Merging story with candid camera

29 November 2013 10:48 AM

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November 29 2013 at 11:38am By Wendyl Martin

Schuks! Your Country Needs You marks Leon Schuster’s return to candid camera after last year’s more scripted Mad Buddies.

Coupled with a really flimsy storyline about the emergence of Shuck’s spawn, the film strings together a series of gags.

Rob van Vuuren takes on the role of Wayne, the son of Shucks who desperately wants to please his father.

This story plays out in short scripted scenes between gags, espousing a faux-reality TV feel akin to Curb Your Enthusiasm and Real Husbands of Hollywood.

This marks a stepping out for the Shucks brand, merging story with candid camera.

As usual, not all the gags are funny. It’s a case of taste. If you like topical, they tackle issues around e-tolling with a fun e-cycling gag. If you like celebs, Peter de Villiers and Jack Parow are royally gagged in scenes that make the film worthwhile.

The former Springbok coach is asked to coach the Japanese rugby team by Schuster’s Far East-looking character. It is arguably the best gag of the film.

Schuster is unrecognisable in the thick-looking mask. His disguises look as outlandish and unbelievable as always, which makes me wonder how people fall for the set-ups. He morphs from a dark-skinned Indian, to a round politician and long-haired Belgian music producer.

You can’t expect much from camera work in candid-camera films, which is why I think these scenes work better on TV than the big screen. Yet South Africans will still flock to cinemas to see this.

Some of the scenes looked dubbed – I suppose waving big mics about at a candid camera scene is a dead give-away.

Schuster pushes the gagging to the max by hoodwinking the population of a small town by messing with their rugby team as a fake ref.

If you are looking for slapstick, Alfred Ntombela climbs into a dustbin and frightens people, much to the laughter of some.

Don’t forget the earworm song that will creep so deeply, you might be singing it the next day. Heads up, the lyrics say, “It’s Rubbish again.”

It does not have much of an ending. After glazing over some of the gags, I left with Schuster’s message: “Your country needs people like you.”

I guess our country needs people who can take a joke, not necessarily on the big screen.


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