You all know the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window? The one with James Stewart and Grace Kelly, where he’s in a wheelchair, with nothing to do but stair out of a window?
Well, South African writer and director Nosipho Dumisa brings us a very up to date and unique take on the same story, set in South Africa, a land not known for taking things easy.
South Africa is hot, dry and extremely violent with a police force that is sometimes as criminal as the criminals themselves. Dumisa taps into that brilliantly, this may not have the unsettling subtleness of Hitchcock, nor the edge of the seat feeling, instead Number 37 brings a no-holds-barred approach to this classic story.
It starts off simple enough as Randal, Irshaad Ally (“Homeland (TV)”, “Finders Keepers”), ends up in a wheelchair after a drug deal has gone bad, his friend having died in the same deal. If that wasn’t bad enough, he borrowed the money for the drug deal from a loan shark friend of his, Emmie, Danny Ross (“Sterlopers (TV)”).
Wheelchair bound and unable to work, Randal struggles to get the money back, but whilst watching from his window with a pair of binoculars his girlfriend Pam, Monique Rockman (“Tussen as en hoop”), bought him, he hits upon an idea.
It would be fair to say Randal’s ideas don’t always go to plan, or ever, and generally end up with someone in pain, besides him, or often worse. When his latest plan involves blackmailing the local thug Lawyer, David Manuel, things don’t look like they’re going to be any better.