Viva Riva


Posted June 24, 2011 in Cinema Reviews

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

I have a bad habit of giving subtitled films a much easier time than those in a language I can understand. Viva Riva!, set in Senator Norris’ old stomping ground, the vividly manky Kinshasa, is a crime-thriller about bootleggers and wannabe gangsters that takes place in a swirl of Congolese Lingala, French and Angolan Portuguese. The impressive setting (this is an entirely Congolese production) and the flurry of the languages set up a barrier to stop you realising immediately, though not eventually, just how well-worn the story-lines are or even from judging individual performances. The obvious comparison that springs to mind is a less complex, less interesting, African version of Cidade de Deus. Chock full of big-swinging-mickey characters who are generally riding or racking up the body-count. Viva Riva! lacks the subtlety required to distinguish itself from the pack at anything other than surface level.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8GGI1lwgkk

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