Catch a Fire Reviews
Catch a Fire has its bumps along the road since the plot is rather slowly paced and the story is fairly basic and limited to a small space, but it's still enjoyable.
While the film takes place on a small scale despite being part of a significantly larger picture, there is no denying the intense and shocking effect of the political crimes that take place in Catch a Fire. Its material has all been explored before in other films on a larger and more intense scale, but in Catch a Fire director Phillip Noyce reminds us that his directional talent has not decreased in his many years as a filmmaker and that his ability to tackle apartheid and terrorism is intelligent and strong.
The drama in Catch a Fire is strikingly powerful most of the time, and while there are some periods of waiting around for massive drama to strike, Catch a Fire manages to keep its atmosphere intense thanks to the drama that the screenplay deals with in its story and dialogue, combined with the efforts of a dedicated cast and cinematography which is mostly claustrophobic and therefore enhancing the intense visual experience that Catch a Fire aims to be.
Combining Shawn Slovo's script with Phillip Noyce's direction, Catch a Fire turns out to be a surprisingly effective film which has a sufficient amount of drama to it to carry it through 101 minutes of cinema.
But the main source of success in Catch a Fire comes from the performances of the two lead actors.
Derek Luke's performance is one of absolute incredible strength which has a tenacious grip over all the intense political drama that Catch a Fire explores. In his finest performance since Antwone Fisher, Derek Luke manages to combine the intense elements of his character's physicality which comes naturally to him and comes out with a powerful effect. His talent is similar to Chiwetel Ejiofor's but played off in a significantly smaller scale film, and Derek Luke proves to make an intense lead with a real grasp over his character
Tim Robbins' South African accent is flawlessly convincing in Catch a Fire because it is never excessive or ridiculous, but rather realistic and sensible. He manages to integrate his accent finely into his line delivery and follow it up with the kind of intense stare that an actor like Dennis Quaid uses to convey intense drama. It works, and so Tim Robbins' dark and intense performance is one of his strongest since his Academy Award winning role in Mystic River from 2003. He has a real intense tenacity over his character and director Phillip Noyce ensures that he gets everything out of Tim Robbins that he truly can.
So Catch a Fire is an intense and excellently acted film with enough intelligence and strong direction to overshadow the faults of its pacing
Something about these movies really does light a fire in your heart. A great biopic as well. The backstory of the film is just as compelling.
Une mention spéciale aux acteurs, très à l'aise. Ils ont sans doute conscience que le sujet abordé est d'importance, et ils se gardent bien de sur-jouer.
In this R-rated South African-set thriller, hard-working family man Patrick Chamusso (Luke) truly turns revolutionary after he is wrongly accused and tortured for a crime by Police Security Branch operative Nic Vos (Robbins) in the early '80s.
No stranger to political intrigue, Noyce (Patriot Games, Rabbit-Proof Fence) presents a 1980s-set true story made all the more timely by the events of September 11, a point he capitalizes on. After Vos (representing foreign govt.) tortures the innocent Chamusso (representing persecuted natives), the latter's motives for turning radically political become starkly obvious, paralleling a certain Western power's occupation of modern-day Iraq. Catch a Fire also gives a powerful combo in Robbins and Luke, who bring their respective characters' moral ambiguity to light with a gripping intensity--perhaps too well. Noyce shows us family man Chamusso's philandering while concurrently portraying Vos's nearly perfect home life with middling results. As the real-life Chamusso's appearance at the end makes clear, this is HIS story, not that of the top-billed Robbins. Perhaps, Focus Features just wanted to get their money's worth out of the Oscar-winner.
Bottom line: Once you catch it, you won't let go.