So don’t even dare to slip a small itsy-bitsy teaspoon of honey into your tea. It is bad for you! The film is almost as terrifying as The Gallows, reviewed elsewhere in this section, just with better lighting. It paints a gloomy and frightening picture of the atrocities you subject your body to when adding even the smallest morsel of sweetness to your diet, which seems, to me anyway, like an overreaction and a way of selling the film. So beware, if you have a sweet tooth, watching the original Alien, or reading the latest excuse for the Nkandla-debacle, doesn’t come near this terrifying experience.
Okay. So this review might also be a bit of an exaggeration. The fact of the matter is, Damon Gameau, the director and star, is a cinema-literate showman and he applies the language only cinema speaks to draw your attention and even force you to have another look at your diet. On that level, he succeeds in holding your attention and even debating the issue with a colourful and even ironic sweet approach.
I, for one, cut out sugar completely after watching it, and soon suffered from withdrawal symptoms, supporting Gameau’s findings about people who like sugar, especially hidden in certain foods that are supposed to be sugar-free. Believe me, you will look at the packaging of all foods in a new light, searching for hidden sugars and be so confused about what you can eat or buy, that you will leave the supermarket with a trolley only filled with spinach and celery.
So sugar is the new Minions of the documentary genre. These little white fellas, smaller than Ant-Man, will relentlessly search for your most vulnerable spots before infecting you with their death-defying strategies. Beware! Once you enter the cinema, you may be damaged forever!
As a documentary, it is quite effective and even compelling. Gameau has an easy-going camera charm and persuasive manner on camera, and applies the likes of a shirtless Brenton Thwaites, a serious Hugh Jackman and other stars to bring his message across. You may just end up going off sugar all together, not necessarily because it is supposedly bad for you, but because you want bodies like those two gentlemen.
That Sugar Film may forever change the way you look at sugar. And in a country where the bitter aftertaste of corruption, incompetence, Nkandla and crime lingers in many mouths, I would rather suffer a sugar overdose than grieving over the sour after-taste of what is currently happening to our beloved country.