What it's about:
Vir Altyd is a romantic adventure film that tells the story of Nina (Donnalee Roberts) who believes in fairy tales but despite her meticulous planning of her wedding day, her fiancé leaves her embarrassed and betrayed at the altar. During a wild night of partying, brought on by shock and grief, Nina convinces Hugo (Ivan Botha) to go to Mauritius with her because she still insists on going on honeymoon – apart from the fact that she hasn’t seen Hugo for ten years.
What we thought:
I truly believe that with local films it can really only go one of two ways. It’s either “really bad” or “really good”. There’s no space, time or money for it to hang somewhere in-between. Vir Altyd falls in the “really good” category. The dynamic duo, from the hugely successful Pad Na Jou Hart, return to the big screen in this tropical themed love story that truly tugs at the heartstrings. The film centres on the relationship between Nina (Donnalee Roberts) and Hugo (Ivan Botha) who reconcile years later after something from their past drove them apart. Hugo, a travel photographer, returns home after jet-setting around the world just to unexpectedly end up at Nina’s wedding. But things don’t go according to plan and the two end up on the island of Mauritius. While on the island the duo meet two married couples who slowly restore their belief in love. The cast include acting heavyweights like Elize Cawood and Ilse Roos who deliver real powerhouse performances. Roberts and Botha don’t hold back either and impress with their subtle and moving portrayals that make their love story feel very real. Botha has come far since his Bakgat days and really impresses with a mature and believable character that adds to the film’s success. It has to be mentioned that he also sports an impressive beard in the film that sends his hunk status skyrocketing. We wouldn’t mind getting lost on an island with him. Roberts so gently and eloquently cements her spot as one of Afrikaans cinema’s most bankable stars. Her uncanny ability to melt away into the character she portrays makes the story unfolding on the big screen not only so much more believable but also extremely enjoyable to watch. Mauritius serves as a beautiful and idyllic backdrop that compliments the well-thought out plot. Vir Altyd is one of those local films where you can actually see the detail, time and thought that went into the script, character development and storyline. This is all immaculately captured on screen with world class cinematography that makes every scene feel like a postcard or a carefully curated Pinterest board. One scene in particular, where Nina and Hugo find themselves in the middle of a colour festival, will undoubtedly go down as one of those iconic movie scenes similar to the rainy kissing scene we saw in Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling. This local romantic comedy ticks all the right boxes, is well-made and delivers what it promises. Vir Altyd is definitely worth the watch.
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