Tumi Morake, Minnie Dlamini and Kajal Bagwandeen go international with The Honeymoon movie

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Minnie Dlamini, Kajal Bagwandeen and Tumi Morake on the red carpet of the movie's Durban premier launch.
Minnie Dlamini, Kajal Bagwandeen and Tumi Morake on the red carpet of the movie's Durban premier launch.

It's the ultimate comeback. 

We haven’t seen their faces on our screens in a while, let alone the cinema theatre screen. They are now back but with a movie that has gone international before its release.

Acting alongside each other to define a friendship-turned-sisterhood that knows no bounds, Tumi Morake, Minnie Dlamini and Kajal Bagwandeen say that shooting the movie was an unforgettable experience.

For Minnie, it had been eight years since she last acted so, “I had such a great time falling in love with acting all over again. It felt really nostalgic for me.”

Acting as Lu also felt different for her because she had previously played teenage roles and now with this character, she’s a wife in a 10-year-old marriage and a mother of two.

“At the time I got cast I had just got married and had no kids, so she was a big stretch from me,” she admits.

Reflecting back at the experience, Tumi uses four words to describe it – easy, daunting, refreshing and challenging.

“Easy because of the team involved. Daunting because of our ambitious producers. Refreshing after coming out of a hard lockdown and getting to play again. Challenging because there was a depth to my character which required me to go well beyond the surface of my character’s clown.”

Read More | Five minutes with Tumi Morake on her new show Sunday Sexy Love

It wasn’t challenging for Tumi only though. Kajal also found this particular production to be challenging and all-encompassing on her part.

“I am the casting director and a co-producer as well and we shot in two different countries. It was challenging and exhilarating all at once. I’m very proud of the team and of the finished product, we made a beautiful film.”

The Honeymoon Movie was shot in Durban and mostly in Tanzania on a Zanzibar Island. Shot within just two months during the height of Covid-19 in 2021, the movie takes one on a journey that diverges into three.

When Lu and Noks hijack Kat’s honeymoon after Kat’s fiancé dumps her the night before they’re meant to tie the knot, they are not aware that they’re walking into a self-discovery trap in which they’ll be required to tap into their own vulnerability.

Speaking to Drum about the inspiration behind the storyline, Bianca Isaac, the movie director, says, “I wanted to create a story that represented South African women in a way we've never seen them before. As women we're often played up against each other, and we have unrealistic expectations to be perfect all the time.”

“Through the film I was able to express vulnerability amongst friends, being there for each other, not judging each other and most importantly being unapologetically ourselves all the time. And in the same breath show off our beauty and strength,” she adds.

While Tumi brings her comic self to the screen, she also plays “a hurt child stuck in an adult’s body. I really had to work on her vulnerability with a lightness of touch,” she tells Drum.

Tumi is excited for viewers to see the stories that unfold in the chick-flick comedy adventure as she says, “Lu, Kat and Noks have such different journeys and each of them call for them to be true to themselves” while Minnie can’t wait for everyone “to see real sisterhood on screen and [follow] each individual journey to finding themselves.”

Whether you are a woman who tends to draw confidence from having a man, you’re looking to learn how to fight for yourself and choose your happiness over others’ or you’re the friend that’s always ready to throw hands for her hands but is at the mercy of social media, you are assured to relate to the cast.

In addition to the challenges that came with shooting the film during covid and digging deep to bring life to their characters, the star trio points out being away from their children to travel for the movie as their lowest light.

The mothers used the opportunity though to enjoy the beauty of Zanzibar. Kajal’s highlight was “working beside such wonderfully compassionate and talented women and shooting in one of my favourite places in the world” while Minnie’s was immersing herself in a new character which “was very therapeutic for me, as it gave me an escape from my reality.”

Read More | Minnie Dlamini breaks her silence on cheating rumours - 'These allegations are false and damaging'

The experience was however, more than just an escape from reality for Minnie. It was an opportunity to grow and reinvest in the acting industry.

“I’ve always wanted to act in a film and when this opportunity came up the stars aligned perfectly. My production company Beautiful Day Productions has been working on some exciting new projects and I can’t wait to show you the content we’re about to produce.”

One could say the same about Kajal as well because she was reminded of her love for filmmaking with the production of this movie.

“Ever since I started working behind the scenes, I was bitten by the filmmaking bug and I appreciate the art so much more! To be in front of the camera and to also work behind it is a privilege” and that’s why she’ll be working on a few personal projects this year as well as the second instalment of The Honeymoon Movie.

The first instalment is showing in cinemas across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatini as from 31 March. Nay Maps and Nina Hastie are also part of the movie cast. They play Lu’s husband and a rather strict PR agent, respectively.

The movie will also be showing at the Roxbury international film festival in the United States of America from 20 - 28 June.

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