The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review………………………………………………………………

The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review

The Gods Must Be Crazy is a South African/Botswanan comedy film directed by Jamie Uys and starring N!xau. It is such a pleasant and charming comedy that really took me by surprise.

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They must be the most contented people in the world.

They have no crime, no punishment, no violence, no laws, no police, judges, rulers or bosses.

They believe that the gods put only good and useful things on the earth for them to use

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The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review

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It follows Xi in the Kalahari Desert whose tribe has no knowledge of the world beyond and it also follows a relationship between a biologist and a new school teacher in Botswana. Let’s analyze that plot first. I loved both of those subplots for the most part. The beginning in particular is mesmerizing and just so fascinating and it instantly hooked me in. That sequence in which we are explained how modern humans lead way too complicated, needlessly complicated lives is brilliant and very thought-provoking. And I loved everything about that bottle and what it presents. Basically, the bottle stands for something modern and when the tribe people suddenly realized its potential, it only led to turmoil and fights. That only further contributes to the theory in which I firmly believe – that all trouble and evil of humankind directly stems from the rise of brain power and technology.

However, after that first act and overall first half which is great, the quality of the movie lessens as it suddenly loses its steam which was so unfortunate and disappointing to me. Mainly the pulled focus from Xi was incredibly disappointing. But I still liked the other subplot quite a bit. Xi is such a great character definitely, but both Andrew and Kate are worthy additions to this flick. I really liked his clumsiness in front of women as it was so endearing and amusing and, though typical for the time, Kate is still quite charming and likable.

Their relationship and the comedy surrounding them is typical for the eighties and so old-fashioned, but it nonetheless worked, I have to admit that. It was charming and the two were such a great couple. The chemistry is evident, the humor was pretty good and I really liked that they ended up together at the end of the film.

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The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review

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So the focus was pulled from Xi to those two and they were good, so what is the problem then? Well, the problem is that those two subplots aren’t that well connected and that they aren’t the only three major characters here. Yes, we have a safari tour guide and a band of guerillas and they were problematic. Not only were they forgettable and totally unnecessary to the film, but they significantly slowed the pacing and led to an overabundance of characters and subplots. Basically, those minor characters ruined the movie that could have been a classic, but ended up just being very good in the process.

The Gods Must Be Crazy has such a good humor. This kind of humor is old-fashioned and traditional, but in the best way possible. The entire movie is so charming and such a pleasant diversion that I really got invested in it. The adventurous tone to it was awesome, but its heart and soul were also evident.

I laughed many times and the script is so clever, frequently even brilliant. The tone is always comedic and light, but in never an annoying way. The score is also very comedic, but pleasantly so. The pacing is mostly good and the directing is solid. The performances are all pretty good with N!xau naturally being the standout actor here.

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The Gods Must Be Crazy Movie Review

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The Gods Must Be Crazy also has such a good narration that, though slightly childish in some scenes, is mostly essential for this kind of story and never annoying. The movie also has such an evident originality to it in terms of the dialogue and script. The slapstick is solid and the energy is evident. I liked the photography and the natural landscapes were beautiful to see. Even though it is never as brilliant as that first act is, it is still a very good movie that is worthy of its status in South African cinema.

The Gods Must Be Crazy has forgettable supporting characters and it eventually loses its steam, but that first act is so smart and even brilliant, the script is so sophisticated, the narration is excellent, the acting is good and the humor is so old-fashioned, yet pleasant and charming as is the whole movie. But it is above all an adventurous, charming and stupendously authentic film and such an amusing experience.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 1980, 1980s, Adventure, Botswanan, Comedy, Foreign, South African and tagged , , , , .

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