Skip to main content

Father’s Day Fake Sons

Gopal Verma’s Hindi film Sarkar Raj has something in common with Romeo Must Die, starring Aaliyah, Jet Li and Delroy Lindo. 

They are both extremes of what happens when young men who manage the wealth of their rich bosses end up seeing themselves as part of the family, and not as hired help.
In Sarkar Raj, Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan), Govinda‘s youngest son comes back from abroad to join his father’s empire.  Govinda, played by Amitabh Bachchan is a political fixer, the local hero or don, depending on who is talking.
Cheka, Govinda’s right hand man for many years sees himself as his son that should take over when the old man goes.  He plots with local politicians and kills Shankar. 

Right hand man wants to be a son
Romeo Must Die was directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak.  The film is about greed and is set mainly in Oaklands California.  Delroy Lindo plays Isaak O’Day, a powerful African American businessman who does not do things legitimately some time. 

He shares this with Ch’u Sing (Henry O) a Chinese-American who uses his restaurant as a cover up for his illegal businesses.

Isaak O’Day has a son Colin, played by D.B. Woodside.  Ch’u Sing has two sons, Po Sing (Jon Kit Lee) who lives in the U.S. with him and Han Sing, played by Jet Li, who is in prison in Hong Kong.  Isaak’s empire is run by his right hand man Mac (Isaiah Washington).  Ch’u Sing also has a right hand man, Kai, played by Russel Wong.

A local businessman wants to build a stadium on the San Francisco waterfront area controlled by Isaak and Ch’u Sing.  Mac and Kai threaten or kill fishermen who don’t want to move.  Han Sing escapes from prison when he hears that his brother Po Sing was murdered. 
He meets Isaak’s daughter Trish O’Day (Aaliyah) when he arrives in the United States.  The film is about how they discover that Mac and Kai regarded themselves as proxy sons to their bosses, and not as employees. 

Blood is not thicker than water because Ch’u Sing killed Po Sing, his own son for that real estate deal on the San Francisco waterfront.
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Black Panther Casting

Chadwick Boseman sure looks like a younger John Kani in Black Panther.That is why the movie won the Best Casting category in my little awards.  Envelope please!

Kani plays King T’Chaka.Boseman is T’Challa, his son.What a striking resemblance.It reminds me of my arrival in New York City some years ago.I used to stare at African Americans because they looked like a cousin, uncle, neighbour, teacher, friend, doctor or someone on the bus. Sure, we learnt about slavery at school, how slave traders stole Africans and how internal wars between chiefs also led to humans being taken to another continent in chains. But being in America, seeing people who look like your world, in Africa, was painful.

“Death is better than bondage.” That is what one character said in Black Panther.Was it Erik Killmonger?I’m not sure but I will double check when I go back.Yes, again.The movie is a cinematic buffet.Don’t talk with your mouth full, as mama would say. We gave the film the Best Casting category for other…

Toddlers And Thanksgiving

Toddlers wail and holler because of boring parents, not because of presumed reasons.

He is wet.
She must be hungry. Toddlers cry because parents are predictable.Getting into the stroller is either good or bad news.Good news if it is going out of the apartment or house to interact with the world, bad news if it is going back home to spend another day fenced in, like convicted criminals.

They can have beautiful pink or blue rooms with toys bought from Toys “R” Us, before the business filed for bankruptcy, but toddlers want more, to touch and feel the world.They itch for adventure. That is why they smile at strangers, extend their tiny hands to touch the bus window, point at dogs and run around the mall with mum in hot pursuit. Toddlers are not born equal.Toddlers in the north of the world spend most of their time indoors staring at blowing snow while their counterparts down south in Africa drive their brothers and sisters crazy, because they want to follow them everywhere.Rain is the only t…