Flatland (2019)

Flatland
Director: Jenna Cato Bass
Writer: Jenna Cato Bass
Cast: Faith Baloyi, Nicole Fortuin, Izel Bezuidenhout, De Klerk Oelofse, Albert Pretorius, Clayton Evertson, Kim Goncalves, Brendon Daniels, Eric Nobbs, Maurice Carpede
Seen on: 23.8.2019
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Content Note: rape

Plot:
Natalie (Nicole Fortuin) was just married to Bakkies (De Klerk Oelofse) but the marriage immediately took a turn for the worse. When she tries to find help with Reverend Salmon (Maurice Carpede), she finds nothing but scorn. One thing leads to another and Natalie kills Salmon and runs, taking her best friend Poppie (Izel Bezuidenhout), who is basically about to give birth to a child she will have to raise on her own, with her. Police captain Beauty Cuba (Faith Baloyi) takes on the case of the murdered reverend and is soon on Natalie and Poppie’s trail. But Cuba has her own personal reasons to take the case, too.

There is a lot in Flatland that can and should be puzzled out – definitely not one that is immediately out of mind when you’re done with it. I didn’t like everything about it, but I definitely found it interesting.

The film poster showing Natalie (Nicole Fortuin) huddled over a horse's neck.

Flatland gives us an interesting trio of (female) protagonists, though focusing less on their relationship with each other (although Poppie and Natalie’s friendship is at the heart of the film) but rather their relationship with the men in their lives. And those relationships are complicated indeed, all of them. And very few of them are actually positive in any way.

It was interesting to watch it unfold, especially since all three actors are really fantastic in very different ways, just like their characters. It’s a joy to watch them at work and interact.

Captain Beauty Cuba (Faith Baloyi) at target practice.

I was less happy with the ending though. I mean, on the one hand, they are heading for a happy end which I found incredibly important, so that is definitely good. But on the other hand, the ending wasn’t happy enough for me and the men simply didn’t get what they would have deserved. I would have liked a bit more oomph here and less adherence to realism. Also, that poor, poor horse.

But even if Flatland is not an immediate favorte for me, it is a strong film and one worth thinking about. I actually gave it two tries, since I had underestimated my tiredness my tiredness and fell asleep. I don’t give second chances for every film during which I fall asleep, and I don’t regret doing so here in the slightest.

Poppie (Izel Bezuidenhout) and Natalie (Nicole Fortuin) riding together.

Summarizing: definitely interesting.

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