The 1995 world cup was a glorious time in South Africa’s history. When all eyes were on our country, we stood up to the challenge. Not only did we host the world cup, we came through as underdogs and won it. It united people of all races and cultures, and proved the power sport holds to connect and heal. None of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the man leading our great new democracy, Mr. Nelson Mandela. Finally, Madiba gets his wish as Morgan Freeman portrays our beloved icon.
Invictus follows the 95 world cup story but takes things further. It depicts Madiba’s struggles and strategies for bringing together a nation of forty two million bitter, hating people. It shows the human struggle and highlights the fact that greatness can be achieved when people work together.
Madiba anointed Freeman as the actor he wanted to portray him. After a long journey and countless hours spent with the icon Freeman hits the nail on the head, looking and moving just as the former president did. One thing that may get South African’s on edge is his accent, but Freeman has wisely paid more attention to the way Madiba speaks instead of just the tone. So, although he does not have the exact same accent as Madiba, he still sounds like him. Freeman’s performance is breathtaking, and worthy of its Oscar buzz. Matt Damon should not be forgotten either. His near perfect Afrikaans accent is something to behold.
The rugby in the movie is probably the biggest disappointment. For such a fierce contact sport, it is made to look like choreographed dancing. The other annoyance in the film is a reporter who keeps popping up throughout the story. The actor is terrible, and distracts from the powerful storyline.
Overall the movie does a great job of focussing on the human story, rather than being overly political. This is a real breath of fresh air in a country that is hammered with political agenda constantly. Clint Eastwood’s beautiful cinematography and a stirring score make for the feel good movie of the year. You will not leave the cinema without Goosebumps.