The South African accent isn’t an easy one to mimic. Heck, even in South Africa, there are different nuances as a Fourways boet sounds different from a Benoni boy.
So, it’s always amusing to see how big-budget productions handle our taal in a film. Many laughs were had at the expense of Leonardo DiCaprio’s attempts in Blood Diamond, for example, and we’ve seen more than a few questionable ones since then. However, the upcoming movie Escape from Pretoria might claim the title of the worst attempts at a South African accent ever.
The Francis Annan-directed thriller tells the real-life story of a prison escape by three political prisoners in 1979. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Webber and Ian Hart as the three leads. It was filmed in Australia and the UK, and is largely devoid of any South African actors in main roles.
The trailer dropped this week and has sent many South Africans into fits of giggles. There’s no simple way to say it: The accents are atrocious. At some point, you hear a bit of Irish, then some French, and a whole lot of Australian. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel authentic at all.
Perhaps Escape from Pretoria will be a good film—despite the shoddy accents—because it’s certainly an important interesting real-life story to retell. Only time will tell when it’s released in 2020.
Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think about it.
Sergio Pereira is a prolific and recognised journalist and writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. His expertise encompasses the topics of comic books, film, television, and video games. For over 16 years, he has built up his reputation and knowledge in entertainment journalism by writing for and learning from the world's largest publications.
Sergio is also an accredited Rotten Tomatoes reviewer and has interviewed numerous celebrities, such as Andy Serkis, Ben Barnes, Idris Elba, Letitia Wright and Frank Miller. He is the author of the highly rated fantasy comedy novel The Not-So-Grim Reaper and numerous short stories. In addition, he is the co-writer of the South African crime drama film The Lifesaver. As a regular columnist, he contributes to Looper, Grunge, Screen Rant, Ranker, CBR, SYFY WIRE, IGN Africa, Thought Catalog and Fortress of Solitude.
For Sergio, all he wants in life is to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eclipse the Justice League as the greatest heroes of all time. Then, he will sleep peacefully.