A firm titled Highbrow by Chaz Daddie, a Malawian based in United States of America (USA), is set to be released in that country.
Daddie announced the news of the forthcoming film by saying: “Please watch a scene from my upcoming film Highbrow which I wrote and directed”.
He further said that there is a scene in the movie which was shot near Kanengo [in the city of Lilongwe].
In one of the scene made available to the public, an otherwise well-muscled man is bundled into a car, hands tied but legs as free as hot air in summer, and taken to an isolated area to be quizzed on ‘sins’ he has just committed.
Apparently, the bound man has betrayed someone on issues to do with money but that someone, who has the hallmarks of the protagonist in the film, seems to play down the idea that he has orchestrated of abduction simply because he feels short-changed on money.
It is about “trust” and not “money”, he declares at the onset of the scene in the film.
While the director of ‘HighBrow’ might be well-versed in screen writing, the scene in question exposes a number of mockeries to the word “highbrow” in all its senses– when used either as a noun or adjective.
To begin with, the male persona that abducts the ‘betrayer’ and takes him to an isolated place in Kanengo is lighter in weight than the abducted individual, which leaves one with more questions than answers as to how he managed to subdue the muscled man.
The abductor, who is holding a gun, shows lack of gun-handling awareness by pointing the gun at the ground and not the man he is supposed to be intimidating. The way he handles the gun also leaves a lot to be desired, as he treats it as a toy, shaking it anyhow, and not lethal weapon.
Other weaknesses in the less-than-four-minutes scene include lack of clue as to how to tie the abducted individual. Only the hands are tied and there are indications that the tool used may get loose earlier than later.
To make matters worse, the offended persona goes to the isolated place with a mere button stick while the abductor has a pistol. This is a mockery of the word “highbrow” as well as the idea of realism in filmmaking.
As they say, it is foolhardy to mock the intelligence of film-lovers. The solution lies in keeping a film as close to reality as possible. After all, “Highbrow” is not a sci-fi film.
And, again, at one point, the gun-totting abductor hits the tied man on the chest with his feet. Surprisingly, as if mocking the film-lover, the abducted man spits at the ground, as if he has been hit on the lips.
To add on to that, there seems to be more dialogue than action in the scene. The button stick is not used. The gun is not used. The subdued, but well-built, man only fights but with his mouth (words). There is too much promise with so little delivered in the scene.
Last, but not least, the cinematographer seems to have missed it by exposing the name of the car-maker of the automobile used for ferrying the abducted individual to the isolated place. It is not clear whether the filmmaker has a commercial deal with the car-maker or not.
Some of the names featured in the film include Amos Msekandiana, Locka Lanjesi and Kayikangu Malange.
Whatever the case, Daddie, has put himself out in the open for public scrutiny and it could be that, with Highbrow, there is more good to come in the full-length film than the shortcomings exposed in the ‘taste’ scene.