This is the film I wanted to see before Christmas whilst on holiday in Canada but for some reason, the BF preferred to see Up in the Air. I’ve just figured out the reason: his buddies wouldn’t have gone with him to see that whereas his girlfriend, despite being anti-Clooney, obliged. Still I’ll hold that one over until the next time he wants to see something I’m not keen on….
Invictus tells the story of how Nelson Mandela, upon being released from prison and becoming President, went about using rugby as a way of bringing together blacks and whites in an effort to rebuild post-apartheid South Africa. Not only is it a genius idea that appeared to work at least a little, it’s spawned the most fantastic film.
For me, as soon as Morgan Freeman spoke, he was Mandela. Matt Damon was equally convincing as the captain of the South African rugby team and although I am aware the South Africans may feel differently, I hope everyone sees this as an inspiring, brilliantly made film made by Clint Eastwood no less. I also wonder if they couldn’t have found South African actors but Morgan Freeman for sure was born to play this role and apparently Nelson Mandela himself requested him so who are we to argue?
This is the first time that I was in tears – in a good way – all the way through a film and even though it was witty (the President has a devilish sense of humour) and warming throughout, as soon as I heard Freeman’s Mandela speak, I melted. Good words always came out – does the man really do no wrong? It doesn’t matter – the result is a job well done.
Notable moments are when South African whites cease to look at their new leader as an enemy and embrace each other in the streets as their second rate national rugby team forge ahead putting the nation on the international sports map. Also when the white presidential body guards who no doubt would have been enemies whilst working for his predecessor, now working together to ensure his safety and well-being.
Of course we all know South Africa went onto win the rugby world cup in 1995 (and again in 2007) and recall the iconic moment when President Mandela walking out onto the ground wearing the Springboks jersey and waving his team’s cap.
I’m sure it’s not a coincidence the film comes out during 6 nations Rugby tournament and the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s release but it’s unbelievably powerful and moving; this is a must see. Is it too early to start saying best movie of the year?
Smile factor 9½/10
PS Did you know:
• 1995 was the first time the Rugby World Cup was held in just one country
• South Africa had been banned to enter the competition until 1992 following negotiations to end apartheid