Verdict: 3.5 / 5
A South African film that isn’t about our short comings but rather our normality as a nation; Between Friends is a breath of fresh air that is perfect to watch with your girlfriends or even your girlfriend.
Between Friends is set in a lush upscale game lodge in KZN- a beautiful backdrop for divulgence of secrets, disintegration of relations and the rekindling of love. Njabulo (Siyabonga Radebe) is the charismatic manager of the upscale family game lodge in Kwazulu-Natal that hosts the seven-year university reunion for a group of friends. Reluctant to come at first, Njabulo’s younger brother Nkanyiso (Thapelo Mokoena) eventually comes with his trophy girlfriend Nisha (Amanda Du Pont) by his side. There they are met by bookwork Linda (Lihle Dlomo), whipped-he-is-basically-butter Winston (Dumisani Mbebe) and his snappy wife Portia (Mandisa Nduna).
As good as their lives may seem seven years post university, the trials and tribulations that haunt the group of friends become very evident from the onset. The plot builds up almost at warp speeds, which makes the impact of intense scenes powerless and lacks the expected shock factor that they so desperately tried to create. The “passionate” kisses are also a miss as are the “sexy” pool scenes. The soundtrack accompanied every scene beautifully, completing it nicely and ultimately tying you with the thoughts and emotions of the characters as it emphasizes the mood of the entire film. The actors and actresses are those we have come to love in South Africa. Siyabonga Radebe portrays bad boy Njabulo seamlessly, Thapelo Mokoena as debonair Nkanyiso escorted by Amanda Du Pont as sexy stuck-up Nisha, Dumisani Mbebe as Winston the sweet submissive husband to controlling dominant Portia depicted by Mandisa Nduna. Lihle Dlomo portrays Linda the strong silent type, who is the fiancé to Canadian born Justin portrayed by Morné du Toit. The latter relation did lack chemistry, as their interactions were not as fluid compared to the other couples’, resulting in theirs being way too stiff to be anywhere near something natural.
Besides the minor hiccups it so unfortunately stumbles upon, “Between Friends” is a good movie overall that can be enjoyed by people who love a good romcom with all the lovely mushiness that can be expected at the end of it all.