Photo: ‘Wild is the WInd’
Important Social Commentary
The film takes place in South Africa; a country still grappling with racial and xenophobia issues. Naturally, the film’s subject matter prominently involves these issues, as well as the issue of police corruption and racial biases. In ‘Wild Is The Wind,’ a partnership of a black and white police officer shows different perspectives and biases while conducting a murder investigation. It highlights the racial discrimination that is still prevalent in the world today and its continued effect of impeding justice.
The contrast of bias between these partners exemplifies very familiar attitudes among many people. Vusi, the black officer, seems to lean irrationally on racial motivation during the murder investigation. While John, the white officer, tends to dismiss race as a factor in the investigation. These characters’ attitudes represent a couple of the prevalent stances that are taken against the issue of racial discrimination. As the story progresses, we can see how these viewpoints affect decision-making in the investigation and how this film can be regarded as an allegory of racism itself.
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The film also explores the personal consequences of racial injustice, like allowing yourself to become a byproduct of your environment. When the rules work only to oppress, then it is only a matter of time before you leave the laws in your rearview. This outcome is vehemently expressed throughout the movie as Vusi faces self-conflict resulting from racial discrimination. Films with substance and thoughtful commentary are the most likely to attract a viewer’s attention and have a meaningful effect. ‘Wild Is The Wind’ falls in this category as a quality crime drama with important social commentary blended in to create an entertaining and thought-provoking experience all at once.
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A Well-Crafted Plot
This film’s story was very well written. The backdrop of the story gives way to interesting characters with convincing motives for their actions. The foreshadowing used throughout the movie was scarce but eye-catching and was tied to very important plot points. As far as crime dramas go, ‘Wild Is The Wind’ did well not to rely on genre tropes and used an uncommon setting that brought up both unique and universal conflicts throughout the story. It also had its fair share of thrill leading up to the climax. It leaves the audience on the edge of their seat and gives a shocking and unexpected development as the film moves towards its conclusion that will have you heartbroken for some characters and furious at others. The film had a solid plot that did well to build its story and present an intriguing and ultimately satisfying conclusion to the film.
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What Didn’t Work
There were several scenes in the movie that had music that did not match the atmosphere and context. Some of these instances completely halt the momentum that the film had been building. One particular scene was shot in slow motion with a slow folky tune that feels entirely out of place and undercuts an important plot point. These poor musical choices definitely harm the overall flow of the movie and leave the viewer disoriented by the time the next scene starts.
The acting performance of Mothusi Magano in the lead role of “Vusi” left room for improvement. Magano lacked conviction in some of the more dramatic moments of the movie, although overall his performance was satisfactory and did not compromise the film. Perhaps some of Magano’s weaker points were exacerbated by bits of awkward writing. A few other supporting actors were shaky at times, but the overall performance by the entire cast was positive.
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The film could have been extended to focus more on the victim and murderer to amass more investment in the story. There was a disconnect between the audience and the murder itself. It was one of the main plot points, and it was not given enough coverage in an otherwise fully developed story. The story’s progression and climax could have been significantly improved by adding more background information to help viewers connect to the murder victim and yearn for a just resolution.
While some of the South African colloquialisms may be hard to decipher, the overall dialogue was well done. It managed to mix these colloquialisms almost seamlessly with plain English and delivered convincing conversations that seemed authentic and native to the setting. The dialogue during the more dramatic scenes was insightful and pithy. There were a few clunky lines throughout the movie, but the dialogue overall was compelling and well-written. It certainly showed it was true to its genre, with profound and meaningful dialogue throughout the film.
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An Important Win For Netflix
In the past, Netflix has made content deals with celebrities and notable producers that haven’t always had significant results. It seems that Netflix has learned that big names don’t always equal big results, as they trust a novice creator to bring a feature film to their platform. ‘Wild Is The Wind’ is credited as Fabian Medea’s first production, in which he is both writer and director. Netflix gets a win by facilitating a great movie and finding a promising writer/director that could potentially create more projects. Netflix may find more diamonds in the rough if they continue to look past just the big names and focus on expanding creative recruitment.
‘Wild Is The Wind’ is a crime drama with a captivating story and cultural significance. It lacks the amount of action you might expect from a crime drama, but its storytelling is enough to keep you invested throughout the movie. This is undoubtedly one of the better films that Netflix has produced in the last few years.”Wild Is The Wind’ is streaming now on Netflix.
Cast: Mothusi Magano, Frank Rautenbach, Izel Bezuidenhout, Nicolaus Moitoi.
Director: Fabian Medea | Writer: Fabian Medea
Cinematographer: Bert Haitsma
Editor: Alastair Orr | Production Designer: Warren Grey
By Alvaro Devora
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Alvaro Devora is an aspiring writer/director whose life revolves around the creation and appreciation of literary and cinematic content. Though still new to the industry, Alvaro is also passionate about discussing important and substantial topics in Film and TV, and has found the perfect place to do so at The Hollywood Insider. Being an anti-gossip media network and taking pride in meaningful content, The Hollywood Insider is a company that Alvaro can take pride in writing for and continue nurturing his passion.