Monday, 5 Dec 2022
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#AFRIFF2017 Xplore Review’s ‘Kafou’…

Director: Bruno Mourral

Writers: Jasmuel Andri, Bruno Mourral, Gilbert Mirambeau Jr.

Cast: Jasmuel Andri, Rolapthon Mercure, Manfred Marcelin, Rolando Etienne, Marcus Boereau, Israel Geffrard

Genre: Thriller

Year: 2017

Kafou isn’t just a comedy thriller, it’s a 50 minute feature masterfully laced with suspense, gore, and sporadic action. The film starts off with the same instructions in it’s synopsis: Deliver an unknown package, never open the car windows, never open the trunk, and do not stop the car for any reason. Sadly (yet interestingly), the rest of the film is a gross violation of these rules.

Set in the dead of the night, the story follows Doc (Jasmuel Andri) and Zoe (Rolapthon Mercure), a pair of dread-heads assigned by Captain Bama (Manfred Marcelin) to deliver a package who keeps kicking and making a noise in the trunk. First they run into a dog, then into other policemen no better than uniformed thieves. Doc plays from a calmer perspective than his buddy, wanting to simply carry out his orders and return the Captain’s car. But with the loud and lousy Zoe on the wheels, it all gradually goes to pieces.

Zoe is rough and uncouth, but incredibly cunning. His persona exudes a latent aggressiveness that’d have worn better on a less disturbed character. Curiosity got the best of him, so after contravening an instruction, he realizes it’s his uncle who’s been gagged and bound in the boot. He calls the Captain to plead for his relative but this falls on deaf ears. The Captain consequently orders Doc to put a bullet in Zoe and his uncle should they attempt to getaway. It’s the part where the film gets interesting and the decisions they make get tougher. It’s also the beginning of an end even a psychic wouldn’t see coming.

But as tightly woven as this script is, there are a few lapses in it’s realism. The lone dog they’d run into earlier had been stationary longer than was ideal. Besides, it’s unusual to find dogs in the streets after midnight. Another blatant flaw, regardless of Zoe’s restlessness, was running the Captain’s vehicle off the road. As far as the width of the road was concerned, there was enough room not to run off course.

The audio might have been slightly tacky, but the cinematography, subtitles and costumes were applaud-able, especially on the cops, the Doc, and a Haiti neighborhood with no rule of law. In the end, Kafou fully focuses on family ties, corrupt officials, and bias decisions. Completely engaging from the first scene, the plot leaves no breathing space, not for the viewer nor the cast. The director and co-producer, Bruno Mourral, shells one rude surprise after the other, up until the closing scene leaves you visibly shaken, but wanting another.

Kafou is rated 8/10.

Watch the trailer here

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