Dave White
Tsotsi Review

Dave's Rating:


It's movie-sweet …

Who's in It: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Zenzo Ngqobe

The Basics: A South African street thug finds a baby in the backseat of the car he just jacked. What's most disappointing about this scenario is that the kid's mouth doesn't move except to cry, and Bruce Willis' voice doesn't magically spring from its lips. You go in thinking, "All right, it's gonna be Look Who's Tsotsi!" But, no.

What's the Deal? First, you should know what a "tsotsi" is. It's slang for "thug" or "gangster." And the main dude is definitely a tsotsi. He mugs people and murders them, then shoots women he's stealing cars from. So adopting the baby of his shooting victim really cramps Tsotsi's style. He's got to force women to breastfeed at gunpoint, get a sitter for when it's time to go out and kill more people, and manage play dates. It ends up being hard for him to find any "me" time.

Pedigree: It was an audience-award winner at the Toronto Film Festival, the AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival and the Edinburgh Film Festival. It was a Golden Globe nominee for best foreign-language film and is a current Oscar nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Pedigree Translation: Conventionally structured movie about how even a hard-as-nails murderer can become a halfway decent parent if he just applies himself. It's movie-sweet and will move you if you are easily moved.

What Other Movies It's Like: City of God, Three Men and a Baby, Eraserhead.


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