Malawi has done something special! Shot in the streets of Malawi, the Town Monger is the only movie you need to watch in 2017 and maybe January 2018 while you wait for The Black Panther which comes out in February 2018. One site has brilliantly captured our feelings towards the Town Monger in an apt headline, “Malawian Kung Fu movie restores the glory of African action films that was ripped apart by Nollywood”. It is easy to find a woefully bad Nollywood action film but the Town Monger is here to give a few lessons on how action film-making is done.
The Town Monger is so good a movie that one producer named Saidi Rashiz Cahapeyama attempted to steal it! He pretended he had been a part of the editing team after the movie’s trailer went viral. Such is the power of this kung fu movie that established names are trying to be involved after the fact. Shame on such opportunists!
The actual crew of the movie worked hard and deserve to be in the spotlight with no one hogging it. The acrobats in the movie taught themselves all the spectacular moves that only naturally remind us of the living legend that is Jackie Chan. Actually, the team learnt by watching Jackie Chan movies and videos of Cirque de Soleil. That explains the Jackie Chan channeling action in the movie. As if that is not awe-inspiring on its own, the movie had to be shot using a borrowed camera and an i-pad. For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the I-pad was borrowed too! Never again should anyone dare say magic cannot be made on borrowed cameras and I-pads.
Voice of America had occasion to talk to journalists at the movie’s first screening and they praised the movie, providing some necessary constructive criticism. Before delving into the reviews, it is clear that The Town Monger could have been better had there been English subtitles but word has it these are on their way so it is not a train-smash. After all, beat downs, kicks and punches are the only language one needs to understand to get the plot. The sound quality can also be forgiven, however, since this was a borrowed camera and I-pad, these people did not have too much at their disposal.
Shadrick Kalukusha of World Wide Media said, “What has impressed me most is the setting. As [what] was at the beginning, when the movie was being set, it was not just linear.”
Getrude Abudu of Rainbow TV also said, “It never had a lot of dialogue. That they can really grow on. It never had a lot of female actresses. We only saw only one female actress. That they can also definitely grow on.”
The Town Monger is a movie to watch. It is a call for governments to invest more in youths. The acrobats in the movie are school dropouts and this, again is a reminder that academic success is not all there is to life.
As a parting short, pay attention to one of the members’ very profound words, “We have sometimes been accused by many people, even by our own relatives, that what we are doing has no future. But I could not back down because I had a vision, and, moreover, these are the skills which God blessed me with.” His name is Alfred Hambali and soon he could be on the biggest billboard near your city centre. Watch out for Malawi!