Year Released: 2018
Running Time: 5 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: PG
Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: Rat Race, Head Gone, Planes Trains and Automobiles, The Hangover
-Insured is streaming on YouTube.
-Insured is directed by Irish-Lesothan director Carl Houston McMillan. His other works consist of Madala, The Blind Photographer, and Voices of Basotho to name a few.
-Lesotho is a kingdom in Africa. The capital is Maseru which has over 330k people living there. This country is one of three nations in the world that’s surrounded by another nation and the only one on the planet that’s not part of the Italian peninsula. Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa for those not familiar with the geography.
-Hilarious in Hindsight: The main characters have an insurance company called Kobo Insurance. I assume it’s a word or name in the Sesotho language, but they aren’t the first company to have that name. You do know there’s a company that specializes in eBooks and eBook readers based in Canada and is a subsidiary of Rakuten, right?
While this nation isn’t part of my 2019 geography goals, I still thought it would be nice to see if there were any films coming out of the Kingdom of Lesotho. This small nation with two million people right in Southern Africa has pleasantly surprised me as I found videos from filmmakers from there which was very nice. Granted, I’m no stranger to covering movies from countries most people (at least in America) aren’t aware of. I’ve reviewed movies from countries such as Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Georgia, and Luxembourg for example. This would be great as I expand my own horizons by checking out the cinema in Lesotho.
All it took was a wacky story involving desperate insurance agents.
Insured is about a couple of insurance agents from the Kobo company. Since Lesotho is predominantly a rural nation, they offer livestock insurance plans to the various farmers, ranchers, and shepherds in the country. There is credence to having a plan like that when you consider that even leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas are also native to this nation. However, these people don’t want the livestock insurance plans from these bumbling agents. The two of them go to a local bar and discuss plans to step their business game up since they obviously haven’t made profits. A few beers later, they concoct a plan to get the local agrarian society to give them clientele. Their plan is to steal some of their livestock which will force them to sign up for coverage. What could possibly go wrong in trying to take a sheep or a goat from the local animal herders and workers?
I haven’t covered too many comedic works as much as I should, so Insurance was a breath of fresh air in that regard. While it’s not exactly my style of humor, I will admit that I laughed multiple times throughout this short film. Seeing them driving with a pink Honda Fit is certainly funny in itself. Their harebrained plot in getting business was quite amusing especially at the end to provide a well-needed punchline. The cinematography was certainly near Hollywood letters which were really cool. The rural Lesotho environment stood out and it certainly looks peaceful even with the comedy going on. The background music wasn’t overbearing and used some rock tracks to add to the atmosphere of the film. I definitely enjoyed the acting and the people who played the insurance agents should get acting careers which would be great.
Insured could use some improved coverage in different parts. The main characters didn’t have names which did hamper it a bit. While the comedy was good more often than not, there were a few jokes that fell flat and shallow. I also wished there was some more context with the Kobo company. It’s open that they focus on livestock coverage, but it’s also unclear if they are a legit business or a sham of a company. This short film from Lesotho made me laugh despite some frustrating things going on the same week I watched it.
Insured was a nice comedy and a good watch. The comedic aspects worked more often than not, the production is certainly great, and the ending was funny as well as ironic. I do wish there was some more substance in different parts of the film though. Definitely check out Insured whenever you can.
Adjustable Rating System:
Add 1 point if you like comedies.
Subtract 1-2 points if you want something more serious.
-Very good acting
-Some parts are shallow
-Some plot holes
Final Score: 7/10 points
Content Warning: Insured is mainly innocuous. There are a couple parts of swearing and drinking, but nothing else too serious.
All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. Insured is property of Carl Houston McMillan. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Carl Houston McMillan and Lebosang Ntsane.