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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

LUCKY

Lucky is a shrewd 10 year old boy who quickly realises that even when you are cute and doe-eyed as his is, that trying to charm immovable adults to get your own way is a complete waste of time.  As is having a temper tantrum. Living with his grandmother in a poor Zulu village in South Africa, Lucky knows he needs to make his own destiny after a coffin suddenly arrives from Durban bearing his mother who had died there of AIDS.
Next day he runs away to the big city and looks up his Uncle, a scoundrel of a man who has whiled away the little bit of money his sister had entrusted him with to pay for Lucky’s schooling.  The only thing that Uncle hands over in the way of inheritance is a cassette tape his mother had made him. With no player in the house, he snoops around the block of the apartments and espies one in the window of an elderly Indian neighbor.

As neither he or the neighbor speak the same language she thinks the young boy is out to rob her, when they eventually clear up the mis-understanding and listen to the tape together and even though she cannot comprehend the message, she realises that it has clearly upset the boy.  When he returns back to to confront his Uncle about the missing money, he gets thrown out of the house once and for all.

Meanwhile the elderly Indian had the tape translated and so even though she now knows why Lucky is distressed, it is however not in her nature to like or trust any Africans.  Once she discovers that the Government will pay anyone who adopts a AIDS orphan she decides to help.  She really is a grumpy old curmudgeon and sets about helping Lucky and enrolled in school just because of the money she is getting.  When Uncle finds out that he has let another source of income slip through his fingers he comes to her house and drags Lucky back home vowing that he will now keep the welfare.

This latest development seems to both empower Lucky and the old lady into not only fighting back but also once and for all try and track down Lucky’s father who had disappeared at birth.

It’s not the actual search for this better life that makes this gentle film so enchanting, but the slow transformation of cranky old selfish Padma into someone who really does care about this tough young orphaned boy.  There is a wonderful scene towards the end when they are talking to each other in their respective languages understanding nothing …. and everything  … both at the same time.

This is by no means a fairy tale, but it does at least have a happy ending.  And the boy is a brilliant wee actor……….

Available now on DVD

★★★★★★★


Posted by queerguru  at  04:07

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