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Mandela Movie Review: Invictus

Updated on January 1, 2014

The movie poster for Invictus

Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in the movie Invictus.This movie takes its title from the poem Invictus-see poster below.
Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in the movie Invictus.This movie takes its title from the poem Invictus-see poster below. | Source

Invictus -The poem

Digital collage with the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. 1849-1903 Design of poster by AlocStudios
Digital collage with the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. 1849-1903 Design of poster by AlocStudios | Source

The film "invictus" is well directed and well paced.

Movie review: Invictus

Empirical Data

Main cast: Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela

Matt Damon as Fran├žois Pienaar

Adjoa Andoh as Brenda Mazikubo, Mandela's Chief of Staff

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Plot: "after decades in a Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is released in 1990 and works immediately to bring about the end of apartheid and the initiation of full democratic elections where the black majority population can vote. Mandela wins the race for President of South Africa and takes office in 1994. His immediate challenge is "balancing black aspirations with white fears."" (Source here )


The film "invictus" is well directed and well paced. The story line is easy to follow without being laborious. Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman give very good performances in their roles. However, to one familiar with the South African accent, Morgan Freeman falls short of a convincing "Nelson Mandela" accent. He definitely had problems with the sharp "clicks" characteristic of the language. Redeeming factors are the emotional content he brought to the film. Morgan Freeman's acting skills definitely contributed in building the character to a convincing level. Other than the afore-mentioned accent issue, he did well. Matt Damon handled his role well and I found him convincing as a South African rugby player. It was a good performance in that I did not have the hardcore hero of The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy series overshadowing the character in Invictus.

Clint Eastwood is undoubtedly one of the best directors on the industry. His take on the story is a mature and engaging experience. I particularly enjoyed how he portrayed relationships through the little boy who quietly befriends the policemen to listen to the game by their squad car. This simple touch of human grace brought a tear to my eye. I would have however liked to see a more subtle approach when it came to Nelson Mandela's bodyguards. I found them to "overact" in parts. This translated as amateurish to me.

Nonetheless, the movie Invictus does deliver the feel of the story well, capturing that glorious period in South African history. You can see the poem invictus here


4/5. I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in South African history or just human relationships in general. It is a window into the life of a great man. One takes away the effect of knowing the trials and tribulations ofthose around you and using this perspective to better ones own life.


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