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Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA


2014-12-26 11:41
What's it about:

Dolf is a regular guy from a modest background in Knysna. He is content with his normal small-town existence, his group of friends and his eccentric grandparents. His life is thrown upside-down when he falls for a beautiful stranger, Stephanie, a somewhat wealthy visitor to the sleepy coastal resort. What she has not been honest about is that she is engaged to the Prince of Lichtenstein, although she has cold feet and is hiding out in Knysna. Stephanie is drawn to the simplicity of Dolf's life and yearns for her own to be as uncomplicated and free of the limelight.

What we thought:

2014 will go down as the year of the Afrikaans romantic comedy. And boy, have there been some hits and misses. 

Knysna unfortunately falls into the latter category. I tried to like this film I did but it felt like one long tourism promotion.

Dolf (Neels van Jaarsveld) is just a regular guy. He was born and bred in the coastal town Knysna and has never left it. He cleans pools and fishes for a living. He’s a simple guy. He lives with his brother and three other roommates. Dolf has a talent for drawing and painting but after the tragic death of his parents he has given up on it. He still doodles now and then. 

Dolf’s life changes when he meets a beautiful mysterious stranger Stephanie (Marguerite Wheatley). The two hit it off but Stephanie isn’t entirely who she says she is. It turns out that Stephanie is a princess bride on the run who has grown tired of living in the limelight. 

The storyline and plot is predictable and the character development is very thin. Even during the climatic scenes the film falls flat. 

Neels van Jaarsveld is an unlikely casting choice for a rom-com male lead. Am I the only one who can’t shake off his ‘met ys’ persona? As the lead of the movie he doesn’t have a very commanding presence on screen. There were instances where you just wish they would have explored his character a bit more. You don’t really get a feel for who he is. 

Marguerite Wheatley does a fair impersonation of a Hollywood rom-com female lead. Her acting is okay. There is almost no chemistry between the two leads and some of the acting feels a bit forced.

The beautiful setting of the film does not offer enough distraction for the mediocre acting and somewhat boring plot. The great South African rom-com is yet to be made. 

Read more on:    neels van jaarsveld  |  movies  |  knysna

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