The Power of One (1992)

The Power of One (1992)
  • 9402
  • PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1992 ()
  • Running time: 127 min
  • Original Title: The Power of One
  • Voted: 9402

The Power of One is an intriguing story of a young English boy named Peekay and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. "Doc"), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops Peekay's piano talent and Peekay becomes "assistant gardener" in Doc's cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. Peekay makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box. Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. Peekay is cast in the light of this myth. After the war Peekay attends an English private school where he continues to box. He meets a young girl, Maria, with whom he falls in love. Her father, Professor Daniel Marais, is a leader of the Nationalist Party of South ...

1Stephen DorffP.K. Age 18
2Armin Mueller-StahlDoc
3Morgan FreemanGeel Piet
4Nomadlozi KubhekaNanny
  • by

    It's been a while since I have seen the movie for the first time. Though Ireally liked the first two thirds of the film (up to the point, when StephenDorff takes over the main-character (but that has nothing to do with hisperformance)). I found, that the last part was strange and somehow out ofcontinuity. The first part strictly sticks to the idea of experiencingApartheid from the view of a boy, who is growing up in a system of classesand injustice and who himself fails to really belong to any of these classes.The last part however suddenly tries to be a lot of movies in one: Action,Romance, Patriotism and a Historic Anti-apartheid picture. And I think,trying to do too much, it failed to be anything of the above in theend.

    The reason I'm writing this comment now is, that I am just done readingBryce Courtenays novel. And I was really surprised to learn, that exactlyafter two thirds of the story, the movie totally goes its own way and ignoresthe course things take in the novel. The last part of the Novel is just asgreat as the first. If you liked the movie (or at least the first part) readthe book, it's worth it!

    To sum it up: I believe The Power Of One had the potential to be anoutstanding picture. The music was great, the landscapes beautiful and theacting excellent (Armin Müller Stahl at his best). But unfortunately somebodytried to write an american ending for an african story and couldn't havefailed worse.

  • by

    Judging by the user comments, it would (definitely) seem that you guys thinkthat 'The Power Of One' didn't have a snowballs chance in Hell of being afavorite with you guys, and that it was pretty much a waste of money (Stopme if I'm wrong). Am I right?

    Well, I had to study the movie for an English assignment a week ago, andwhile these kind of movies usually bore the **** out of me, I found 'ThePower Of One' to be a moving, and inspirational film. Of course, I haven'tread the book (a book with that many pages? Hell no!) - and we all know thatbooks are usually better.

    But anyway, I really liked this film. Stephen Dorff's and Morgan Freeman'sperformances were great as eighteen-year-old P.K. and Gail Peit (or howeverthe hell you spell his last name). And while Fay Masterston as Maria is anokay actress, she appears to be in the film for absolutely no reason atall.

    Well, I still think 'The Power Of One' is a really good movie, no matter howmany people pan it.

  • by 7/10

    The Power Of One is based on a novel by the very talented BryceCourtenay. The sequel novel,Tandia, which picks up right where ThePower of One left off is equally moving and compelling reading.I ampromptly going to go out and read everything else he has written. BothThe Power of One and Tandia have moved me beyond words. I am a whiteSouth African girl who spent 19 years of my life in SA. I led a veryprivileged, sheltered childhood growing up in South Africa. I was just15 when apartheid fell apart. My parents were not racist and in fact myfather dedicated his life to working as a doctor in a very poor areabut I still , unbelievably, never really had a very clear picture ofthe horror of apartheid until Mr Courtenay outlined it so vividly inthese books.(as I said I was sheltered as a white child)I feelextraordinarily blessed and lucky to have directly avoided the violenceand sickness that invaded my country for so long just because I waslucky enough to be born with white skin. I now live in the States butSouth Africa will always be home. I wept most of the way through bothbooks. I have never been so moved in my life.Mr Courtenay summed upperfectly the collective guilt that white South Africans must carrywith them forever more for our people's legacy of hate and brutalityand oppression Even if we ourselves are not guilty - our people areguilty.He also, of course, inspires us to believe that one person canmake a difference and that sanity,justice and compassion can win in theend even if the fight is long and hard.For those of you who think thecharacters are too stereotyped- in some aspects you are right. Not allAfrikaaners are the evil, racist villains that are portrayed in thebooks . However, I certainly encountered people growing up withunbelievable racism, fear and hate who do match some of the charactersin the book.So there is truth to his characters also. I have no doubtthat the brutality was accurate. One only has to look at historicalevents in SA history to confirm that. Thank you Mr Courtenay for yourwonderful gift and for sharing it with the world.

    As for the movie: I must admit it has been years since I happened uponit on television late at night. I do remember being quite swept up inthe film but then being disappointed with the direction they chose totake it in. A Hollywood ending on what could have been a remarkableAfrican movie.I do understand that film is a completely differentmedium and changes were necessary to adapt the book to film. Still Icannot help being disappointed with some of the changes that I deemeduneccessary such as the changing of Peekay's name from the wonderful,mystical"The Tadpole Angel" or "onoshobishobi ingelosi" to "Therainmaker" Come on! That's lame! The rainmaker?!That has none of thesame feeling the other names invoke.The addition of the girlfriend justto give Peekay a love interest is unnecessary fluff and her characternot well developed enough to warrant such an addition.Nonetheless, thefilm is still worth seeing.

    I must say that I truly do hope that someone else re-makes this anddoes a better job.Tandia would make a fantastic film also. I am goingto buy a copy on DVD and re-watch it and the post my thoughts hereafter refreshing it in my mind. I highly recommend reading both ThePower Of One and Tandia to all interested in the history of apartheidin South Africa or just those looking for a good drama and afascinating stories with strong characters.Even if you hate to read andare intimidated by the thought of reading such large books- just start-I guarantee you, you won't be able to put both these books down!If youhaven't seen the film or read the books, I guess you should watch thefilm first. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed and outraged atall the negative changes and you won't be able to truly enjoy the filmfor what it is: a nice attempt at an adaptation of a marvellous book.

  • by 10/10

    wonderful job at making the book (I read that). And for the directing ofthefilm, it was fantastic. Starting with Peekay as the young boy at just 6 or7years old, being treated so horribly gives one a different view of life inAfrica in the WW2 years. Several differences between the book and themovies, but that is to be expected. If you haven't read the book already,but you've seen the movie, you'll still feel the power and climatic of thisproduction. Well put by the actors Stephen Dorff, Simon Fenton, GuyWitcher,who all played Peekay; Armin Mueller-Stahl for his peaceful acting of Doc;Morgan Freeman for Geel Pete; Fay Masterson for Maria; and all the rest formaking such a tremendous thought-provoking film. A masterpeice tellingpeople what is going on in the world, to get them to act toit.May the world flow with peace and beauty.

  • by 10/10

    Watching this movie in history class to get a better understanding ofcolonialism and the conflicts in South Africa (mostly Apartheid), Irealized that not everything that you watch in school sucks. On thelast scene I cried (and this is the only movie I've ever shed a tearon). Why wasn't this HUGE? How many famous actors does this need to winan Oscar? This is definitely the most emotional film I've ever seen(that doesn't mean to watch it with you girlfriend)! If you're readingthis and haven't seen it, then get up and run to Block Buster beforethey close!!!!! NOW!!!!!! This is definitely my favorite movie and youmust see it if you haven't (although it probably won't be my favoritemovie for long!?)!

1Dean Semlercinematographer
2Hans Zimmercomposer
3John G. Avildsendirector
4Arnon Milchanproducer
5Bryce Courtenaywriter
6Robert Mark Kamenwriter