A viral star learns the meaning of growing up in this fun Afrikaans comedy that is reminiscent of a certain comedian style in the good ol’ States.
For over a decade, Karel Venter has been making a living making viral videos where he goes to various events and streaks. His best friend, Flip, records the videos and both he and Karel have made loads of money off of it, despite being arrested on numerous occasions. However, when Karel decides to streak a major golf event, his attempt to escape leads to a major accident that lands him in the hospital. On the way, he meets paramedic Rita Swart, whom he instantly takes a liking to. However, Rita has eyes for cosmetic surgeon Dr. JP du Toit, who retaliates his feelings for her.
When Karel meets Rita and her young daughter Bella, Karel slowly begins to fall in love with her and decides to give up streaking. However, when she begins seeing JP, she sees Karel more of a friend. When he goes back to streaking, he finds a rival in Vuyo Tshabalala, who is more than happy to be a rival for business as it has earned him plenty. When Karel learns Bella needs money for an eye operation, he decides to join forces with Vuyo to pull off the ultimate streak to raise the money for Bella. However, when she learns Karel has streaked again, Rita tells Karel to leave him alone as she plans to marry JP.
Seriously, a question has to be asked with this film. Why are they not releasing films like this internationally? Because this film is really funny, especially for those who have endured and have an appreciation for that old school Adam Sandler style of comedy. If Sandler had made a comedy in South Africa, most likely it would be something along the lines of this film, whether he would produce or even star in the film. But it feels more like if Sandler made the film, he would have one of his regulars play the lead.
Francois Jacobs goes both sides of the spectrum, starting the film off in a goofy manner as the viral streaker Karel. We get to see him at his best goofball style but once we see him with Rita, played by Christia Visser, we see the good natured more normal style of Karel. It gets to where Karel even decides to no longer streak out of respect for her. It’s clear there is that tension there but what helps more is when we see Karel having fun with the very intelligent Bella, we see more of Karel’s soft side while his bestie Flip, played by comedian and Kanarie lead star Schalk Bezuidenhout (sporting a 70’s Donald Sutherland look) begins a relationship with Rita’s bestie Maria, played with levelheadedness and a bit of kink by Tracey-Lee Oliver.
The film definitely will pertain to the female gaze. With Jacobs and co-stars Sivuyili Ngese (as Karel’s streaking rival Vuyo) and Slumber Party Massacre co-star Eden Classens (as rival JP), there are hints of nudity. There’s even a scene where when Karel intends to talk to Rita and runs into a towel sporting JP, Karel makes a reference to Men’s Health, the magazine in which Classens had made the cover at one point. Look out for an end credit scene that serves as a music video for the film’s theme song.
Kaalgat Karel is a fun, wild, and heartwarming Afrikaans comedy that is the equivalent of an Adam Sandler comedy. The cast is great in this and those into the female gaze will most likely want to see this as well.
WFG RATING: A-
kykNet Films presents a Boondogle Films production. Director: Meg Rickards. Producers: Paul Egan and Meg Rickards. Writers: Paul Egan and Meg Rickards. Cinematography: Bert Haitsma. Editing: Eva du Preez.
Cast: Francois Jacobs, Christa Visser, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Eden Classens, Tracey-Lee Oliver, Sivuyile Ngesi, Kelsey Egan, Rosebelle Clasen.