Zingy rom-com ‘Seriously Single’ offers lighthearted plot with refreshing twist

The film was directed by Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela. Supplied
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Updated 04 August 2020

Zingy rom-com ‘Seriously Single’ offers lighthearted plot with refreshing twist

CHENNAI: Loneliness can become excruciatingly difficult especially in times like these with a pandemic ravaging the world. And for those who live alone, it can be even more difficult.

Although the South African film, “Seriously Single,” takes place in a happier, normal period, its protagonist, Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani), is single and so lonely that she is desperate to hook up with any man who crosses her path.

A social manager in a Johannesburg firm, she is happy at work and with her close girlfriend, Noni (Tumi Morake). But after two disastrous relationships, Dineo is clearly unhappy. And she commits one mistake that so many men and women with failed affairs do. She befriends Lunga (Bohang Moeko) – on the rebound.

Directed by a brother-and-sister team, Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela, the movie, now playing on Netflix, infuses comedy into the gravity of the situation that Dineo finds herself in.

Lunga is already engaged to marry a girl, but does not tell Dineo, hoping that the new relationship would be nothing else but short-lived – a kind of one-night stand. Dineo has other ideas.

“Seriously Single” turns out predictable characters, but then they add a zing to the plot. Supplied

Dineo’s relationship with Lunga flies into turbulence, and she turns to Noni for advice and comfort. Noni firmly advocates independence and believes that women do not need men – except for physical gratification. She proudly keeps repeating that she never goes beyond a one-night stand. Otherwise, it can turn into a relationship, leading to possible heartbreak and sorrow.

“Seriously Single” turns out predictable characters, but then they add a zing to the plot, and this is what makes the film rise above the mundane.

Both women are genially disposed, and the betrayals they face have an element of fun. They are not morose, and there is no need for tissues.

Unfortunately, little attempt is made to capture the scenic beauty of Johannesburg. Supplied

There is nothing much to talk about in terms of cinematography, and the imagery is often flat. Little attempt is made to capture the scenic beauty of Johannesburg.

But “Seriously Single” stays away from getting serious and offers a lighthearted story of two women who think very differently, only to prove in the end that both were wide of the mark.

The twist when it comes after several ups and downs is refreshingly different.

Art Dubai announces new format, appoints Hala Khayat as regional head

Updated 22 September 2020

Art Dubai announces new format, appoints Hala Khayat as regional head

DUBAI: In a year that has become known for its constant stream of cancellations, postponements and transformations, Art Dubai has just announced that its 14th fair, which will take place on March 17-21, 2021 will have a revised format in line with today’s ever shifting possibilities. The fair has also announced that Hala Khayat, a long-time modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art expert and a former specialist in Arab, Iranian and Turkish art at Christie’s Dubai, will be its new regional director. While at Christie’s, Khayat, who comes from Syria, set up an NGO titled SAFIR in 2014 that promotes the work of young Syrian artists.

Portrait of Hala Khayat. Supplied

“Art Dubai will take place next year with an adapted program that takes into account expected social-distancing measures,” Khayat told Arab News. “This will include an adapted fair layout, a more personalized experience orchestrated through a new app and more outdoor experiences provided by the wonderful weather in the UAE during March and the fair’s unique location by the beach.”

For the first time, the fair will take place across multiple venues across the UAE. In addition to its long-time home at Madinat Jumeirah, these include the Jameel Arts Center in Dubai, the Sharjah Art Foundation and Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi, supported by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.

By Mohammed Kazem. Supplied

“In addition, we are planning an exciting week-long program of events outside of the fair and throughout the UAE, leveraging on synergies between the fair and the UAE’s main cultural institutions in celebration of the UAE’s 50th anniversary,” she added.

This new way of expressing creative synergies with UAE-based institutions constitutes the silver-lining of this year’s tumultuous changes: It’s time to look outside the traditional setting of an art fair and expand the program locally. With the lack of international travel these days, fairs need to creatively adapt their programs to harness greater local interest.

By Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim. Supplied

On the digital front, Art Dubai has some new additions. These include the new online exhibitions program, Art Dubai Portrait Exhibitions, which will present leading artists from across the Global South in the lead-up to the fair. It will kick off with works by Timo Nasseri, to be followed by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohammed Kazem, Aya Haidar, Dia Azzawi and Abdul Rahman Katanani.

Abdul Rahman Katanani. Supplied

There will also be a viewing room for all participating galleries, a series of presentations and other digital events planned for the week of the fair.

“The present moment requires a deeper than ever sense of community and engagement,” Khayat said. “I look forward to playing my part in nurturing existing as well as new relationships and engaging in audiences in the region and the broader Global South.”