Local feature film hits the screens
By Alan Tempest
Yellow Card, the very latest locally made feature film, has been previewed by Star Kinekor and has already started showing at Eastgate three days ago. What did I make of this soccer and sex story written by Andrew Whaley and directed by John Riber?
Leroy Gopal stars as 17 year old Tiyane Tsumba, a tall youth still at school who plaays soccer for the Highfield Hyenas and dreams of one day playing for Manchester United. His desires are undoubtedly reflected in the minds of many of the film's potential audience as sports is one of the great escape routes from everyday work.
Tiyane believes he is above sex and resists the advances of Linda (Ratidzo Mambo), a class-mate and childhood admirer of the young athlete, until circumstances throw them both together in a deserted room on a wet night and 'boom'-desire triumphs and unpretected sex prevails with its inevitable consequences.
There is a school joker named Skido (the late Collin Dube) and fellow soccer player named Nocks (Pedzisai Sithole) who torments Tiyane about his relationship with girls. The poor lad goes about his life unaware that soon he is to be a father and promptly falls in love with the daughter of the wealthy business man he meets at a wedding reception.
The girl's name is Juliet (Kasamba Mkumba) and she too has a chrush on Tiyane. We see how his soccer career is beginning to blossom and his father (Walter Muparutsa) is very pleased with his son's grades at school, especially when he is made a prefect.
When the day comes for Linda to realize she is pregnant and Tiyane is told of this, he either can't or won't believe it. His finals come - uppance occers when Linda dumbs the baby on his doorstep in a basket and in a trice, poor Tiyane's world of freedom comes rapidly to an end.
The film's main theme is a cautionary tale about the consequences of unprotected love making among teenagers. Tiyane has to grow up and tell his parents, his school headmaster and his friends that he has erred. But what will his relationship become with Juliet when she finds out?
Unfortunately, the film's climax scene is of a soccer cup final between the Hyenas and Caps United. The audience is left totally up in the air as to the outcome of Tiyane's relationship with Juliet and the world. Will he become a soccer star? Will true love finally triumph? This is the only 'yellow card' I would give the otherwise excellent film.