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2011-08-25 18:11
What it’s about:

After thirty years in the judiciary, a retired judge, at the prompting of his family, takes some time out to write his memoir in an isolated cabin in the mountains. One day the retired judge sees a lost hiker, out in the middle of nowhere.The judge invites him to his place. But this hiker is not really lost and this is no chance meeting. Slowly it’s revealed why he has come. Through one of the judge’s law books we read details of a mistrial that the judge presided over many years ago that let a killer free and who was then arrested a week later but only after he raped a twelve-year-old girl, the stranger’s daughter.

What we thought:

Mukunda's Retribution, takes its genesis from the reality of life in South Africa and will almost certainly resonate with viewers at home and abroad. The film's raw quality, adrenalin filled sequences and excellent performances culminate in a top-notch psycological Thriller, that effectively deals with themes of revenge and past mistakes.

As far as South African films goes Retribution is in a class of its own,  from the outset, the musical score creates a compelling atmosphere, capturing the intensity and anxiety required of a thriller.

The film succesfully retains plot, it’s not tedious and shoots straight to the point. Mounting anxiety ensures that the eyes of the audience stays firmly glued to the screen, while skillful direction by Mukunda delivers the punch in the perfect spot - inciting a visceral fear through the film's intense scenes. 

Joe Mafela who stars as Khumbulani Maphosa, a retired lawyer who goes to the mountains to write his memoirs, showcases his versatility as actor as he plays against type and delivers an utterly captivating performance.

Jeremy Crutchley also delivers a compelling performance as the psychotic Alan Reilly who sets out to take vengeance bring on the the judge who freed the killer that tore his family apart.

The film manages to perfectly portray the hopelessness felt by those who have been let down by the judiciary system, a motif that consciously hits close to home. Mukunda here administers a decisive reality-check, highlighting the consequences of dangerous decisions.

A fast paced, adrenalin fuelled Thriller that sets new standards for South African cinema.
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