Coming to the big scream: 2019’s political blockbusters
It's going to be an epic election year, so steel yourselves for these gems coming to a political theatre near you
Sequels, prequels, threequels, reboots, preboots, reshoots: if you thought 2018 was a wild ride at the movies, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It’s an election year, which means the stunts are about to get bigger, the effects brighter, and the dialogue much, much stupider. Here’s my round-up of the must-see blockbusters of 2019, coming to a political theatre near you.
A Star is Borne
Once the darling of the world, an exhausted and washed-up country has become hopelessly addicted to bad leaders and is just going through the motions. But everything changes when it hears a stunning new voice at a karaoke bar in Nkandla. Jake has had a few temp jobs here and there – human wrecking-ball, Accused Number 1 – but his dream is to become a recording artist so he can stop singing for his supper in Moscow, Dubai and Uttar Pradesh. When the eThekwini municipality confirms that it might carry the costs of recording an album of struggle songs, the country drinks itself into a coma because you can’t actually make this stuff up.
Intergalactic villain DAnos has wiped out all but a handful of Patricia de Lille’s team, leaving her with only her wits and her superpower, which is laughing and saying “No no no” until the questions stop. Bloodied but unbowed, De Lille decides to avenge the catastrophe by starting her own party, again, and naming it Good, or possibly GOOD, depending on which Tweet you read.
De Lille takes on DAnos in a no-holds-barred battle at the polls and wins a seat in parliament, striking a heroic blow for people who have dedicated their lives to not getting a job in the private sector.
A Quiet Place 2
In a remote cabin in the woods, Mmusi Maimane’s communications team tiptoes along paths of sound-muffling sand, desperate not to attract the attention of anyone who might ask it where he is just five months before an election.
The Lyin’ King
When young prince Julius is banished from his home on Luthuli Rock, he starts his own pride by telling everyone that he has a plan to better their lives by emulating the policies of Zimbabwe and Venezuela. The warthog and meerkat threaten to go on strike because they’re supposed to be the ones saying outlandish nonsense in this movie, and the prince accuses them of being Stratcom agents. It’s funny until it’s not.
A three-hour biopic about Faf du Plessis’s abs, tracing their rise from a mild-mannered mid-torso firmness to their eventual triumph as prehensile, almost-sentient corrugated beef.
Star Wars 9
When a rapper vows to fill up a dome, and another rapper claps back on Twitter, saying he’s already filled two domes, the first rapper’s pop-star wife claps back at the clap-back, saying that he only has a million Twitter followers, which enrages the second rapper’s former wife, the soap opera star (formerly married to the first rapper), who claps back at the clap-back to the clap-back. Just when it seems that an all-out Twar might erupt, they all go out to dinner together and agree to do it all again next week, for even more money.
Neo, a moody schoolboy, finds himself targeted by shadowy agents called “teachers” who try to kill him by presenting him with a story sum. He soon learns that he is in something called The Matric: a nightmarish world in which young people are arranged in endless rows and plugged into a machine that sucks the potential out of them. Neo urges his fellow Matrics to join a revolution against the barbaric system of intellectual oppression, but when he discovers that he only needs 30% to become The One (which is one of the five numbers he has mastered), he knuckles down and nails his Life Orientation exam by successfully completing a join-the-dots puzzle depicting a straight line. The nation celebrates a 75% pass rate (achieved thanks to Education Ministry technicians correctly identifying the numbers seven and five and punching them into the official results column) and everyone goes back to sleep for another year.
It: Chapter 2
A clown terrifies a small town. But when he realises he’s not getting the Twitter traction he was hoping for, Andile Mngxitama packs up his megaphone and goes in search of a bigger town and easier marks.