Directed by Bruno Mourral Written by Jasmuel Andri, Gilbert Mirambeau Jr. and Bruno Mourral Starring Jasmuel Andri, Rolaphton Mercure, Manfred Marcelin, Rolando Étienne, Marcus Boereau, Ralphe Théodore, Sionel Dorcély Short Film Review by Chris Olson
Haitian dark comedy Kafou is a riotously funny short film from Jasmuel Andri, Gilbert Mirambeau Jr. and Bruno Mourral that combines a buddy road trip with a thrilling crime caper, resulting in a laugh-a-minute journey through the dark streets of urban Haiti.
When hired to operate as a couple of ‘delivery’ boys for a criminal kingpin called Fritz (Manfred Marcelin), Zoe (Rolapthon Mercure) and Doc (Jasmuel Andri) had no idea their night was about to be filled with so many twists of fate. As they traverse the dark and empty streets with their ‘cargo’ in the trunk, they are met by numerous crossroads which offer up a delightful array of mishaps and altercations, such as a dog that becomes windscreen fodder and cops that uphold far less of the law than they should.
Coming in at a touch over fifty minutes, Kafou only just qualifies as a short film but it is one which delivers on so many levels. First and foremost, the chemistry between Mercure and Andri is rapturously funny. Several hijinks are played by Zoe on the always-serious Doc, and it is these lighter camaraderie moments that are some of the highlights, such as a brilliantly simple sequence where the former childishly stops Doc entering the car by pulling away slightly and then bursting into gut-busting laughter at his own hilarity.
Director Bruno Mourral utilises this awesome chemistry and backs it up with some excellent filmmaking. The entire short film has a strong quality to it, with daring camera angles and editing to keep the pace nippy, and some wonderful aerial shots that provided a compelling glimpse into urban street life in the ghetto. Kafou could have easily stretched to a feature length on the strength of the performances and filmmaking alone. However, the film contained even more impressive elements for audiences to thoroughly enjoy.
On a thematic level, the story was a wonderful exploration of self-preservation done in an authentic manner. These two characters could have so easily become caricatures of criminal street thugs, only serving to bumble and buffoon their way through assemblage of scuffs and scrapes. Instead, Doc and Zoe are interesting and well-rounded characters, with believable motivations and are still highly entertaining. The comedy also gives way to some palpable tenderness and pathos in the latter third of the movie which was superbly done without spoiling the tone or atmosphere.
Inordinately enjoyable with character and charm to spare.
Watch the official Kafou movie trailer below...
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