Swindlers are a very specific kind on crooks in crime thrillers. Every solution they come up with gets them in more trouble. To get out of that jam, they usually will come up with an even more complicated solution, one that has even more disastrous consequences when it backfires. Notice that I said when, and not if.


Number 37 has small time crook Randal (Irshaad Ally) trying to become a swindler. Things backfire and he loses a best friend and the use of his two legs. Confined to a wheelchair and under threat from his local loan shark, he needs seven days to come up with a lot of money. There doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight until he uses his binoculars to witness a cop getting killed by a drug dealer. Randal decides a dose of blackmail might solve his problems once and for all.

Director Nosipho Dumisa brings us a new breed on crime thriller as the mouse and cat game keeps getting closer to home and Randal’s schemes keep getting him and his girlfriend deeper into trouble. The movie pays its own homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW and somehow in the slums of Cape Town the stakes seem to be even higher.

As gripping of a thriller that it gets, the movie does end up falling into a familiar climax that most fans of Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie will recognize. I can’t deny it’s well executed, though.

Recommended with reservations. It’s an intense and gripping thriller. You might guess the outcome early on, but it’s still a white-knuckle suspense ride that will not let you go. Specially commendable is the acting of Irshaad Ally who plays Randal. Director Nosipho Dumisa won the CHEVAL NOIR FOR BEST DIRECTOR for this feature.

That will do for now.