The plot has been carved by writer-director Hood from a sprawling novel by Athol Fugard ("Boesman And Lena") and transposed gracefully from the early '60s to the present. More than most recently exported South African-set pics, "Tsotsi" gets across the ruthless violence in cities like Johannesburg, the setting here.
In this essay I am going to analyze the movie poster for the film “ Tsotsi”. The genre of this film is a psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions; it puts a human face of both victims and the violent crime and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage. It was released in 2005 and stars Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Kenneth Nkosi, Zenzo Ngqobe, Terry Pheto, Zola, Jerry Mofokeng, Rapulana Seiphemo, Nambitha Mpumlwana, Ian Roberts, Percy Matsemela. This is a drama which is suited for viewers entailing parental guidance of eighteen years and older as there is a lot of violence and crime and language it is not suitable for all ages, in the movie it exposes real life scenarios and depicts what happens around our communities. The following elements on the poster will be discussed further; the characters namely Tsotsi and the baby, the setting, font style of the title Tsotsi, as well as the tagline.
Tsotsi and his gang stab a man on the subway with an ice pick to steal his wallet in a tense, wordless scene that makes fine use of sound and close-ups. Afterward, at a township drinking den, Tsotsi brutally beats fellow gangster Boston (Mothusi Magano) when the latter dares to ask if there was ever anyone Tsotsi really cared about.
Tsotsitaal has been a model for Iscamtho, due to the cultural prestige of Sophiatown. But the youth abandoned it in the 1970s, when Afrikaans came to be no more associated with the power of the state, as it had been so far, but was recognized as the language of apartheid and oppression (especially after the 1976 Soweto Uprising). Iscamtho then became the one youth language in Soweto.
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As a gangster language, Tsotsitaal originally was a male-only language. The same applies to Iscamtho. A female speaker would then be identified as either a gangster's girlfriend or a prostitute. For male speakers however, the language quickly acquired a meaning of city-slickness and street-wisdom, and mastering it was the proof that one knew the urban environment well enough to cope and not be threatened. However, as Tsotsitaal became the symbol of the cultural life of Sophiatown (before the area was cleared of its residents in the mid-1950s) it was adopted by a number of women. But only the most independent and self-affirmed women would then become Tsotsitaal-speakers.
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Sidenote - director Gavin Hood was rewarded for his success on Tsotsi by being handed a Hollywood picture called Rendition, due out this year. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin. CAST~!
Neither his feature debut A Reasonable Man (1999) nor In Desert And Wilderness (2001) established Gavin Hood as an international name but Tsotsi should remedy that; crisply edited, compact and compelling, it is filled with bravura moments.
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