Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Pad Na Jou Hart is a sweet film with the ability to make you rethink your current journey, how you view life and who you share it with.
The arrogant pretty boy Basson (Ivan Botha) has only his self-interest at heart. As the next CEO of his father’s company, he challenges the board with a new direction to optimise production, by replacing manual labour with the latest technology. With a drastic increase in financial figures his proposal sways enough votes for the go-ahead. Unfortunately, this means a large number of staff will be retrenched, and this is where Basson and his sickly father (Marius Weyers) don’t see eye to eye. Upon his death, Basson receives a challenge from his father in order to inherit the family business. He has exactly five days to make his way from Johannesburg to Cape Town in time for the funeral, but with a few pit stops and challenges along the way. The instructions are presented in a series of letters, one at every location with certain specifications. Basson quickly learns that this journey would be anything but quick and easy. To ensure he at least attempts the journey, all his accounts have been frozen till after the funeral, forcing him to ask for help.
Walking down a dusty road he spots a car standing by the road, spare wheel and spanner on the side. With the driver nowhere in sight. Basson chucks his suit in the back and start changing the tire, when he is met with the bohemian damsel armed with a slingshot. She claims to have been waiting for him, words that carry far more weight that the seemingly coincidental meeting. After a slingshot bet is won, Basson and Amory (Donnalee Roberts) make the 5 day journey to Cape Town.
No road trip movie is complete without strange encounters or conflict. The two are still very much strangers but as the letters guide them further they (and the audience) learn more about one another back stories, past joys and pains – from farm labour to tequila, hitting piñatas, dancing around a bon fire with hippies and running from gun fire. Throughout it all it is evident that Amory is hiding something but Basson seems oblivious till it’s almost to late.
Yes not a very original storyline. It is a mix of P.S I Love You, The Bucket List and a Road To Remember. But honestly, few love stories really are. And in this case it doesn’t bother you that you know the story and the characters. It is about the journey you take with them. Pad Na Jou Hart, really has beautiful heartfelt moments with typical South African humour, making it true to our own. With a versatile and skilled cast, you smile, laugh, cringe and cry. The script and cast manage to maintain a relatable status, even with the more comical characters. This is a factor that many SA films fail to do, because it often shows a pool of slap stick stereotypes that we laughed at in the 90’s.
Visually the film excels. With the keen eye of Jacques Koudstaal, the audience is truly taken on a cinematic journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Nature offering the best colour pallet, that echoes the emotional journey and chemistry between the characters. From dull greys, flat browns to an array of pinks, blues, orange and red, lush greens and starry skies. These are accompanied by local music from the likes of Adam, Dans Dans Lisa, Karen Zoid, Joe Foster and Die Heuwels Fantasties.
DVD Extras: Behind the scenes, Music Videos, Trailer