Connecting… with New Material

How do we connect?

More often than not, it’s the comfort of familiarity that helps us connect. We connect with family because they know us like no one else does and they accept us, with our flaws and crazy dreams.

We connect with old friends because they are like mirrors to our own souls, and although things may go awry at times, they will always have our back. We connect with the communities we grew up in, even if today they are no longer as we knew and loved them.

We connect through comedy and entertainment.
We connect when the reel on screen mirrors our real life as South Africans… Aweh ma sê kind, en alles!

New Material revived these connections within me. I laughed, I cried and my heart skipped a few beats. It made me realise just how much COVID-19 has robbed us of. Sitting in a cinema in Durban after more than two years to support phenomenal South African talent was an emotional experience.

We meet Cassim Kaif, a Muslim man, some 8 years after the initial movie, who is married with a vibrant and endearing daughter. Like most of us, he is trying to figure life out, and balance family and his stand-up comedy career. It’s a poignant journey that touches on religion, culture, spirituality, extended family life, the pressures of society, the race to get more followers on social media and amidst everything, reminds us why we should not lose the ability to laugh!

Riaad Moosa is outstanding as co-writer of the movie and the lead actor, because it never feels like he is acting. He is a natural and effortlessly flows through the varied emotions. In an interview with me before the movie, Riaad admitted that he was eager to see how audiences would react to the combination of laughter and emotional themes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. For me, it makes the movie more relevant and relatable.

The rest of the cast comes together beautifully with perfectly-nuanced performances from Vincent Ebrahim, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Rajesh Gopie, Denise Newman, Carishma Basday and Zakeeya Patel.

Joey Rasdien, as Yusuf, is an absolute riot! It felt like I was watching the “slice of life” genre and he was one of my “connections”! Please look out for his ice-cream containers – with the typical labels you would find in an Indian home, though he stashes something else in there. Talk about being innovative!

Co-writer and director, <span;>Craig Freimond, and producer Robbie Thorpe must take a bow. They deserve it! This is the type of cinema we have been yearning for.

New Material releases on November 26th. Go on, mask up and fill those socially-distanced seats to support a proudly South African cinematic gem. You will make connections for life!

Sharing some red carpet moments from the premiere in Durban last night

 

With the exceptionally talented Riaad Moosa!
My dear friend Taliesha Naidoo and I with  Rajesh Gopie who fits into his role as Shabir with aplomb… love at first bite! Watch the movie to find out why!

 

 

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