Zambezi Magic Films Under Review: Mwine Mushi – Less Comic, More Educative

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Last time I reviewed Mwine Mushi, I called it “a shadow of its former self” due to the absence of Kasaka (Webster Chiluba). I even said, “Frankly speaking, it was Kasaka’s notoriety and the headman’s subsequent outrage that shaped the comedy into what enchanted the viewers.” Do I sound like I’m backpedaling? No way! I’m just looking at it from a different perspective.

The original brand was, of course, more hilarious. That is the primary objective of a comedy. But the rebranded one is more mature. The misdemeanors committed in the previous one didn’t even have solid ground to warrant the headman’s attention. But now they have real cases worth mediation of the village’s most esteemed personage.

In the case at hand, Mwine Mushi has a hard time mediating in the case of an unfulfilled promise. A man and a girl from the same village start a relationship. The guy pays her school fees from primary through tertiary. When the girl gets the education, her ‘level’ far outweighs that of the guy. She takes a different lane and wants to marry someone of equal status. The guy doesn’t swallow that so easily. Who would? Thus, the case is tabled before the headman.

The girl has a genuine reason to ditch the guy. He is an uneducated villager fit to shame the college graduate in a situation calling for academic qualifications. On that one, she has a case. On the other hand, she must realize that the piper must be paid. How does she expect to get away, unscathed, with all the expenses the guy incurred to send her to school?

The guy demands a refund of K90, 000, but that sounds a little outrageous. That’s why even the headman finds it hard to pass judgment.

All in all, the author, Robam Mwape, is telling the world that it is unfair for a woman to milk a man’s economy for her education and let someone else rip the fruitage. I hope someone out there learns a lesson.

LANDLADY MEETS LANDLORD

Landlady Meets Landlord is back and contrary to everyone’s expectation, Malingose (Patience Chibale) is alive and kicking. In season two she realized that her betrothal to Laban’s son, Mwila, was not working out, so, she opted to travel back to the village. And when her hosts in the city heard of a road accident in which a lady had died, they concluded that it was Malongose.

In season three, currently showing, it turns out that they got it all wrong. The police find her loitering at night, detain her briefly and in the morning return her to her hosts where drama continues.

Let’s first talk about some realities of life. The sudden appearance of a person believed dead can cause unprecedented fright, right? It does to Thandi (Catherine Phiri), daughter of Lizzy and Laban when Malingose visits her in her bedroom. It can happen to anyone, it’s inborn. But the fear that she displays is misplaced.

You’ll agree with me that phobia comes in different forms. For instance, the way we behave when there is lightening is not the way we react to a fierce dog. Or when you are in a speeding car, the phobia that you display is different than when someone unexpectedly pours cold water on you. The fear that Thandi displays when she sees Malingose, whom she believes is dead, is not phasmophobia (fear of ghosts), rather, it is entomophobia (fear of insects); it is as if a spider is crawling towards her… you know that feeling. I’ve never seen a ghost but I still don’t agree with her action. She should have taken a leaf from the way it is done in horror movies.

Back to Malingose. She is back, so what? Well, the story has direction again. The first time she came to the city, she was brought specifically for betrothal to Mwila, son of Laban, the landlord. But after multiple cold shoulders from the city guy, it is clear she has no place in his heart. That is why this time around, she wants nothing to do with him. She says it herself. In this case, I don’t know what she is doing in Mwila’s parents’ house. Maybe she will be working as a maid, but I hope Mwila develops some passion for her to give her reason to stay in the house or his parents revert to their original plan.

In the same production, there is a big change. The guy who was acting Masuzyo in season two has left the cast and is replaced by Matthews Chikwanda. That’s what you do if you don’t want to ‘kill’ a character. In season three Chikwanda snicks into the role so inconspicuously that you hardly notice the change. Kudos to the young man! But if you are a critic like me, you immediately noticed that this is a different Masuzyo. We’ll see what the new actor has to offer.

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