A beautiful love story with a twist.
Starring: Simoné Nortmann and Francois Jacobs
Plot: ‘Vir Die Voëls’ was inspired by the true story of Irma Humpel, a surly tomboy who ends up in a wedding dress, in front of the altar, with the boy who relentlessly teased her as a child. She has always believed that independence was the only form of freedom, until Sampie de Klerk came along and challenged her convictions on all levels.
Remarks: From the very first second of the film, it was clear that ‘Vir die Voëls’ wasn’t going to be your average romantic comedy. Set in the 1970s, the film tells of a love story which was concieved in a rather unconventional way and while the film had its imperfections, its strong story, impressive cast and execution makes it wonderful.
The film is based on the life story of Irma Humpel – a young woman who constantly watched her mother being abused by her father as a child. This made her exceptionally weary of men and made a huge impact on her life going forward. She didn’t trust men and, in turn, became a rebel and a feminist. However, when she is reintroduced to the boy next door, who made her childhood hell, her world is tuned upside down.
What I really loved about the story was just how unpredictable it was. I think the fact that it is based on a true story, the film had so much more heart and emotion. The film has you rooting for Irma while also understanding her point of view and why she is as headstrong as she is.
What the producers did right was cast phenomenal leads. Simoné Nortmann shines throughout the entire movie. She is an incredible actress and gave such a strong, effortless performance. She commands attention and you will instantly fall in love with her character. Simoné digs deep into the many emotions Irma feels as she grows up and executes them flawlessly. Francois, who plays Sampie, also delivers a stellar performance and his chemistry with Simoné is electric. The supporting cast of Lara Kinnear as Mareida and Bennie Fourie as Karel also added an awesome element to the story and the two played their roles exceptionally well. Neels Van Jaarsveld also did a phenomenal job playing Irma’s drunk father Ivan.
What I really liked about this film was that it is a bit bizarre – but in a beautiful way. The film was shot exceptionally well and really highlighted the ’70s feel. The sets, props and costumes also emphasize the time period and bring the story to life. The music in the film was phenomenal. Although there were one too many piano solos, it felt as though each scene was shot to the track paired with it. A fantastic selection of classics were used and the music seemed to elevate the message each particular scene was trying to get across.
The film, however, wasn’t perfect. Although at only just over two hours, the film seemed to drag on a little too much. I think there were a few unneccessary scenes which didn’t add much value to the story which could have been removed. On the contrary, I also felt some aspects of the film were rushed – especially at just how quick Irma got engaged and fell in love with Sampie.
Despite this, I really enjoyed this film. It’s one of the best Afrikaans films of 2016 and the audience are bound to leave the cinema with a huge smile on their faces. This is a must-watch.
Vir Die Voëls releases on the 25th of November 2016.
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