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Catch a Fire by Phillip Noyce Essay

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Updated: Jan 3rd, 2022

One can hardly deny that the right to freedom is one of the most important issues discussed nowadays. Moreover, it has always been an issue for debates in America and South Africa. The freedom of Africans has gone through so many changes and tortures for the past century that the problem is worthy of being screened. Of course, there are many movies on the same topic; however, the most thrilling one is Catch a Fire by Phillip Noyce.

Brief Summary

It is a political thriller that touches every sophisticated soul disregarding the taste in cinematography. It is an amazingly described story of a man of South Africa to freedom. The movie is a representation of a heart-rending story shown in thrilling and compelling scenes. The movie is shot in a way that you can understand and come to the conclusion that black Africans are just the same people as we are: they are not half-starved and uneducated – the stereotypes are being broken due to the movie release in 2006.

The protagonist is Patrick Chamusso who is working as a soccer coach, oil refinery expert, and being out of politics right until he and his wife are being taken to jail. The hero is worth talking about because ‘The story of Chamusso’s rebellion is an object lesson in the foundations of guerilla warfare’ (Arendt, 2007) The times showed are 1970’s – Africa’s oppressive regime of Apartheid, hence the underground freedom movements were spreading across the country, though Patrick is trying to stay away from those. All that he wanted was to be a good breadwinner and provide for his family perfectly by working persistently. He is depicted as a nice and kind-hearted man who was mistakenly accused of taking part in terrorist acts.

The movie’s storyline turns into interesting curves. Before Patrick’s discharge, his family goes through weeks of torture. The movie is a thriller due to its scenes: Patrick’s friends and collaborators are murdered in the anti-terrorism operations whose head is Niv Vos. After Patrick comes back home from jail, he finds himself being sympathetic to the protagonists of the freedom movement. He cannot escape the soul torments; he cannot just sit still on his sofa, and work at his job as if nothing happened before. Therefore he abandons his family and joins the harebell group: and the once-docile citizen did molt into an insurgent, the very rebel Vos and his kind feared in the first place (Schwarzbaum, Movie Review).

Movie Assessment

The play of Derek Luke (Patrick) is marvelous he succeeded in showing the character evolving from a fair worker to a revolutionary terrorist. At some point in the movie development, there is a subconscious thought that comes to one’s mind about Patrick and Nic being the same person with the same values except for political beliefs. Both of them care about their families and love the lives they live. One gets to understand that it is hard to define the evil and the good one between the two characters. Both of them fight for their kids to live in a peaceful world, except the methods and the motives are different.

It has to be mentioned that the director of the movie is good at depicting the hero in a dramatic way rather than a thrilling one: My children when they speak of their father, they will say he was a man who stood up for what was right, a man who said he must do something now. What will your children say about you? (Catch a Fire, 2006)

Works Cited

Arendt, Paul. Catch a Fire (2007). Web.

Catch a Fire. Dir. Phillip Noyce. Perf. Derek Luke, Tim Robbins, and Bonnie Henna. Focus Features, 2006 (USA).

Schwarzbaum, Lisa. Catch a Fire. Movie Review. Web.

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