The Cobbler(2015) is a “Fundi wa Kiatu” portrayed Hollywood Style

Review by James Maina

The Cobbler(2015)
The Cobbler(2015)
The Cobbler(2015) is a “Fundi wa Kiatu” portrayed Hollywood Style

In almost every other estate in suburban Kenya you can’t miss a fundi wa kiatu (cobbler). These guys are life savers. Your favorite shoe’s sole has come out, what do you? See a fundi wa kiatu for only 50 bob repair. Your heels break! what do you do? See fundi wa kiatu for only 20 glue fix. Sandals broke while walking? No stress, just see a fundi a few meters away and since there is no option for walking around, you sit there making small talk trying to convince him to stop mending his other customers’ shoes and instead mend yours, since your case is an emergency! Then another person comes with another emergency and another. It turns into a ‘ngoja 5 min’ then nitakusort!

These guys always operate under a tree or shade of some sort – never a shop. They almost always know everyone and everything going on, and are very social ‘good’ guys. Most are men (I’ve never seen a woman fundi) and most i have seen are kambas (not to be tribal!). They are usually also not very smart guys…and therefore kids trick em all the time  – if you have ever done that you know what i mean :))

That’s the Kenyan version of a Cobbler. In the movie Cobbler(2015), starring Adam Sandler and Method Man, we see the American version of our fundi that is very very different from what we know.

Here are some 3 very specific differences

  1. He has a shop! And a very nice shop located in the Lower East Side of New York City.  How many fundis have a shop?
  2. He has a machine! Kenya’s fundis are totally non innovative – learn from these guys! Wacha kutumia mkono kushona viatu!
  3. He has a system – no card no shoe! How many Kenyan fundis have misplaced shoes or given out the wrong shoes!? alternatively you could say they indeed have a system of “Serve the one who is Paying at this moment, regardless”

The movie is about a cobbler who is single and getting bored with his life. He feels he wants more especially as he interacts with his different types of customers and sees the way they are having such fulfilling lives. Method Man is one such customer, who does excellent acting as both a head of a gang, and a naive young man apologizing for his mistakes. Why does he do that? The Cobbler becomes him…you have to see the movie to find out how.

The good thing about this movie is the supporting cast do a good job. The hot chic is actually hot. The mean blond chic is actually mean and dumb. The black guy – Method man – does excellent acting being tough (like 50 cent in some ways). Jimmy plays a perfect barber. The cops are perfect they way they don’t take bullshit. The best part – and funniest part – comes from a walking dead guy! The only poorly done supporting actor is the cobbler’s dad, who is introduced 1 hr and 29 min into the movie!!!

There is just one major fault in this story. And that is in the main actor – Adam Sandler. His every scene is terrible, as he is always portrayed as wimpy and as a softie. All the time. There is NO character development for this character. He doesn’t grow wiser, does go beyond his normal limits and essentially the whole thing is just an experience for him, which makes the movie less that what it could have been.

I feel Adam Sandler stole the show using his star credentials, from Method Man. The story should have either done some character development – or like mad max with nux – transformed method man into a lead character! And put some hip hop music soundtracks! That would have been something….

So the box office didn’t lie. The movie was made on a budget of USD 10,000,000. It made USD 24,000. That was maybe the largest flop of 2015! Hasara tupu!

Even though it has been nominated the worst movie of 2015 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo (Adam Sandler and any pair of shoes/heels), we realize a superb supporting cast get injustice due to one man’s under performance.

If you have time, judge the movie for your self, check out The Cobler (2015)  and let us know why you loved or hated it.

We have given it the lowest rating of the year, 0.1 out of 10.

PS: Kama wewe ni mtu wa biashara, you can actually start fundi wa kiatu shops using this machine. A good one costs like Kshs. 90,000 to import from eBay. Kenyans n their shoes will love you for it. Do it Safaricom style!

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