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Movie Review - Invictus

Like Mike
Like Mike

Never before has a large budget Hollywood film focused on the life of Nelson Mandela, or even rugby for that matte, but in one fell swoop Clint Eastwood has brought us the film ‘Invictus’ with Morgan Freeman acting as Mandela and Matt Damon playing the nation's rugby captain Francois Pienaar. Some people might say this is a strange way to tell the story of Mandela by intertwining it within the 1995 rugby world cup, but this story isn’t really just about Mandela, it's more about how he brought his fractured nation together with the combined love of the sport.

“The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.”

I’ve seen a lot of films that Eastwood’s directed over the years and I do find him to be a bit of a ‘hit-and-miss’ director. Even in some of his better films he can sometimes make strange choices that seem to let the film down, but this of course has never hurt his award winning status as often his films get nominated for swags of awards each year. With ‘Invictus’ I feel he has again made a flawed film while at the same time producing performances that are worthy of praise. Both Freeman and Damon played their parts brilliantly but the film itself felt fractured and it struggled to focus on what it needed to focus on, which was the two main characters. There was also a side story following Mandela’s security force, which is now mixed black and white, and how they needed to work together to protect the president. Though this provided some good moments I felt there was a bit too much attention put on this particular storyline.

At the end of the day it was a good film and it was great seeing rugby up on the big screen and the All Blacks portrayed as the team to beat, but it just never fully stacked up as a solid film. Also they ignored the fact that half our team was poisoned and that’s the only way they were able to beat us in the final!

7 out of 10 from me.

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