WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Lu left South Africa and her Zulu-Sotho heritage behind to become a dancer in America, and when she falls in love with Tex, she knows he’s the man to marry. But when she brings Tex home to meet her family, she discovers she’s been promised since birth to a Zulu king. Caught between two men, two families, and two countries, Lou has to come to terms with who she is so she can fight for what she wants.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Zulu Wedding has had quite a journey getting to the big screen – over the past two years the release date of the film has been changed three times.
After seeing the movie, I am so happy that it managed to secure funding because it is a charming film that will win over even the hardest cynic.
While it is a romantic comedy, at heart, it is a love letter to Zulu and Sotho culture. It highlights that culture and tradition are things to be celebrated instead of looking at them as things that take away from who you want to be.
The storyline follows the usual tropes of the genre - with a twist that is easy to read, but it's such a sweet ride that it's hard to hold that against the film.
I particularly enjoyed that the three main characters, Lou (Nondumiso Tembe), Tex (Darrin Dewitt Henson) and Zee (Zwelibanzi Sthembiso Zulu), weren't one dimensional. Each of them had their own story arcs outside of the love triangle.
A standout for me was Pallance Dladla, who plays a Zulu prince, who is forward-thinking and wouldn't want to get down with a progressive, modern-day prince. There aren't many contemporary stories featuring African royalty, so this was great to see.
When it comes to the supporting cast, Makgano Mamabolo, who plays Lou's younger sister, Mabo, was a treat to watch, she brought in all of the laughs.
What I didn't enjoy though, was the stereotypical drunk friend Sam (Bubu Mazibuko). It just doesn't add anything to the story, and instead of it being comedic relief, it just came across awkward.
There were also 'coming to Africa' jokes by character, Nate (Carl Payne) Tex's lawyer friend which were so 90s (sorry not sorry). Do Americans still think we have animals roaming around? I also felt that the character's comedic timing was off; there was a pivotal moment in the film where the jokes didn't fit.
And while I am thankful for the sponsors who made this movie possible, the product placing could have been done a bit more subtly.
With that said though, you can feel and see that this film was a labour of love by director and executive producer, Lineo Sekeleoane who has been working on it since 2008.
This modern-day African fairy tale is a beautifully shot film with characters and themes that everyone can relate to. It's safe to say you can go and have a fun night out at the movies with this film.