Officially my first review and a first on a local movie specifically. It was only a matter of when not if – I’m proud it came in the shape of the currently hot and relevant Kalushi done in a cool way via a special screening that also included the talented lead actor, Thabo Rametsi, shout out to my friends at Ster-Kinekor for the young invite.
To the business at hand – boasting a completely 100% local cast, for a change, Kalushi is a breath of fresh air and a reminder that there’s plenty of local talent that is better equipped to tell our stories in an authentic manner. No offense of course to the international guys who’ve starred in other previous local flicks, but sometimes and perhaps all our stories should now be told by local talent who can better relate to the stories. GO SEE KALUSHI, we’ve all heard/seen that recently I’m sure…question is, is it really worth checking out?
Cast – Thabo Rametsi, Thabo Malema, Welile Nzuza, Jafta Mamabolo, Louw Venter, Fumani Shilubana, Pearl Thusi, Gcina Mhlophe & Marcel van Heerden
Director – Rupert Sanders
Genre – Drama film/Thriller
Running Time – 1h 50m
What’s it based on exactly?
Kalushi tells the true story of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu. Born in Pretoria on 10 July in 1956, he was the second son of Martha Mahlangu with his father (a man he only saw infrequently) leaving in 1962. His mother was a domestic worker and took sole responsibility for his upbringing. The movie is about him, a nineteen-year-old hawker, from the streets of Mamelodi.
Delving deeper into the storyline – a run in with the police leads to Kalushi brutally beaten up by them. As a result of that incident and shortly after the 1976 Soweto uprisings, Kalushi decides to go into exile to join the liberation movement. He returns from military training in Angola, en-route to their mission, his friend and comrade, Mondy, loses control and shoots two innocent people on Goch Street in Johannesburg. Mondy is severely beaten & tortured; Kalushi is forced to stand trial under the common purpose doctrine. The state seeks the highest punishment from the court, death by hanging. Kalushi has his back against the wall and uses the courtroom as a final battlefield. His sacrifice immortalizes him into a hero of the struggle and a national icon of the youth joining Umkhonto we Sizwe.
A great story to tell of, perhaps, one of the less known freedom fighters in this country’s history. Kalushi the movie is also not for the faint-hearted, it presents some sad scenes that might give you the edge to reach for a tissue or two – I came close once or twice. Filled with a lot of emotion, from sadness to happiness, Kalushi will definitely take you on an emotional ride…mostly ending on a sad note unfortunately.
Kalushi the movie is also not for the faint-hearted, it presents some sad scenes that might give you the edge to reach for a tissue or two…
It’s not perfect in the sense that it starts off in a weird way with the scenes and the background music not being the best. Luckily though that shouldn’t be enough to deter you, in fact it gets better as it goes further. Leading actor Thabo Rametsi does an amazing job in leading an equally talented cast which further adds to the argument of having our local guys tell our stories or at least have more prominent lead roles.
Kalushi is a movie I absolutely enjoyed despite the slow and weird start at first. It gets better as the story unravels told by a great cast of local actors. It’s definitely one to be proud of and yes after seeing it I can safely say that the GO SEE KALUSHI brigade has some substance to it. Kalushi gets a well deserved 4 out 5 rating from me, please go see it and let’s do our part in seeking to elevate local talent further.