Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

The late Bradley Olivier and Solomon Cupido deliver a winning bromance

- DEBASHINE THANGEVELO debashine.thangevelo@inl.co.za

was among several superb local films that premiered at the recent 11th kykNET Silwersker­m Film Festival.

While it was a huge success, it was also a bitter-sweet celebratio­n as lead actor Bradley Olivier, who shares the producer and screenwrit­er credits with co-star Solomon Cupido, died a month earlier, on July 20.

Before the Q&A session post-screening, a moment of silence was held for Olivier and two other members involved in making the film.

While the release date is yet to be confirmed, the film will be made available on DStv BoxOffice.

The comedy, which arguably has one of the best bromance pairings in South African films, will resonate with Mzansi. Think of Olivier and Cupido as SA’s version of the duo, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

It also tugs at the heart with its welletched characters as it draws parallels between the worlds of half-brothers Frankie (Olivier) and Felipé (Cupido).

The two were torn apart as youngsters when Frankie was taken to an orphanage by his stepdad. Although his mother wasn’t okay with the decision, their financial situation left her helpless to do anything about it.

Several years later, Felipé is still living at home. He has various side hustles going on, one of which is a failed counterfei­t perfume venture.

And he is also heavily in debt to the local loan shark, played by Shimmy Isaacs.

The only silver lining for Felipé is seeking out the help of his estranged brother Frankie, who is engaged to Kim Fortuin (Kim Syster) and is a high-flying advertisin­g executive at

FRANKIE en Felipé

Bad Boys

the company of his future father-inlaw (played by Zane Meas).

But Frankie’s efforts to get rid of Felipé, who wows everyone with his knack for picking up on scents, don’t go according to plan.

And it isn’t long before Felipé ingratiate­s himself into the lives of the Fortuin family as he is invited to the rehearsal wedding dinner and the wedding, of course.

Before long, the elaborate backstory of how the two know each other becomes messy. Frankie’s future motherin-law (Ilse Klink) smells something fishy but goes with the flow.

Adding to the drama, Felipé is attracted to Kim’s sister (Bianca Flanders), who is dating a health and yoga-obsessed hunk (Danny Ross), who gaslights her at every opportunit­y he gets.

Meanwhile, Frankie still hasn’t forgiven their mother for abandoning him and the pent-up emotions spill over when the truth comes out.

The chalk-and-cheese personalit­ies of Olivier and Cupido’s characters contribute to the unfolding chaos.

Felipé is, for lack of a better word, uncultured, as demonstrat­ed in a scene where he asks for his sushi to be heated in the microwave.

He is in awe of the lifestyle of the Fortuin family and is like a kid in a candy store at their estate home.

Despite being a rough diamond, his happy-go-lucky personalit­y and brutal honesty make him likeable.

Meanwhile, Frankie has a more refined palate. He has a “Keeping up the Joneses” mentality. He is great at his job and he works hard to ensure his poverty-stricken past will remain a distant memory.

By the way, Terence Bridgett makes a delightful cameo as a camp, wineloving fashion designer.

Frankie en Felipé is a rom-com that is heart-warming, refreshing and entertaini­ng. Also, it offers a more positive representa­tion of the coloured community, which in other films has been more hard-hitting and anchored in gang violence.

Above all, Olivier and Cupido make for a dynamic lead duo, with director Marvin Lee Beukes commendabl­y balancing the comedy and drama.

At the Q&A session at the festival, Cupido said: “Bradley and I started writing the story about three years ago. We were sitting with Frisco coffee, we had no milk and we needed money.

“And we thought we needed to tell a story that inspires. We said there are so many stories about coloured people. But we wanted to tell a story about coloured people on the other side.

“Coloured people that had money, who are rich, intellectu­al people, who are lawyers … We were debating on who the leading guys would be, who had the looks and who didn’t have the looks. He was Mr Muscle, Denzil Washingon.”

Cupido said they wanted to make a movie that the young and the old could have a good laugh with and they wanted it to have good music, which they did.

Interestin­gly, Olivier and Cupido’s friendship goes way back. The ex-Paarl boys were mates at high school and completed their studies together at Tshwane University of Technology.

In an earlier interview, ahead of the festival, Olivier said: “I swear if you asked the guys at school, they would have thought Solomon was going to play Frankie. Solomon was the golden boy, the cool guy. I was the funny guy and when we got bigger, the roles changed.

“Now Solomon is one of the funniest South African actors. I did write many other things about my life into Frankie. So, I’m closer to Frankie than I am different from him. Unfortunat­ely, I just don’t have a BMW!”

He added: “Our company is currently working on four new films. All different genres, but humour is the thread that runs through all of them. We want to give our audience a good time.”

Sadly, Olivier wasn’t able to complete those projects, but Cupido will no doubt fulfil his wish of giving the audience a side-splitting experience with his future projects.

 ?? Frankie en Felipé. | Supplied ?? BRADLEY Olivier and Solomon Cupido in
Frankie en Felipé. | Supplied BRADLEY Olivier and Solomon Cupido in

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