The retelling of an important story that was vital to the reconciliation of our country, Invictus
actually fares better than what I expected. Even though as the viewer, one might suspect to know all there is to know about what happened leading up to the successful Rugby World Cup tournament in 1995, this movie peels back the layers and reveals quite a few surprising events which I for one was certainly unaware of. Events that could maybe have derailed the unity shown afterwards.
The plotline reaches familiar and predictable territory once the actual tournament begins. But even though the outcome is inevitable, it certainly manages to swell local pride seeing it displayed on the screen. That the movie manages to succeed is certainly due in part to the two powerhouse performances of Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, (even their South African accents are spot-on, for the most part). They both received deserved Oscar nominations for their performances, and under Clint Eastwood's steady direction, they both convey the cautious optimism of their leading characters, president Mandela and Bok captain Pienaar.
Overall, the locations and authenticity are accurate, and Eastwood manages to display his suitably impressive storytelling methods. Even the on-field rugby action is well-filmed. So while the film may seem predictable, there are still many lessons to be learnt from this important chapter in our country's history. (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
He was imprisoned 27 years for his heroic fight against apartheid. So what does Nelson Mandela do after he is elected president of South Africa? He rejects revenge, forgives his oppressors and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place: the rugby field.
Clint Eastwood powerfully directs an uplifting film about a team and a people inspired to greatness.
In a performance that won him the National Board of Review’s Best Actor Award and an Oscar nomination, Morgan Freeman portrays Mandela, who asks the national rugby team captain (Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Matt Damon) and his underdog squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup.
One team, one country. The universal language of sports has never spoken so thrillingly as in Eastwood’s Invictus.
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