South African Film Festival: The Honeymoon Film Review

The Honeymoon – Directed by Bianca Isaac

Whether you’re after hard-hitting documentaries or prefer light-hearted features, this year’s online South African Film Festival showcases a wide range of filmmaking talent.

You can take your pick from dozens of movies, or get a digital festival pass for access to every single one from the comfort of your own couch. And, with all proceeds going to Education Without Borders, you can get your entertainment fix while also feeling pretty smug about your philanthropic contributions.

Choosing from the diverse offering in the SAFF 2023 program was tough. But, as my monthly rollercoaster ride was approaching its hormonal peak, I decided to watch a girls-on-tour comedy for some light relief.

The Honeymoon joins three old college friends as they reach very different crossroads. Katia (Kajal Bagwandeen) is jilted at the alter, Noks (Tumi Morake) is trying – and failing – to leverage her career as a social media joke, and Lu (Minnie Dlamini) is a mother of two struggling to find space for her own identity.  

When the wedding implodes, they decide that cocktail fuelled debauchery on Katia’s intended Zanzibar honeymoon is the only reasonable course of action. I won’t go into too much detail – because I really hate it when film reviews basically tell you the whole plot – but suffice it to say that it gets a bit messy and each character is forced to take a good hard look at their life. 

Left to Right: Tumi Morake, Kajal Bagwandeen, Minnie Dlamini

The film takes some time to warm up but, once it gets going, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. It’s silly and colourful with an upbeat soundtrack that will make you dance on your sofa. The beautiful beaches, the glamorous costumes, and the numerous Insta-montages will also make you want to drag your besties to Zanzibar pronto!

The characters are ridiculous yet relatable. Morake puts in a crowd-pleasing performance as a larger-than-life social media wannabe. The chemistry between Morake and co-star Dlamini also makes for entertaining viewing. There are several moments throughout where it feels like their dialogue and reactions were ad-libbed. Whether this was the case or not – their portrayal of female friendship in all its intimate ridiculousness brought a smile to my face.

Another notable performance is delivered by Tasveer Maharaj as Katia’s fiancee, Vivaan. Despite only appearing in a handful of scenes, he will forever be etched in my brain as an intolerable tool and a male reproductive organ of epic proportions. Seriously – the guy is an absolute douche.

Although The Honeymoon fits into the romantic comedy bracket, it’s really a story about friendship and female identity. From public urination and vandalism to golden showers, these women share everything and they’ve got each other’s backs no matter what. 

This movie won’t change your life – nor is it trying to. It’s a little bit cheesy at times (like any good rom-com), but this is nicely balanced by some outlandish antics. It’s predictable and unexpected in equal measure. Ultimately, it’s a fun and easy watch – great for streaming over wine and chocolate with friends!

SAFF is online in Australia and New Zealand from May 11 – 31 
Browse films and get your festival pass here 
Learn more about Education Without Borders here

About the author

Originally from Wales, Siri is a native Welsh speaker and bilingual writer living in Sydney. With a background in film and television production, particularly comedy, she loves to make people laugh - usually at her own expense. Siri writes about all sorts from film and restaurant reviews to marathon running and adventure travel. She loves pale ale and shiraz and is yet to meet a chocolate mousse she can’t devour in seconds. An intrepid adventurer trapped inside the body of a couch potato, there’s nothing Siri won’t try - but she can’t promise to be even remotely graceful while doing it.


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