What an appropriate time for this film to be released. With the World Cup starting, the timing couldn’t be better… even though this is a different sport.
The film tells the story of Nelson Mandela who has just become the president of South Africa. His vision for the country doesn’t include revenge as many of his country men are so desperately seeking against those that oppressed them. In fact, Mandela himself was jailed for 27 years by these men, but looking beyond the past; Mandela forgives these men and has a hopeful outlook for the country finding national unity. Where does he turn to find this unity? South Africa’s rugby team. Not only does the team inspire Mandela – but Mandela inspires the team to do the impossible.
I’ll admit it, I’m not a person who really follows sports or takes the time to understand a lot of them. For example, maybe someone can tell me why they don’t wear padding in rugby? It seems like one of the most violent sports and to not wear padding is beyond me… But all of that aside, I still really enjoyed the film. It’s message is a powerful one, and one more people should hear. While some of the story does have a little Hollywood fluff to it (Wouldn’t it be nice if a team winning the World Cup solved the problems with unity in a country?), it’s inspiring and enjoyable to watch. Morgan Freeman shines in this role (though who would expect anything less from someone so seasoned), and Matt Damon does a fine job as well (though this role definitely limits him). And director Clint Eastwood clearly is a master at his craft adding Invictus to a list of incredible films he’s directed… Gran Torino and Mystic River just to name a few.
The only thing I can say is I wish we could have seen more of Mandela’s time before taking office, I think it would have created a stronger sense of amazement at Mandela’s ability to forgive and move forward. If you don’t know the full story with his past, you won’t find it here, but perhaps that should be another movie entirely.
The special features on the Blu-ray are excellent including a featurette with Morgan Freeman meeting Nelson Mandela, Client Eastwood looking back on his films and careers, and how Matt Damon went from Hollywood star to rugby player.
Definitely worth checking out for an inspiration and uplifting film… and as I mentioned earlier with the current events in the sporting world, it couldn’t be better timing!
Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download Now!
Review By Emma Loggins