Simiyu Samurai is an action film about Simiyu Samurai (Ryan Mbatia). According to the film’s synopsis, Simiyu is born and bred in Japan but later moves back to rural Kenya when his parents are killed in a tragic tsunami in Japan. In Kenya, he now lives with his grandmother (Eclay Wangira) and niece, Malaika (Sasha Munyeki) in a village called Bukuluku.
Now, Bukuluku is not your typical quiet, cosy and calm village we are all used to. It is a place full of drama as Simiyu soon discovers – thanks to an incident at Bukuluku market. To keep himself and his grandmother alive in Bukuluku, he must constantly fight an evil gang of well-connected thugs masterminded by Clayton (Walter Opiyo) who will allow him to know no moment of peace. To do so, Simiyu heavily relies on his martial arts training he learned back in Japan to bring this organised and politically connected terror syndicate to its knees.
The acting is really good and very convincing. The fighting and the bike-car chase scenes are actually very good and it does not take long to notice that Simiyu is actually a seasoned biker but the flying scene where he lands his bike on the windscreen of the vehicle that has his grandmother’s kidnappers – that’s a new one in Kenya! Kudos to the producers. We have never seen stunts like this before!
This film must have cost a tidy sum to produce going by the real damage caused in a couple of well acted out accident scenes. There is even a scene where the door of a SUV used in the dramatic car chase gets ripped off by an oncoming vehicle – budget denting destruction scenes you only see in high budget Hollywood films.
The fighting routines are something to watch out for as well. These guys know a thing or two about martial arts (or they have rehearsed really well to synchronise the routines). The camera works and special effects are pretty awesome – they do seem to have kept up with the fast-paced acting to deliver a production that keeps you glued to the seat as you stay wondering whether you are actually not watching a foreign film.
Simiyu Samurai looks set to be a major game changer as Kenyan productions try to churn out believable action films. It was nominated in the 5th edition of the Kalasha Awards for Best Short Film, Best Editing and Best Special Effects and went on to bag the awards. Enjoy the trailer below.