Tess – “Powerful & Raw”

Tess is a South African Afrikaans-language drama based on the novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren. The film, like the novel, is set in the Cape Town seaside suburb of Muizenberg.


Chanelle (Hooliguest) – This is not the kind of movie you watch on your first date. Hell, I don’t even think this is the kind of movie you take someone on your 5th or 6th date! It’s dark and heavy and it doesn’t shy away from the real issues.  The movie grips at your heart from the start, right at the beginning when we see Tess holding a young girl’s hand through an abortion.

This is not a Hollywood type of film where the “hard issues” are glamourized. It forces you to look at rape, abortion and prostitution issues straight in the eye! There isn’t much dialogue in the movie, which makes it more impactful, but on the other hand it also makes it feel as though it drags on for a little too long (And mind you, the movie is only 86 minutes long).

Tess 2.jpg

Christia Visser plays a very convincing Tess. She did such a great job, I actually can’t even think of another South African actress who would have been able to portray the character as well as she did!

We’ve seen Brendon Daniels (plays Merrick) in many local movies, and his performance in Tess does not disappoint. You know a character was portrayed well, when you can legit get angry at who he is in the film.

All in all a great South African movie!

Rating: 8/10

One comment

  1. LoL I actually watched this movie on a second or third date.

    But I thought the sparse dialogue made the movie less impactful, not more; it gave very little sense of the characters’ unique inner lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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