Zambezia : Film Review

Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

The quote from Jonathan Livingston’s Seagull holds true for this Zambezian joyride. Having been extensively shot in Africa, the film gives a serene view of its flora and fauna. Although the crux of the film’s story remains the protagonist’s quest to find himself and a meaning of his life, he ultimately finds his origin which takes him towards his life’s goal.

Kai, the protagonist, is a young Falcon who lives with his father in Katungu desert. When his father’s failed attempts to make his son competent to face the cruelty of the world lands the two in a tussle, Kai takes a swing and confronts life on his own. He flees the desert to fly into the much-known bird city, Zambezia. Zambezia welcomes Kai with open arms and stores secrets in its womb, it has kept about his (Kai’s) origins. With each passing day, Kai makes new friends and discovers his inherent talents. Young Kai meets Zoe, the tender feeling of love blooms between the two. When Kai meets Ezee, he gets an annoyingly sweet friend for life. But it is Gogo and Tini who reveal the bitter truth of Kai’s life for him. As soon as he enters the bird world, Zai is taken in as the permanent resident of Zambezia. Aspiration of being a Hurricane, the Millitary bird patrolling and protecting Zambezia, is fullfilled as he qualifies the trials putting his best foot-forward. All the lessons taken from his father are put in by Kai to get the Hurricane batch. Now even though he does qualify for a Hurricane yet a trainee isn’t allowed to get on important missions. This outclasses him but his will is still raw. He chases the Hurricane squad and lands amongst the scavengers who have kidnapped his father and the weaver birds. Scavengers are outcast birds who have been misled by an iguana, Budzo. Budzo wishes to conquer the bird city and thrive on the eggs of innocent birds. Hurricanes try to stop these desperados before their joyous world is stamped down but to their dismay, they get trapped in the evil plans woven by the scavengers. Now all rests on the shoulders of Kai and his friends – Zoe and Ezee – to save the delightful world of Zambezia.

This 83-minute film has some very good nuances about it. From the background music, which solely enriches the experience of being on African land to the hues of love and beauty the bird world presents. The animation and the 3D effects add to the smooth transition of the events taking place. However, there was a lot of room for improvement. Nonetheless, the audience is likely to feel the zeal while watching the film as it has its share of adrenaline-pumping events. You will not miss out on the subtletly the film offers from the bird city. Be it the landing of the birds, the bars, the lounges or the hair parlor, the film does have a human touch to it. Also one cannot blink at the expressions of these tiny creatures for they are so heart-melting. The language of the film brings out the Zembian in you making you go “wazza (wassup)” and “a-mazen (amazing)”. However, as true as this might be, yet the film lacked the wow essence essentially present in animated films.

In spite of being a debut venture, Director Wayne Thornley ‘s efforts, to churn out a film that appeals to children, should be lauded. With ten writers taking the credence for the film’s story, audience shall nowhere feel that it has led to adulteration. And although the film is not a Pixar, Walt Disney or Dreamworks production yet a team of 155 people working on the animation of the film do not falter with the work. The voice-over for the characters have been given by Jakub Mroz (Kai), Jamal Mixon (Ezee), Jenifer Lewis (Gogo), Samuel L. Jackson (Tendai), Jim Cummings (Budzo and Marabous). 

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