on September 10, 2004 by Francesca Dinglasan
Incorporating richly designed sets and costumes that scrupulously reflect the film's 1950s-era South Africa, "Drum" unfortunately relies on unoriginal plotting techniques to convey the story of an investigative journalist attempting to expose racial injustices in a society coming to grips with the newly introduced edicts of apartheid.

Taye Diggs is masterful in the lead role of Henry Nxumalo, a sports writer for the local magazine "Drum" who becomes increasingly involved in the political stories that his editor (Jason Flemyng) insists he cover. As Henry's muckraking work begins to draw more attention, the danger for him begins to increase, with those vested in apartheid seeking to put a stop to his popular articles.

Despite Diggs' engaging performance, enhanced by the work of the supporting cast, "Drum" depends on just a few too many big-screen cliches and predictable plot turns. A strong jazz score permeating the film adds to the pic's authentic feel, but these winning parts simply aren't enough to overcome the less-than-satisfactory whole of "Drum." Starring Taye Diggs, Jason Flemyng, Gabriel Mann, Tumisho Masha, Moshidi Motshegwa and Tanya Baleson. Directed by Zola Maseko. Written by Jason Filardi. Produced by Chris Sievernich, Dumisani Dlamini and Rudolph Wichmann. No distributor set. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 96 min.

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