Good-hearted but dull and a slave to its director’s outsider-looking-in bias, Masai: The Rain Warriors follows the struggle of a group of Masai men in the deepest heart of Kenya to appease the vengeful Red God by slaying a great lion known as Vitchua. These men, among them adolescents and a former warrior who is now the target of great ridicule, set out across the desert to avenge the death of the war chief Tipilit, hoping of summon rain from the heavens. The film unravels as a string of babyish serio-comic sketches, some more cloying than others: The men will receive milk from a nomadic tribe, slaughter an adorable baby gazelle even though one man states that a warrior does not kill wild animals for food, and come under attack from a warthog, a cobra, and the evil Turkanas. Director Pascal Plisson is a great lover of Africa—his résumé tells us as much—but his aesthetic would suggest an unfortunate fondness for Disney’s The Lion King. This is evident way before the final CGI confrontation with Aslan, err, Vitchua, and is most obvious in the hakuna-matata music that highlights much of the film.
- ArtMattan Productions
- 94 min
- Pascal Plisson
- Olivier Dazat, Pascal Parthenay
- Ngotiek Ole Mako, Paul Nteri Ole Sekenan, Parkasio Ole Muntet, Musurpei Ole Toroge, Swakei Kipilosh
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