Not only has she established herself as a highly competent script editor, but also recently made name in Kevin Spacey’s short film project. Her first film as director is a brave attempt to shift borders.
Jimmy in Pink concerns the unlikely scenario of a mealie farmer named Jimmy (Venter, left) whose father dies. He discovers that his dad has left him with a large debt and was visiting a gay hairdresser twin in Cape Town. The farmer decides to meet this flamboyant character while trying to escape two loan sharks. Also, by participating in a reality TV programme, the farmer wants to earn enough money to pay off his father’s debts.
The initial scenes involving the two loan sharks are quite funny, with some quirky one-liners that put the audience in a positive frame of mind. But then the film takes a detour through stereotypes, forced comedy and a rather patronising tone. It clearly wasn’t the film’s intention to belittle or insult gay people, but, by turning the final 40 minutes into a farce, it destroyed any good intentions.
Terence Bridgett is a fine actor. But his Bunny, the gay hairdresser with larger than life mannerisms, is a performance that should have been controlled by the director. The same applies to Gys de Villiers’s work here. His performance jumps out of the screen and becomes a “supersize me” stage routine.
So instead of laughing with the characters, you scornfully laugh at them – not, it seems, the film’s original intention. The biggest problem is that the script and film fail to convince us that Jimmy would actually immerse himself in gay culture, let alone succeed in his efforts.
Jimmy in Pink is daring for an Afrikaans film, but, unfortunately, it falls in the same trap as countless previous Afrikaans comedies. The moment the script fails to entertain, out come the stereotypical mannerisms.