Ayanda movie full length review - More Than It Seems...
(Ayanda) is a coming-of-age youth film covered in an industrial look and feel deep inside bustling parts of Johannesburg.
Ayanda is a hippie girl who has been keeping his deceased father's spirit alive by running a motor spares garage. Her casual boyfriend David,works with them on a team of three employees together with Zoum.
It is an inspirational film from a women who have taken the ropes in their own hands and allowed themselves to dream. Since her father died in a unconventional heavy machinery accident, Ayanda picked up the pieces to head up the garage. Perhaps to keep him alive in some ways.
There is a special character in this film who is doing a project on the ordinary lives of individuals living around Yeoville. Through him we learn about the character's motivation and it also simplifies the story for us. He's like a visible narrator who speaks through the characters.
The women in the film are all trying to get ahead in life, but most have settled for an average outlook. Ayanda's mother Dorothy works in a Laundromat and is another distressed dream killer. She fails to recognize her daughter's enduring ability to preserve her father's legacy with a mechanic job stereo-typically suited for men.
It is when Ayanda's 'uncle', Zama, declares that the garage is at a financial destitute that we get to see what this 21 year-old girl is made of. She'll do everything to keep it running because she obsessed with it more especially her inherited old car which gives her hope.
Ayanda's non-criminal approach on pursuing her dreams is noteworthy. She could have fought fire with fire but she chose not to. She is fierce but also selfish. Blinded by her desire to win. To keep the garage. At most cost.
Zama won't back down easily and tries to get Ayanda to back out of the business by staging a robbery, although no one suspects him. But in the end Zama resorts to accepting his fate to give Ayanda what she worked hard for.
Loss is a theme in the film. The old lady dies and they offer Ayanda her clothes. Something that is personal like the car. The conversation Ayanda had with her little cousin was crucial. She explained that she doesn't miss her late father and implied that he was 'with her all the time'. This had a deeper meaning. It's a reflection. Ayanda sees herself in this girl who's also dealing with a loss of a parent at a young age.
Another one is opportunity. Immigration is a fundamental topic in the story. David got awarded a bursary to study a Human Rights degree at Wits which some may argue belonged to South Africans. Ayanda's uncle mocks Lenaka at the gathering about his level of education. Flaunting that his children went to university whereas Lenaka and his sister have not.
Dorothy finally has the opportunity to let go of her past by getting rid of the business which has been a painful reminder to her. Even though it's really Zama who's pulling the strings. She can afford to buy the house with the sale of the garage and give her children a place to stay.
Family is another one. Zoum is a committed father and tries to keep up with the demands of his families needs. His wife also chases after him from time to time. But he sacrifices his family time to help Ayanda. He could have been a stay-at-home dad as his wife was expecting again. When the old lady dies, her daughter prefers to keep the funeral in the family with no outsiders. Call it a way to grieve.
Immigration. The film maker who uses a digital camera and a tripod must be an immigrant who is taking an opportunity by starting a project to tell of diverse lives of the people of Yeoville as far as Ayanda and the garage is concerned. David and his brother ran away from Nigeria to start a life this side. His brother makes a living by dealing unlawfully. But David is one of the good ones. Often reminded of what his brothers and sisters are getting up to in the streets.
Loyalty. Zama wasn't loyal to the family but he had a change of heart. Ayanda's loan shark agent friend had to look out for her by advising her not to take up the ridiculously high interest rate loan. David's brother failed him when they immigrated to Southern Africa. Zama's apartheid friend disappeared with his money and put him in trouble.
Commitment. Ayanda was committed to keeping the garage open at all cost. She wanted the same sentiment from Zoum. Dorothy was committed more than ever to raising her children after her husband died. She had to fully assume and establish the role of motherhood and forget about dreaming. She went through a traumatic experience and kept unresolved resentment following Moses' death. She did bookkeeping for him and they were always together. She was his guardian angel up until that day they had an argument about Zama and he ended up with a car body on top of him which is a rare mistake to make in the motor industry. But because he was 'distracted' it happened. The most important theme of all is sacrifice. Zama sacrifices his freedom and surrenders to the authorities. Ayanda sacrifices her beloved inheritance so she can get her lover back from police custody. Dorothy wants to sacrifice the garage so she could keep her sanity.
David sacrifices his studies in a foreign country so he could help Ayanda. The argument scene must have been a vital plot. David had to lose his morals (human wrongs) to achieve this. He participated in aiding the garage by procuring stolen parts.
The cop sacrifices his commendable service job to get the car of his dreams.