Big Fellas

2008-01-10 16:38
What it's about:

Zed (Ross Garland) and Jake (Colin Moss) are a pair of aspiring movie moguls who have it all worked out. They're going to finish their film about the seedy underbelly of Cape Town's modeling scene, sell the film in Joburg and become world renowned filmmakers. But only if they can find a BEE partner, and keep their film out of the clutches of evil model agent Ray Whitehead (Hakeem Kae-Kazim).

What we thought of it:

Watching Big Fellas is a bit like going on a road trip with a group of your quirkiest friends. It's full of cheeky banter and good humoured bickering, but also has a few bumps in the road, and a one or two near misses. But, as with all good road trips, it's the laugh-out-loud moments you'll end up remembering.

The film's biggest asset is its gaggle of truly loony characters, brought to life by some of SA's finest comic talents. The loveable leads, Garland (who also wrote and produced the film) and Moss, anchor the story nicely, treading a fine line between buffoonery and believability. But it's the supporting cast who get the most laughs.

Cokey Falkow is particularly good as a deranged BEE investor (and serial killer) named Alfonso, and Hakeem Kae-Kazim gives it his all as a boorish "wannabe African" whose insult of choice is "you stupid boerewors!" There are also plenty of cameos to keep us amused – some hilarious (Kagiso Lediga as a BEE bureaucrat) and some disappointing (Marc Lottering as a small town constable).

Big Fellas also has its share of flaws, of course. It's quite episodic and uneven at times, leaping abruptly between scenes without much warning. And while a lot of the gags are brilliant, a couple land with a deathly thud. Satirical jabs at issues like racism and BEE are often deliciously well aimed, but occasionally topple over into crude stereotypes.

That said, there's a lovely loose energy in Big Fellas that sustains it even through the rough patches, a willingness to be silly and bizarre without getting all self conscious. Zed for instance, is periodically visited by the ghost of his dead father in the guise of a giant glowing chicken, a joke that gets funnier every time it's repeated.

This energy is further magnified by the fantastic soundtrack, which is packed with local talents like Lungelo, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Goldfish and The Dirty Skirts. These bands have clearly been carefully chosen, as their cheeky swagger matches the film's so closely.

So, if you're looking for a dose of goofy humour this weekend, steer a path towards Big Fellas. It may not have the budget of the slick rubbish Hollywood churns out (Mr Woodcock, I'm looking at you), but it's got ten times the heart.

- Alistair Fairweather
Big Fellas is a local comedy stuffed with goofy humour, pretty girls, giant chickens and great music. So what if it's a little rough around the edges?

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