Country: South Africa / France
Movie Review: As it has been frequent, writer Julien Rappeneau collaborates once again with French director Jérome Salle (“The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch”, “The Burma Conspiracy”) in “Zulu”, a crime thriller based on the novel of the same name by Caryl Ferey. The story, set in post-apartheid South Africa, follows a cop with a traumatic childhood, Ali Sokhela (Forest Whitaker), and his trustful detective partner, Brian Epkeen (Orlando Bloom), in a murder case investigation related to the use of a new illegal substance, and involving Cape Town’s organized crime. Both men and a susceptible third detective, Dan (Conrad Kemp), whose fate will end tragically, will see the line that separates duty from family getting thinner, as the investigation case turns into a very personal matter. Extremely violent, “Zulu” revealed to be as messy as the characters it depicts. The pace is acceptable but the narrative structure was a problem, in a film that tried to convey an extended panorama of South African crime scene rather than focus in the particular case. Salle didn’t have sufficient ability to grab this task and reconstruct it on the screen, and the film loses itself in a few irrelevant scenes that left me waiting for something more substantial. The personal relationships didn’t have the effect they should, being too peripheral to make us care. Overall, the encompassed visions fell flat, both personal and global, of a South Africa infested with new gangsters, weapons and drugs.