Magenta Coal, the much-anticipated South African series, made its Netflix debut on October 27th, 2023, quickly garnering widespread attention.
The series delves into the intriguing world of a powerful mining magnate family overseeing South Africa’s largest coal mine.
With the charismatic Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) in the ensemble cast, our expectations were high, but unfortunately, the movie didn’t live up to the hype. It required considerable determination to endure until the end of this movie due to the storyline.
The series features an ensemble cast of some of South Africa’s talented casts, including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Desmond Dube, Connie Chiume, Vusi Kunene, Busi Lurayi, Hamilton Dlamini, Ntando Duma, Nambita Mpumlwana, Senzo Radebe, Jack Davnarian, Cici Hambanaye, Khanya Mkangisa, Cedric Fourie, Celeste Khumalo, and Omuhle Gela.
‘Magenta Coal’ unfolds the gripping tale of South Africa’s most significant coal mine run by a family. However, when the patriarch’s demise occurs, family members become embroiled in a ruthless battle of deceit, schemes, and lies.
The story reveals that there’s no bond thicker than coal, as the matriarch of the family is ready to cross any line to secure the mine for herself and her children. As secrets are unveiled and alliances crumble, ‘Magenta Coal’ thoughtfully explores the lengths individuals will go to safeguard their heritage and their family’s future.
While some cast members delivered commendable performances, others shone brightly, effortlessly embodying their characters. Nambita Mpumlwana, who portrayed Mathilda, particularly stood out with her portrayal of the conniving mother figure who stops at nothing to achieve her goals. She really was a pain in the movie and did it so well even though her wig was totally not portraying a powerful woman. Other characters did good jobs carrying the movie forward too.
The production values of the movie are undeniable, with good casting, exquisite filming locations that authentically depict the lives of the affluent, and meticulous costume and set design as the cast look like they should without doing too much. However, there were some costume oversights, such as Matilda’s hair.
Matilda is supposed to portray the beautiful, influential, elegant and scheming wife of the Chief of the Nkosi clan but then her hair was not giving elegant. Maybe it was an oversight from the costume crew but then we see the chief’s wife’s hair looking really bad at one point or hanging unelegantly at other times. It was quite laughable.
Despite the impressive production, ‘Magenta Coal falls short in terms of its storyline, which follows the well-trodden path of family disputes over a deceased wealthy man’s fortune. The plot occasionally feels unnecessarily slow, as if the producers were scrambling to fill gaps.
The twists and turns did try to make the movie good but then at a point movie looked unnecessarily slow, it was dragging as it looked like the producer was looking for fillers so the movie wouldn’t seem stale.
Apart from the captivating cinematography, superb production quality, stunning scenery, meticulous set design, aerial location shots, good performances, costumes, and effects, the storyline felt lackluster and failed to elicit excitement. However, the overall production quality managed to compensate for this shortcoming.
Ultimately, ‘Magenta Coal excels in showcasing the dark side of human nature when power and wealth are at stake. It vividly illustrates how family members are willing to manipulate and betray each other for personal gain.
While the production quality shines, the storyline and some of the cast’s performances leave room for improvement.
From us at Kemi Filani, it is 5/10 for Magenta Coal.