VEVE: Don’t Believe the Trailer People

VEVE: Don’t Believe the Trailer People

It is estimated that VEVE or KHAT or MIRAA whatever you choose to call it, earns its players an estimated 30 million Kenyan shillings a day. These players are as numerous as they are complex. Many are elusive to the taxman but keep good company with the law enforcers. And as with anything that involves lots of money and blurred lines of legality, in the VEVE industry, you will find drama. One of Kenya’s most successful film production companies took on the drama and served it up on our big screens by way of VEVE, the movie. Read Synopsis here

With strong films like ‘Nairobi Half Life’ and ‘Something Necessary’, to their name, One Fine Day Films have set certain standards that the discerning Kenyan film lover has come to expect. So does VEVE live up to those standards?

YES and NO. And here is why:

YES because of:
The characters: I liked that they are diverse, interesting and complex- the main characters were fully developed with complete lives. This is something I don’t get to see nearly enough in movies these days. It’s as if someday, somewhere along the line, someone decided that character development was no longer important in movies. In fact it has gotten so bad that most movies I watch at the cinema, I watch because of the action and the drama. I know if I want developed characters, I get a series. But VEVE, gave me the ‘character development’ fix I have been craving for so long.

The story: Its great. Ambition, intrigue, love, betrayal, revenge, power are themes that hold significance and universal insight into our relationships. In VEVE, they are tackled superbly, conversations flow and characters gel. The director certainly had a vision for this very well written script. He created scenes that were relevant and believable, even if they weren’t always enjoyable. I do wish I could have seen a little of Meru’s beauty in this film though.

NO because of:
The subtitles: Let’s just say thank God I can figure my way around the Swahili language- because if I didn’t. I probably wouldn’t have had as much fun watching this film. There is English, there is Swahili and there is Meru- which is fine as it serves to make the performances that much more believable. I just wish they had gotten the translation right. Personally I am not complaining because all the Swahili humour was absolutely delightful (and there was plenty that was served up), it’s just that the English subtitles – on more than several occasions failed to capture what was said in Swahili. I have to wonder what they failed to capture with the Meru translations. I guess I will never know as I don’t speak Meru.

The trailer: Now I am not one to dissect trailers but that is because I have never had to. For me the purpose of a trailer is to attract an audience to a film. More often than not, movies are unable to live up to their incredible trailers. With VEVE, it was the complete opposite; the trailer was unable to live up to the movie. Which to me, is just plain odd. When I first saw the trailer, I didn’t particularly want to watch this movie. So I thought to myself: “The makers are either saving the best parts for the film or readying us for disappointment”.  As it turned out, it was the former. They under promised and over delivered- which would work just fine if they were running a hotel or some other place where customer care is important- not when creating a movie trailer.

So when you do get to watch the trailer, don’t take it at face value, rather watch the movie and take that at face value.

VEVE opens in cinema’s on 4th September 2014. Check the KenyaBuzz schedules for details.
This review is courtesy of Century Cinemax The Junction




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