'Invictus'



This is a movie I was looking forward to in many ways. It is directed by Clint Eastwood -who needs no introduction- & has a giant performance at its core from Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Lo and behold my surprise when finding out that it is in fact a movie about rugby and the way sports can unite a nation divided. This can be the kind of stuff Oscar would drool over and -don't get me wrong- Invictus will most probably garner many nominations when nominees are announced next month but it isn't that good.

Eastwood had 2 great movies last year -Gran Torino & Changeling. He brought urgency and power to what were very meaty stories, both of which made my top ten list that very year. The problem with Invictus is the way he handles things way too conventionally and rarely has an original thought or idea at hand. It is NOT a biopic of Mandela and is more about what happened when Mandela's fascination for Rugby led to a sort of unification of South Africa. To call the movie predictable would be hardly the point, it is a sort of statement about how Mandela tried the impossible and made it happen.

I like Matt Damon and he does a good job with his role as captain Francois, a rugby player with heart and -wait for it- an open mind to the ideas Mandela bring forward to him, in a closed door meeting before the Rugby World Cup begins. This isn't the type of movie to be excited writing about, I didn't find much interest or precedences in its formulaic atmosphere. I do agree with critics who say that Freeman is stellar as Mandela but I'm kind of glad this movie has come and gone and not really attained the attention that it so desperately craved.

Archive