Director: Sanele Zulu
Origin and Release Year: South Africa (2019)
Starring: Kagiso Modupe, Tshimollo Modupe, Nolo Phiri, Zandile Msutwana, Connie Chiume, Patrick Mofokeng, Samela Tyebooi, Thato Molamu, Mandla Gaduka
Losing Lerato is the typical classist story about a supposedly ‘deadbeat’ father (Kagiso Modupe) who just wants a bond with his daughter, Lerato (played by Tshimillo Modupe). He’s desperate enough to climb fences for her and even kidnap her.
Let’s start off with the acting. As much as Lerato’s mom’s (played by Samela Tyebooi) acting was borderline exaggerated, it also made me hate her character so she did a great job of being the villain. For example, she cries about her daughter’s trauma (that she is the cause of) and is also super rude to everyone regardless of who they are.
The stepdad (played by Thato Molamu) was one of the most well-written annoying characters I have come across in a while. His character had a lot of annoying little habits that made him more intolerable. His snacking habit, the way he drags out his ideas, and his superiority complex were unmatched. Not to mention the way that he calls his stepdaughter baby chief.
Moving on to the storytelling choices. The flashbacks felt forced, especially for Nolo Phiri’s character. Yes, characters have dramatic backstories but bringing them up at completely unrelated plot moments is not effective storytelling. It also didn’t really add to the story and I’m not sure if we were that curious about her.
I think exploring the past with Zanele (Thami’s first love) would’ve been more interesting if we were insisting on that styling choice. She only got mentioned randomly at the end and her role in his life could’ve had more of a positive impact on the story reception.
I’m also not sure about him berating his ex-wife in front of his child in the last bus scene? Not very parental considering the whole movie is about him wanting custody of his kid.
I’d say the movie was a decent watch but the story had some holes in it.
What did you think of Losing Lerato?