Catch a Fire
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The acting was top notch, especially on the part of the two male leads. Derek Luke gives so much humanity to Patrick that you're rooting for him 100%, but to me it was Tim Robbins who stole my attention. He did such a brilliant job of making Nic Vos seem almost caring and concerned. He did so well at this that at the end, when the real Patrick Chamusso is talking about Vos being a monster I found myself thinking "was he really that bad?"...yes he was, and Tim Robbins is really that good for making me doubt it.
Another nod should go to Bonnie Mbuli for playing Derek's beautiful and distressed wife Precious. I mention beautiful because this young actress is undeniably stunning. She gave so much heart to her character that she remains the most memorable portion of the film to me.
I'm not saying that this film was a waste of time, far from it. I exposed the horrors of the apartheid in South Africa, but it just failed to deliver what it could and should have. The acting was brilliant but I guess that blame should then fall on the writers and even the director for not channeling the brilliance of the cast and developing a stronger film. It's sad because a film that could have dominated the awards season will, I fear, be soon forgotten.
Patrick (Derek Luke, "Antwone Fisher ", "Glory Road"), a young father with a wife and two children, lives in a small house with his mother. He is very happy and has a good job as a foreman at a local refinery. In his off hours, he coaches a ragtag group of children in football. One day, traveling back from a wedding, they are stopped and questioned regarding an explosion at some railroad tracks. Patrick wants nothing to do with politics, because he knows it will jeopardize his family and his job. Later, Patrick takes his football team to a match and they win, so he stays over with them to compete in the finals. That evening, another explosion occurs at the plant where he works. Nic Voss (Tim Robbins), the head of the anti-terrorist team, brings him in for questioning. The same evening, Patrick visits an old girlfriend and his illegitimate son, and then lies about it, making him a suspect. Unable to get anywhere, Voss and his team take Patrick's wife in and torture her as well. Then Patrick confesses, but Nick knows he isn't telling the truth and lets him go. Fed up, Patrick decides to join the ANC, the African National Congress, and travels to Mozambique to begin training. Voss is determined to squash this group and soon learns that Patrick has joined up.
"Catch a Fire", directed by Phillip Noyce ("Clear and Present Danger") is a very good film about the life of a real figure in the struggle for South Africa's independence from Apartheid.
Derek Luke is very, very good as Patrick Chamusso. Patrick is so intent on living his life with his family, trying to provide for them, make sure they are happy, that he doesn't pay attention to politics.Read more ›
What's interesting about the film is how it presents two sides of the story, although, admittedly Chamusso is the central character. Tim Robbins plays Nic Vos, an anti-terrorist authority figure. We see Vos with his family and Robbins almost brings a sense of humanity to the character that makes you really see a man trapped in a point-of-view that he can't escape, and committing terrible acts because of this.
Derek Luke does a tremendous job as Chamusso and throughout the film his intensity is contagious, adding more and more levels to the film, while Robbins' intensity meter matches Luke scene for scene. These two actors really carry the film, although the story is moving and the supporting cast definitely keep up.
Catch a Fire is extremely relevant in a time when the United States is especially concerning itself with terrorism and trying to uncover terrorist cells. Seeing a film that presents the terrorist and the terrorist-hunter both as three-dimensional human characters really helps reminds us that this is not necessarily a black and white battle.
What is especially great about the film, is the very last scene, in which it starts out as Derek Luke as Patrick Chamusso, and finishes with the real-life Chamusso speaking. This is extremely effective in driving the point home that these events really occurred and that there are people out there who strive to make a difference in their environment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie its great n it was in great condition thank youPublished 3 months ago by Elizabeth
I believe this story should have won more than a few nominations. It's is a very touching true story. The writers, directors, cinematographers and actors, etc. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M. Crowe
Another well-made film by Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American). Very strrong performance by Derek Luke. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Barb Kilgust
This one of my favorite movies I've watched it over 4 times and I think this time I was able to understand the story behind it.Published 12 months ago by penni
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