KATIKATI (film)

Kenyans can be insanely creative when they decide to be. And this movie is a testament of that.

I remember when it came out, and I missed the few days they gave it at Kenya Cinemas if they did in the first place. But didn’t I look for it? I was desperate to watch it. The trailer seemed like something out of this world. I think I watched that trailer tens of time.

It looked like a story about ghosts. Like something about a purgatory of sorts. Though that I depicted from the name itself and the ghost look alike in their adverts.

So I couldn’t believe my luck when I found it in the showmax you should all have subscribed to for African films. I didn’t even expect it to be there. Partly because sometimes when I want something so badly and I don’t get it, I forget all about it. Till further notice.

Anyway, it hasn’t disappointed. If anything, my soul knew something I didn’t when it kept on insisting on me to watch it last year.

Its the first Kenyan film I’ve watched that has balanced out everything I require in a movie. I have simple wants for me to call a movie good.

A good story. Add some creativity to it. Like why should I watch your film? What are you telling me while at it?

Well acted. Of course it would be a waste of a good story if it isn’t well acted. From my view, sometimes Kenyans overact. Like they try too much. I’ve really been avoiding mentioning other Kenyan movies here, they don’t deserve to be in the same write up with this film. But anyway, as I was saying, good acting simply means that. Bringing out the characters you are representing well. Not above or below.

Good cinematography. Kenyans really do try on this one. Even the badly acted films usually have good cinematography.

Good flow of the story. From step A to Step B. How are the dots connecting with each other as the movie progresses?

And then there are the more complex needs of mine like casting appropriate actors for the roles. Like don’t just pick an overused actor in Kenya simply because they are popular. Do they fit into the role?

Katikati, possesses all those qualities. All of them! And as I’ve said, its quite rare for me to encounter all of them in one piece.

Everything about this movie has caught my attention. Yaani its so well done I don’t even know where to begin. You know when you love chicken, and then someone cooks it so damn well with all the right spices, and doesn’t just stop there, but presents it beautifully too? Like you are left with orgasms in your mouth after every bite? That’s how this film was.

Summarising it, its about this ‘in the middle world’ where you go to sometime after you die. In there you have to deal with some issues. Either pertaining to what you died of, or something that unless you get over, you won’t progress to the next level. Some people like Mikey deal with their issues and progress well to the next level while some like Thoma and the priest give in and progress to another world we aren’t told what it is exactly.

I really loved who they chose as their lead actors. Elsaphan Njora who acted as Thoma brought out his character so damn well. Like one can be mistaken to think he was just being himself in there. It doesn’t feel like he’s acting even for a second. Especially his drinking and laughter. They are so natural.

And Kaleche. Don’t know her name outside here. I think Gethaiga or someone. Anyway, she’s like Kenna( or Sam as she’s called outside here) from Rafiki. People who speak with their body languages. Like you can tell what she’s feeling even before she speaks. You feel the confusion on her face. You feel the wanting to know answers in her walk. Like her body and mind don’t need a voice to communicate to you.

And I really loved that. That everyone in this movie looks and acts like their characters. Even Mikey. As he was speaking I was thinking that all of us know a guy like him. Who plays basketball, has had some tough life, but still laughs and when out here, enjoys life. Hakuna haja ya stress. Those guys.

And the story flows. With the ‘complicated’ storyline, I would have expected them to struggle a bit in ensuring that the curiosity of what’s going on doesn’t frustrate the audience. But its not a struggle. Its like a well unfolding story. Step by step. I think I was only really curious in the first few minutes as I held my breath hoping this isn’t one of those over hyped donor funded Kenyan movies that end up disappointing in almost everything except cinematography. But I think after 5 minutes, I let go of my breath and enjoyed it.

You definitely should look for this one if you haven’t watched it already. It will be a refreshing one hour twelve minutes of your life.

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