Monday, March 1, 2010


This was a very long film, and much of it was unnecessarily slow-moving. On the whole it was quite enjoyable, but I certainly won't be rushing back to the cinema for a second viewing!

The overall story told of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, in which the Springboks, much loved be the white South Africans were playing the All Blacks, notwithstanding a chance. Nelson Mandela's accession to presidency was a recent event in post-apartheid South Africa, and director Clint Eastwood suggests that sport can be the uniting force in a country. Mandela supports the rugby team, visibly promoting an attitude of fairness, unequivocally employing black and white people, and treating all with dignity and respect. While there is huge distrust in both camps against the other race, Mandela urges them to work together, himself setting the example. Slowly the captain of the team, played by Matt Damon, is won round to Mandela's wisdom and grace, and begins to spread his enlightenment to the rest of his team.

The poem 'Invictus' was cited as the team visited the cell where Mandela spent many years, and this was quite a memorable scene, showing something of the political minefield that was. It showed how the soul can overcome, and the mind can forgive, which leads to liberation.

Morgan Freeman, an obvious choice for Mandela, played the part well, restrained and dignified in the role. Much of the other characters were less than inspiring, and I felt that Damon didn't do himelf justice in the part of the team's captain. The team themselves seemed ill-at-ease in anything but playing the game, which was executed believably.

Overall, I thought that while the idea, that sport can unite, was nice, it was also naive. It was idealistic, and removed from reality. It diminished the political climate of the time, failing to show what must have been a violent and very painful struggle towards unity.

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