Vaatjie Visagie is finally out of school, enrolled into chef school and has plans to become a master pastry chef. Things are looking good, to the extent where he’s scored the top marks in school for the exams. Of course this puts him in the line for the sought after “Patteseri” award and the opportunity to do his practical chef training under the guidance of a famous master chef in France. However, things take a turn for the worst when the school bully frames him for stealing the headmistress’ cellphone… Vaatjie gets expelled (pending an investigation), but things quickly becomes worst and soon we have Vaatjie trying to flea the country in the hopes that he won’t go to jail for something he’s not done.
Vaatjie Sien Sy Gat is a title that’s loosely translated to “Vaatjie Sees His Ass”, which means that he’s got problems and boy oh boy, does our reluctant hero have problems! One of the funniest films to come out of South Africa in recent years, this film has its toilet humour, moments of mystery and general fun well-balanced to give the audience a great experience. What’s more is that, although it’s in Afrikaans, the English subtitles aren’t misspelled, which obviously ranks high in my books…
There are fat jokes, racist jokes (in a very tasteful manner, of course), jokes about sex, jokes about the government and more, all whilst keeping to the plot and making poor Vaatjie run for his life and salvage what he can from this dire situation. Vaatjie Sien Sy Gat is a spin-off film of Poena is Koning ( translated to “Poena is King” – which brought to life the song that every white person in South Africa sings when they’re drunk, namely “Leeuloop”) and in some ways, the spin-off is way more entertaining than one would have thought. The film also introduced to us the hit sitcom show “Molly en Wors” on the Afrikaans TV channel Kyknet. The actors in the film are household names to South African audiences who have been in the business since the Apartheid’s era and in more ways than one, people around these parts have come to love, admire and almost “know” these actors over the years.
Unfortunately it’s a bitter sweet film as well, not so long ago Andrew Thompson who was a rising star in the business (acting in Poena is Koning, Bakgat!, Bakgat! 2 and Molly en Wors) took his own life and watching the film just brings back memories of how a promising career and young life had been taken away so quickly. It’s sad to see him on-screen, but still, the comedy makes it bearable.
To those who want to see another side of South African cinema, click on the image to buy your copy of Vaatjie Sien Sy Gat. English audiences can rest assured that there are subtitles too, so don’t worry about the language barrier too much.