For this week’s review, we get to look at another locally produced film.
This time, it’s a gritty crime drama titled Santana (no relation to the musician).
Directed by Maradona Dias Dos Santos, the film follows two brothers, Angolan police captain Dias (Paulo Americano) and his brother Bernado (Dalton Borralho), a general in the Angolan military.
The two brothers have been estranged for a number of years but are forced to work together when they are tasked with bringing down the notorious drug lord who killed their parents.
The film is split broadly into two halves.
The first is set in Angola and plays out more like a police action film, full of exciting gun fights and chase scenes through the city streets and narrow alleys of the townships.
When the villain high-tails it to SA, the brothers follow him and the film tones down the action somewhat to a more traditional crime thriller feel, where they have to infiltrate the bad guy’s lair. For a film with a noticeably tight budget, it does the best with what it has.
The cast all bring solid performances, though the bad guys tend to succumb to over-acting a few times, which can look rather silly.
There are also certain subplots which are played up as being quite important, but ultimately go nowhere.
With all that said, I still enjoyed the movie.
Sure, it’s not nearly as polished as its big budget counterparts but, in a way, that’s part of the charm