Writer: Sean Drummond (Screenplay)
Starring: Zethu Dlomo, Garth Breytenbach, Anthony Oseyemi, Kenneth Fok, Vuyo Dabbula, Warren Masemola
Plot: Lives change forever when Tau, the young lion, kills two corrupt policemen in a South African shanty town.
Runtime: 2 Hours
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Western of the Year
Story: Five Fingers for Marseilles starts as we meet the group of friends who decide to create a group known as the Five Friends and the girls that loves them, Zulu the leader, Lerato (Dlomo) the heart and soul, Unathi (Poolo) the pastor and storyteller, Luyanda (Mabaso) the broken one, Bongani (Nkosi) the richest one, Tau (Dabula) the fastest most ruthless one. together they plan to former a group to protect their rural town or Marseilles as children.
Tau must flee the village after killing two corrupt police officers, now 20-years later he is still fighting the law. Returning home Tau seems Marseilles has changed with Bongani running the town and Sepoko (Dhlamini) looking to eliminate the town, Tau must step up to defend his childhood home and with the remaining members of the gang.
Thoughts on Five Fingers for Marseilles
Characters – Tau was a member of the Five Fingers gang as a boy, he killed two police officers forcing him into hiding, 20-years later he returns to see the town still being controlled by criminals. He must use the fight he always showed to lead the remaining members of his gang to freedom. Sepoko is the ruthless man that wants to kill anyone that gets in his way to control the area, he is filled with stories that can only show us what he is capable of and doesn’t give second chances. Lerato is the girl from the gang, she has been raised to take over the tavern with her father and her own son, she is surprised with Tau’s return after he saved her in the incident, she knows how to handle the drunks and trouble makers. Strong is the best word to describe this character. Luyanda is known as the cockroach by the gang, he has always had to fight to survive turning himself into one of the cops in the village, waiting for his chance to return the village to the right way.
Performances – Vuyo Dabula could easily be a break out star this year, he gives us a performance that could be put in any western conversation as one of the best especially in the modern era of cinema. Hamilton Dhlamini does fit the villainous role wonderfully too, we completely believe he delivery of his twisted words towards anyone who gets in his way. The whole cast are great through this film because one performer makes us believe their characters are real.
Story – The story here follows a once tight knit teenage gang that get separated fighting for their village, 20-years-later one member of the gang returns to the village to learn the fates of the rest and learns the fight is still going on. In this story we get characters that feel like we could see them living the 20-years between the start and present part of the story. we get the returning member of the gang that we have seen facing his past and how the rest of the gang has adapted to survive while staying in the same village. This follows the known traits for any western and only adds to the story interest and suspense.
Western – When it comes to westerns, we just don’t seem to get that many anymore, this brings us one that uses all of the typical western themes to make us care about the reluctant hero, the outcast and one that makes us want to see the villain get what they deserve.
Settings – The film is set in a small South African village, one that has been put under pressure by a police presence, each location truly feels lived in and helps us enjoy what we are seeing as money talks when it comes to holding back potential.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderful western that could easily be the best of the year, this is a film people should be watching and most importantly, be one people are talking about.
Overall: Western done to perfection.