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House of Stone Premiere – the takeaway

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The much hyped film – House Of Stone – premiered at Ster Kinekor, Joina City as planned with rave reviews by those who were present.

The Celebrity Club was among the many people invited to the premiere which started slightly a few minutes after 7pm with a notable attendance as people observed restrictive COVID19 health regulations amid rising cases in what is feared a second wave.

To be honest, oftentimes you are invited to a premiere and you go there expecting the same old script by a different director. And for us at The Club, we had put our money on House of Stone based on a promising trailer available on Youtube and other streaming platforms. You better check it out here if you havent.

Mr Mason and Mark Mabhena

Story

The film follows Mark Mabhena, a hustler, who returns to Harare from New York, to bury his father, Reuben Mabhena. Mark’s wars are mounting; there is a rogue Interpol agent,  LeGrange, on his tail and Patrick Morake, a streetwise gangster claiming to be his brother and joint heir to the family’s vast estate. He has to fight to safeguard his inheritance, family legacy and the honour of being a descendent of the great King Munhumutapa.

Dialogue

We have watched a couple of Zimbabwean films over the years and we have been disappointed when it comes to dialogue. We are great fans of intriguing, engaging and mature dialogue that House of Stone provided in abundance. The good thing about House of Stone dialogue is that immediately after watching the film, audiences left with catchy phrases;

“I never agreed to that nonsense. And I never will,” retorted the gun totting, violence and mayhem seeking,  trigger-happy Vicky setting the record straight on the stereotypical view that confines women to baby making machines and home based chores.
“Learn to trust me. I have no time to waste!” bellows Mark Mabhena whose penchant to use human targets to test his merchandise when underground dealers doubt him.
“Big words coming from a man with a small bag!” Mr Maison answers Mabhena dismissively.
“Don’t be a gullible idiot,” shouts Collete.

“Big words coming from a man with a small bag!”

Characters

Equally important to House Of Stone is the use of seasoned actors who showcase a high level of screen presence bringing to life the street wit of Patrick and Vicky Morake, the imposing Mabhena, relentless and insatiable Interpol agent Colette.

Don’t miss Ngoni Vere, king of the streets, spotting an urban Mohawk with an unforgettable street gaiety. Watch out for swirling emotions as he weeps.

Camera work

The shots are stunning; loads of establishing drone shots selling Zimbabwe picturesquely as a promising destination. The film also brings to life and fore, a night life that many only read about. The exceptional cinematography establishing the car race; the drone shot and the camera on the ground are a some of the great works that makes House Of Stone all the more unique and intriguing.

Whilst the majority of Zimbabwean films has sold Zimbabwe as a struggling country, House of Stone project Zimbabwe otherwise; as a vibrant city, full of life.

Themes

The film sports a plethora of overt and covert issues ranging from drugs, prostitution, corruption, deals, guns, inheritance, culture, art among others. Like always, Colette proved that, although money is not everything, it allows you to buy loyalty. House of Stone also plays the card of influential shadowy figures playing on all sides of the good and evil.

When the going gets tough humans tend to retrace their steps; such is the tale of Patrick faced with the opportunity of swimming in wealth and a raging Mark Mabhena on a warpath. Patrick visits the traditional healer for protection, strength and to prevail in the impeding conflict, the Moyos on the other end, faced with the prospect of losing their house as their son rot in jail, are fasting and singing hymns for relief. Plenty are the challenges of men!

This is obtaining on the ground as witnessed by mushrooming churches coming in their dozens and the Tsikamutandas coming to rip of the suffering masses.

Finally

The premiere closed off with Manuel Matsinye, the director of Marbles ZBCtv series and actress, Gloria Candice Zengeya winning a bottle of Champagne each for being the Best Dressed Personalities at the event.

Our Verdict

Like we pointed out in the previous article leading to the premiere – our money was on the film and indeed we stand by those words today. But then, it’s a movie and work of art. Almost always one or two things needs to be upped.

That will be addressed in the following episodes as House of Stone film has an accompanying serial in the works. The good news is the story is ready.

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