SPOTLIGHT | 'Color Purple' sets a new tone; Statham back in action thriller; Netflix streams local crime drama

Classic story takes a musical turn while exploring more deeply the lives of the beloved characters; 'The Beekeeper' takes a brutal journey of revenge; 'Soon Comes Night' streams a tale of crime, money, reckoning and redemption

25 January 2024 - 14:53
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Spotlight is our entertainment bite-sized snapshot featuring new entertainment releases in SA, exclusive film trailers and much more. New episodes are out every Thursday on Sunday Times Lifestyle, Sowetan Entertainment and on YouTube, plus you can follow Spotlight on Facebook.

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This week’s Spotlight episode features a bold new take on the classic story, The Color Purple, a thrilling new Jason Statham action film and a local crime drama streaming on Netflix.

The Color Purple is produced by industry giants Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, and directed by Grammy-nominated Ghanaian director Blitz Bazawule in a movie musical adaptation which pushes the boundaries of the stage musical based on Alice Walker's book. The film leads into Black History month in February, and stars singing sensation Fantasia Barrino, Halle Bailey, Taraji P Henson and Colman Domingo in the well-known story of extraordinary strength and hope wrapped in the unbreakable bonds of love and sisterhood.

Spotlight attended the advance screening event honouring and celebrating powerful South African woman in business this past week.

At cinemas and on IMAX is Jason Statham's exhilarating new action thriller, The Beekeeper, about a brutal campaign for vengeance in which the protagonist is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful organisation known as “Beekeepers”. Directed by veteran action director David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch, Street Kings, Fury), it also stars Josh Hutcherson, Jeremy Irons and Emmy Raver-Lampman. 

A new local six-part crime drama is streaming on Netflix: Soon Comes Night stars Kwenzo Ngcobo, Albert Pretorius and Gaosi Raditholo in a story that takes us back to the apartheid era. The lives of detective Sakkie Oosthuizen and liberation hero-turned-heist-king Alex Shabane intertwine, blurring the lines between good and bad. Based on real events, the series focus on the complexity of the old and new South Africa, and a place where freedom is never really free. It is helmed by award-winning directors Sanele Zulu (Losing Lerato, Single Guys) and Thabang Moleya (Gomora, The Herd, Happiness is a Four-Letter Word).

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For full interviews, breaking news, trailers and clips, visit our Spotlight Facebook page. See you at the movies!

Presenter Collette Prince is styled and dressed by Claris by Gerrit Pienaar when attending premieres and special events.

Facebook @Claris by Gerrit Pienaar/Instagram: gerritpienaardesigns.

Competition giveaway: Movie hampers up for grabs

This week we’re giving away The Color Purple movie merchandise hampers.

To stand in line to win, answer the competition questions via the Spotlight Facebook page, and DM your answers and contact details by February 1 2024.

Terms and conditions apply.

Winners will be drawn randomly and notified by SMS after the competition has closed. Entrants’ personal details will not be retained for marketing purposes. Winners have to provide proof of age (ID/driver’s licence) and cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. By entering participants agree to have their names published on TimesLIVE, SowetanLIVE and Spotlight South Africa on Facebook. Employees of Arena Holdings and their family members are not eligible to enter.

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