Khanyi Mbau stars in timely local thriller Red RoomWatch now
Red Room is a local crime drama thriller starring Khanyi Mbau and based on real events. The story traces the journey of Zama, an affluent woman, who descends into a waking nightmare after her husband commits suicide. Everything falls apart in a flash, leaving pregnant Zama homeless, penniless and vulnerable.
She finds solace at God’s Haven, a rehabilitation centre for women. Taken under the wing of a good Samaritan in Albert, it’s not long before the institution’s deepest, darkest secrets surface as Zama discovers that her exquisite beauty is now a commodity.
Mystery and intrigue fuel this thriller that recalls Red Sparrow and 7 Prisoners. Tragically, human trafficking continues unabated – an international problem with no easy solutions. This is what makes Red Room so timely: it’s a portrait of a woman’s harrowing experiences caught in the tide of this heartless underground criminal network.
Red Room is headlined by Mbau (soon to star in The Wife Season 2, only on Showmax), whose Cleopatra visage seems to unfurl a red carpet wherever she walks. She’s supported by a stellar local ensemble in Pakamisa Zwedala (The Girl From St Agnes), Francois Jacobs (Vir die Voels), Charlie Bougouenon (Bloodshot), and introducing Kery Kisten and Nick Soul.
Humbling her regal aura for the role, Mbau adopts a world-weary character, living by faith and her wits. Pakamisa Zwedala is known for Gumede in Hard to Get, playing a desperate two-faced kingpin who wrestles between his greed and his desire to keep Zama all to himself, while Charlie Bougouenon chimes in as a cutthroat Russian mobster.
Set primarily at a rehab building, Red Room captures the claustrophobia of the basement’s creepy red room and contrasts this with the wide-open cityscape views from the rooftop. Cold, calculated business dealings and an undercurrent of objectification run deep as a woman bucks the system in a bid to escape in this unsettling thriller.