Discrimination based on race and caste is so deep-rooted in our system that sometimes even the most conscientious human being fails to understand when he or she has crossed that line. However, the problem arises when someone makes you aware of those actions, and instead of correcting your mistakes, you feel offended by them. Director Fabian Medea’s Netflix film, “Wild is the Wind,” tries to highlight the racist injustice among the people of color in a South African community. However, just like in real life, the film fails to do anything about it.
“Wild is the Wind” centers on Vusi Matsoso (played by Mothusi Magano), a corrupt police officer who is consciously aware of the oppression around him yet chooses to ignore it. Vusi just wants to earn a lot of money through the illegal drug trade in order to leave town and settle somewhere else with his pregnant wife. However, soon, an incident happens that compels Vusi to face his conscience and help his community. The majority of the plot tries to investigate a serial killer on the loose who has killed a white girl. However, a person of color is wrongly accused of the crimes and is put behind bars. So, let’s explore how Vusi gave up his corrupt ways to eventually catch the murderer.
‘Wild is the Wind’ Plot Summary: What Happened in the Film?
The story begins when Officer Vusi stops a car that has exceeded the speed limit. Vusi took a bribe and let the man go. Wilhelm, who was driving the car, had captured a woman of color in the trunk, but Vusi and his best friend and partner, John (played by Frank Rautenbach), failed to notice that as they were blinded by their own greed.
Three years later, we saw Vusi and John carrying out an illegal drug bust operation. They later tried to sell the drugs to a dealer named Mongo in exchange for a huge sum of money. Mongo bought the drugs from Vusi, but he put his men behind him to watch over his steps. A tragic event had already happened in the interim. Melissa (played by Izel Bezuidenhout), a niece of the mayor, was found brutally murdered in a forest. When a substantial reward was announced for catching Melissa’s killer, Vusi and John changed their minds and decided to investigate the case.
During the investigation, Melissa’s ex-boyfriend Hennie was found guilty of having slapped Melissa in the pub the night she was killed. Though he didn’t murder her. Eventually, Hennie’s alibi proved his innocence and cast a shadow of doubt on Mongo’s relative, Sonnyboy, who was Melissa’s current boyfriend. After Sonnyboy was arrested, Mongo came to Vusi to scare him and his pregnant wife, as he didn’t like men who would break trust. For Vusi’s betrayal, Mongo’s men took back his money and the savings he had.
Meanwhile, due to a lack of money, John could not pay the bank loan to release his farm. So, he became desperate to collect the reward. He misled Sonnyboy to sign the paper of “admission of guilt.” Vusi understood that Sonnyboy was innocent. So, he decided to conduct the investigation on his own. The story furthermore explores Vusi’s conflict between wanting to leave the corruption and becoming a true hero. But as John had already chosen the wrong side, the brothers eventually turned into sworn enemies.
Why Did Vusi and John Do the Drug Deal? Why Did John and Vusi Split Up?
“Wild is the Wind” was set in a South African community where murder and corruption were on the rise. In the interim, police officer Vusi was frustrated with his job and yearned to leave the hostile environment. His wife was a maid at the mayor’s house, and the mayor was an utterly racist man. Even Vusi had always been the victim of discrimination. In his profession, he did not get a decent salary to efficiently manage his family. Vusi’s wife was pregnant, so he wanted to leave their current home and move to Johannesburg to give his wife and the unborn child a better future.
However, Vusi could not afford to stay there, so he got associated with drug dealing in order to earn a large amount of money. Along with him, his fellow police officer, John, was in the same vein. John might have mortgaged his firm to the bank for some reason, but he didn’t have the money to pay the dues at the right time. So, both of them secretly got attached to a drug dealing business and earned a bag full of cash that had been divided between John and him. But the money could not stay with them for long.
Since Vusi and John wanted to investigate the case to claim the reward, they arrested Sonnyboy, who was with Melissa the night she was killed. Sonnyboy had repeatedly stated that he did not kill her, but since he was a man of color, he eventually became the prime suspect without any evidence. Vusi understood that Sonnyboy was innocent. According to the forensic, the killer was right-handed, but Sonnyboy was a lefty. In his confession, Sonnyboy told Vusi that Melissa’s car was followed by a white bakkie that night. The footage of this white bakkie was also captured by a security camera. Vusi had finally located the car and sneaked into it to collect a sample of the driver’s DNA. In the meantime, John received the last notice from his bank. Since the money was snatched by Mongo from Vusi, John could only rely on the reward.
As a result, without Sonnyboy’s consent, he misled him into confessing the guilt. Vusi could not accept this injustice in any way, so a rift developed between them. Vusi broke John’s nose, and John drove him out of his house. John had always treated Vusi as if he were his own brother, but now his true colors were revealed. Even when another suspect’s sperm matched the one found on Melissa’s body, John completely ignored it as he wanted to get the reward money as soon as possible to get rid of the bank debt, and for that he was willing to do anything in his power. Thus, the two of them drifted apart because Vusi believed that John might also harbor hate for the colored community.
How Did Sonnyboy Die?
Sonnyboy couldn’t read or write, so John had no trouble tricking him into signing the confession paper. Sonnyboy did not even know that by signing the document, he had mistakenly confessed himself guilty. However, it was apparent that he didn’t kill Melissa, as he had really loved her. He carried a photograph of Melissa because he missed her.
On the day of Sonnyboy’s court appearance, Melissa’s parents planned a shooting outside the court where her father distracted the police with a gunshot while Melissa’s mother used the distraction to shoot Sonnyboy in cold blood. Melissa’s parents, just like other white people in the community, blamed people of color for the corruption and violence in the community, and thus, when they found out that Sonnyboy was associated with Melissa’s murder, they shed their reasonable thinking and swore to take revenge on him by their own means. Without even proper evidence, Melissa’s mother killed an innocent man just because he was a man of color and the relative of a drug dealer. Furthermore, John was the sole person at fault here because, through his selfishness, he had indirectly assisted in the murder of an innocent person.
‘Wild is the Wind’ Ending Explained: Who Killed Melissa? Did Vusi Die?
Immediately after finding the white bakkie, Vusi collected the driver’s DNA and sent it to forensics. Since John received the reward and also a promotion for convicting Sonnyboy, he suspended Vusi after their fight. Vusi could not take his suspension quite well, so he started drinking all day. The forensic doctor informed him that Wilhelm’s DNA sample and the skin fragment found under Melissa’s fingernail had matched. When John finally declared that he was not to assist Vusi at all, Vusi embarked on a solo investigation of Wilhelm. He had finally located Willhelm and confronted him. Wilhelm ultimately confessed that he had killed Melissa, but his words were filled with arrogance rather than regret.
Wilhelm was a complete psychopath who had only murdered women. Wilhelm was a product of the misogyny and racism that drove him to kill mostly women of color. But why he had killed Melissa was unclear. Perhaps, since she was the mayor’s niece, killing her had given Wilhelm the satisfaction that he was invincible, and he could murder whomever he wanted. Therefore, he killed them all under the illusion that they would all become his slaves after death. Finally, after a bloody battle, when Vusi was on the verge of death, he killed Wilhelm with a single gunshot. He carried Wilhelm’s dead body in his car, but due to severe injury, Vusi died on the way.
“Wild is the Wind” ends on a symbolic note when Vusi’s car stops in front of a stop sign board, and the streets around him seem to have seen some serious riots before. It alludes to the current situation of a society where racial and gender discrimination has brought horror into the world, which leads to its impending doom.
“Wild is the Wind” is a crime thriller with no thrills at all. The film focuses more on racism, corruption, and the internal conflict that the protagonist goes through. The dialogues in the movie are stylish, but actually, the screenplay is poorly executed. The plotline of the movie is very scattered, and the action sequences are very bad. Overall, the film portrays the issue of racism as well as the dire state of the nation’s economy. In my opinion, as a crime thriller movie, “Wild is the Wind” doesn’t give you anything unique that will stick in your mind or give you something to ponder upon.
“Wild is the Wind” is a 2022 Drama Crime film directed by Fabian Medea.