It’s been 28 years since apartheid ended, and people of every race were given an opportunity to vote in the general elections held in 1994 in South Africa, but the practice never became desuetude. The rattling sounds of xenophobia and racism were still heard in the dark and dingy alleys of the country. Though the segregationist policies of the country had ceased to exist on paper, the change never seeped into the surface and the system just polished the tarnished image from the exterior. It was just a matter of time till the structure with a rotten core would give way, and once again, the lurking chaos would eclipse the whole country.
“Collision,” directed by Fabien Martorell, takes us through those familiar alleys once again and builds a narrative that explores the rising tension in the capital city of Johannesburg, where the locals were getting more intolerant every passing day, and the crime lords were taking utmost advantage of the situation.
‘Collision’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
South Africa was a couple of days away from its 28th anniversary of Freedom Day, but the country was still struggling to stand on its feet. Young boys had found an easy way of earning money by doing petty jobs for local gang lords, and the ones who were trying to earn an honest living started feeling that the government was unfairly distributing their share of benefits to the illegal refugees, who were spreading all over the city like a plague. Johan Greser, an affluent white man, was all set to be promoted in his job. He had everything under control, and he knew that board members would make him the next CFO of the Elevate Security Company. Diane Greser, his wife, was trying to deal with her rebellious daughter, Nicki, to the best of her ability, but still, she couldn’t control her. Nicki’s attitude was worsening with every passing day, and she considered her parents no less than her enemies, who just wanted to curb her freedom and make her act according to their wishes. Johan constantly blamed Diane for not keeping her in check, whereas Diane felt helpless as Nicki had turned into this brash teenager who would disobey anything and everything that was said by her parents. She resonated more with the ideologies of the black community and had been in a relationship with a boy named Cecil, who was an aspiring singer. Thando was Cecil’s best friend, but unlike the latter, he didn’t refrain himself from indulging in illegal activities to earn quick money.
Bra Sol, the local gangster, owned a club, in addition to the several illegal businesses that he used to run. Sol was involved in human trafficking and had links with the highest officials in the system, whom he frequently bribed to remove all the bureaucratic and legal hurdles. Mr. Dinoko owned a general store in the area, and he saw the Nigerians and the other refugees as a threat to his livelihood. But his daughter Palesa knew that it would be rather unfair to stereotype all the refugees as illegal occupants. Corruption had already broken the spine of the capital, and with the added menace of a conflict between the local and refugee communities, things in Johannesburg did not seem so bright and shiny.
What Happened To Palesa?
Mr. Dinoko wanted to expand his business. He was on the lookout for a new space, and he did find one, just adjacent to his shop. He contacted the landlord for getting a lease, but it had already been given to a Nigerian guy named Adze. Palesa liked Adze as a person, and they had both grown fond of each other. But she couldn’t tell the same to her father, as he held an enmity against the Nigerian refugees. Given, a South African local, was a friend of her father’s, and had always been interested in Palesa. He couldn’t see her hanging out with Adze, so he informed Mr. Dinoko about the same. They together instigated all the local citizens living in their neighborhood and asked them to join their forces and put an end to this issue once and for all. He loved his daughter, but his animosity for the refugees was growing every passing day, and Given was putting more fuel to the fire, not because he wanted to make a political statement but because he wanted to take revenge from Adze and destroy his life. The locals took to the streets and started protesting against the unjust policies of the government. What started as a peaceful protest quickly transformed into an act of vandalism. They started destroying the property of the refugees. The convoy finally reached the shop that was owned by Adze. Mr. Dinoko felt triggered at the sight of it. Given asked the protestors to vandalize the shop and set an example for the people. The frenzied crowd entered the shop, and Mr. Dinoko felt a sadistic pleasure watching it get reduced to pieces. But what he didn’t know was that his daughter was stuck inside the shop, in a room with Adze, and was petrified to hear the uproar from the outside. She texted her father to let him know that she was trapped inside. Mr. Dinoko tried to enter the shop, but he was a bit too late. The fire he had started was now raging in full force and was beyond his control. Mr. Dinoko tried to break into the room from the backdoor, but the convoy was able to get to her before he could. They started beating Adze, and seeing Palesa trying to escape; a protester shot her dead. Palesa fell into her father’s arms, and he only had himself to blame for the death of his innocent daughter.
‘Collision’ Ending Explained: Is Johan Able To Save Nicki?
Bra Sol met the councilmen and the Mayor of the city. The Mayor had asked for a huge sum to let Bra Sol carry on his illegal businesses and keep the construction of his school going. Sol was selling many girls but was still finding it hard to procure the funds. That’s when he got an idea. He decided to kidnap Nicki and blackmail Johan and Diane for money. He knew that Thando was close to Cecil and Nicki, so he coerced him to do the needful and help him take Nicki into captivity. Thando didn’t know what to do. He wanted to maintain a good relationship with Bra Sol, but his conscience was not allowing him to backstab his best friend and put his girlfriend in such a grave situation. Thando realized that the only way out of the mess was to adhere to the commands of Bra Sol and he decided to go with his instincts.
Meanwhile, Nicki called Cecil and asked him to pick her up from her home. She didn’t want to make the trip to the United States that her parents had planned. She wanted to stay with Cecil and told him that if he didn’t come to pick her up, she would hurt herself. Thando and Cecil came in a stolen car and took Nicki with them. Thando took them to a hideout where Bra Sol’s men were already stationed. They kidnapped Nicki, and a distraught Cecil stood there helplessly, not understanding what exactly happened. He came to know that Thando had betrayed him, and he couldn’t stop himself. He thrashed Thando, took out his frustration and told him to call Nicki’s father immediately. Johan came to know of the situation, and he rushed home to find Diane, who had organized a social event at their place. Johan asked Diane to stay at home, but she insisted on tagging along with him. She came to know that Johan knew Bra Sol from before and was involved in some illicit activities with the gangster. They took Cecil with them and tried to assess where their daughter could be. They went to the club in Hillbrow, which was owned by Bra Sol, but by then, he had escaped from the facility. They found Thando there, who told them that though the gangster was planning to transport and sell her for money, it could be stopped if they paid him a ransom of half a million.
A bizarre revelation is made when Bra Sol, after escaping from his club, goes to meet Nicki. She was in a very good state for a person who had been kidnapped. And that’s when we come to know that Nicki wanted to get abducted, and she wanted Bra Sol to give her a share of the money so that she could go to L.A. with Cecil and start her new life away from her parents. She thought she had planned it all but she didn’t know the kind of man she was dealing with. She had told him to ask for a ransom of 50,000 rands, but Sol had asked for half a million. She tells him that her family does not have that kind of money, but Bra Sol was in no mood to listen to her. Because of Johan, the gangster had incurred heavy losses, and he was not ready to compromise even a bit this time. Thando decided to help his friend, and he laid a trap for Bra Sol. He told Sol that Johan was ready with the money and asked him to bring Nicki with him. Given, who had been called by Mr. Diniko, was rushing to save Palesa. On the way, his van collided with Bra Sol’s car. The van overturned, and the occupants suffered fatal injuries. Bra Sol, though injured, was still alive. Coincidentally, even Johan, together with Diane and Cecil, with Thando, reached the same spot at that very moment. Johan stepped out of his car to save his daughter, but Bra Sol shot him. Cecil also came out of his car and asked Thando to record everything. Cecil started moving towards Bra Sol, asking him to release his girlfriend. Bra Sol shot him dead. Johan, seizing the opportunity, picked up his gun. Bra Sol and Johan fired several rounds at each other, and both of them died on the spot.
Nicki blamed herself for the deaths of her father and her partner. Had she not been so unnecessarily rebellious, maybe Cecil and Johan would have been alive. Thando sat in his car, devastated. He had betrayed his best friend, and he knew that he would have to bear the guilt forever.
“Collision” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Fabien Martorell.