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Updated on April 3, 2013

Clint Eastwood takes on a more inspirational approach to his newest film

"It matters not how strait the gate. How charged with punishment the scroll. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain my soul", these words quoted by William Ernest Henley, never rang truer than in Eastwood's newest film, "Invictus." The film is based on the true story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), whom is elected to be President of South Africa, after being released from prison. During his first term, he initiates a unique venture to unite the apart-hied torn land, by enlisting the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Although this film isn't Clint Eastwood's best, it's still one of the most entertaining movies of this year. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon (Francois Pienaar) do a great job portraying their characters. Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Nelson Mandela, presents the viewer with an interesting internal conflict that will allow the audience to deeply engage his motives. Although "Invictus" does fall into a lot of inspirational movie cliches, it's still manages stay on point with the character driven storyline. "Invictus" is definitely one of the most inspirational films of the year.

Featuring a solid performance from Morgan Freeman, as his character presents an internal conflict that allows for the audience to relate to him. Sadly, the film never goes over Nelson Mandela's entire life, nor his other political ventures throughout his presidency. It does make brief references to his marriage troubles, family conflicts, and how the strain of being imprisoned by those he once hated, drastically affected his life. However, outside of one brief scene, when Nelson argues with his daughter over why he wants to unify South Africa, a nation that has been racially and economically divided for years; that's the only scene where it shows the extent of Mandela's family conflict. Which is a bit sad, as it leaves the viewer wanting to know more about the protagonist's past.

Although the plot and dialogue does come off rather cliche, at times, Morgan Freeman keeps the character grounded in reality as he brings a sense of collective calm to the character. Portraying Mandela as a man whom has come to realize that the only way to achieve piece is through forgiveness and unity, using peaceful methods. Not too dissimilar to other civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi.

Matt Damon was pretty good in his performance as well as he plays a rugby captain, whom leads a struggling rugby team that has suffered from mediocrity and harsh criticism from other South Africans. Francois, soon finds a sense of purpose when Mandela inspires him to lead his team to victory, to not only win it for South Africa, but to shine as a symbolic hope that races of all colors could work together to achieve peace throughout the nation.

This film tends to be a lot lighter than Clint Eastwood's normal fair of movies such as "Mystic River", "Million Dollar Baby" and "Unforgiven." However, he keeps the film primarily focused on Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar actions, as it keeps the plot character driven. Thus allowing the viewer to feel even more immersed into the experience of this truly inspirational film.

Indeed, despite it's shortcomings, "Invictus" is one of the best films of the year. If you're expecting this film to go over Mandela's entire presidency, then you'll be disappointed. However, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon make this film worth watching. Truly, one of the most inspirational films of the year.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      I agree with you about Eastwood. He definitely knows his stuff. And thank you for reading and stopping by. :)

    • northweststarr profile image

      northweststarr 7 years ago from Washington State

      I always enjoy Clint Eastwood's films. Thanx for the review Stevennix2001!

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      Thanks Moulik. I appreciate the compliment.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Very good review...

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      Thanks Ann for the compliment. Yeah, it is a pretty good movie. One that might even get nominated for best picture this year, at the academy awards, according to some sources thus far. Anyway, hope you enjoy the movie when it comes out on dvd. sorry you didn't get a chance to see in theaters though.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Morgan Freeman is an all time favorite of mine and although I didn't get a chance to watch this in the theaters after reading this review it just gives me an excuse to buy the DVD when it comes out!

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      Thanks Deborah for the warm compliment. I do try my best at all the reviews I write, but it's always nice to hear that from fans like yourself. :)

    • Deborah-Lynn profile image

      Deborah-Lynn 7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Hey Stevennix...great review, I am looking forward to seeing this movie as I really enjoy all of Morgan Freemans work and this is a curious part for Matt Damon, I am interested in seeing what he has done with this character...

      As I have said before, I love that you have this niche' wwhich you are very consistant about working, Thank you

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      your welcome. thanks for stopping by. :)

    • alexandriaruthk profile image

      alexandriaruthk 7 years ago from US

      inspirational indeed, thanks

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 8 years ago

      thanks, i appreciate that. yeah, it's a pretty good inspirational film. Although, it's not clint eastwood's best, but I would still highly recommend it.

    • profile image

      seasoning 8 years ago

      looking forward to this film nice reveiw