend throws him a lifeline in the form of newly discovered musical talent Robbie de Wee (Marno van der Merwe). Len sees this kid as a way out of his desperation and a ticket back into the music industry. But, when a young girl is found dead in the singer’s hotel room whilst he’s on tour, everything changes.

What we thought:

Not another Afrikaans music movie! That’s what I thought and said out loud on my way to watch Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee. But to my surprise, this wasn’t just another movie about music. Ballade van Robbie de Wee may just be the one Afrikaans movie that will totally catch you off guard this year. And I mean that in a good way.

Directed by Oscar nominated Darrell Roodt (Jakhalsdans, Stilte, Sarafina) and written by crime writer Deon Meyer, Ballade van Robbie de Wee is told through the eyes of the main character, Len van Jaarsveld, played by Neil Sandilands. One of the country’s top music managers, Len lived the lifestyle of sex (not with his wife), drugs and rock ‘n roll that people assume comes with the territory of being in the music business. But then he loses everything after he is caught embezzling money.

From the get go, Ballade van Robbie de Wee makes you sit on the egde of your chair. This is partly due to the fact that you really don’t know what’s going to happen next or where the film is going, but mostly this is due to Sandilands’ powerful portrayal of Len. A man having lost everything, sitting in his underwear, smoking a cigarette on a single bed in a small, neglected flat has never looked or felt so real. It’s really kind of magical.

When Len hits rock bottom, an old friend, who owns a music venue, throws him a lifeline in the form of newly discovered talent Robbie de Wee; a shy young man with an amazing natural talent. This friend, played by Sarah Theron, suggests that Len manages Robbie and gives him a second chance in life and the music industry.

Robbie is a very shy farm-boy who doesn’t have any life experience and who’s not interested in making money at all. He only wants to sing. Well, at least this is what you are led to believe, at first.

But when Robbie phones Len one night in a frenzy and tells him that a girl has died in his hotel room, everything changes. Basically the mother of all twists happen. You will be shocked, you will be appalled and you will want to run and hide in the corner. Really.

Marno van der Merwe, who plays Robbie, also needs a mention. At first his acting comes across as poor, as if he’s not really living the character he’s supposed to play. But, and there is a but… When the BIG TWIST comes into play, everything will make sense, especially Marno’s acting, which in the end is very very convincing.

Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee is dark, suspenseful and a must watch for those who like an ending with a twist.

Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee is dark, suspenseful and will keep you glued to your seat.
Read more on:    deon meyer  |  south africa  |  movies  |  afrikaans

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