Leon van Nierop
1 minute read
18 Sep 2015
2:00 pm

Die Pro movie review

Leon van Nierop

With each new film that is not a romantic comedy, Afrikaans cinema is moving forward and with this one, once again, in the right direction.

Technically it is one of the most complicated and difficult films yet made in Afrikaans, and André Velts succeeded in keeping it all together. He had two cinematographers, one for the beach and house scenes and another for underwater photography in the sea, as many scenes took place in the water with drones capturing some of them, as well as helicopters and a cameraman on a jet-ski.

For an Afrikaans film that is quite a good achievement as it is not really known for virtuoso technical scenes because of slim budgets. Die Pro concerns a cool surfer-boy Tiaan, well-played by Edwin van der Walt, who loses his best friend in the waves. His friend’s sister then wants to learn how to surf, which places our hero in a dilemma. Will he be able to cope with his friend’s death and get involved with the boy’s sister?

There are small problems with the film like a script that is all over the place and that doesn’t have a tight structure, which is a pity, as the theme is quite inspiring and focuses on how a young person copes with a friend’s death. It also introduces the surfing culture to South African audiences, a theme that has never been explored.

As far as script problems are concerned, certain characters, like the pizza shop owner, wonderfully captured in Morné du Toit’s performances, disappears halfway through. Tiaan’s confidant is then substituted for another boy who enters the school rather belatedly to take over the function of best friend and confidant.

Having said that, viewers might find this experiment interesting and even inspiring. It takes Afrikaans film forward, although not with such huge leaps as other forthcoming productions. But the team did it and should be congratulated for their efforts.