Sunday, December 13, 2009

Invictus (Review)

     I was anxiously awaiting this one.  It had all the right elements to be great: a truly incredible, true story, Clint Eastwood directing, and Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon starring.  It's also a sports story about rugby, but, nothing's perfect.

     "Invictus" is the true story about how a newly elected Nelson Mandela tried to bring some unity to a fractured South Africa by promoting the national rugby team, who were hated by native Africans and loved by the white Afrikaners, and pushing them to win the World Cup.  Morgan Freeman delivers a stellar and convincing performance as Mandela.  Matt Damon co stars as the captain of the South African Springboks, (Spring Buck) François Pienaar, a man who realizes that his team can overcome its image of a hated symbol of apartheid and can help to unite and build a new South Africa

     I think Eastwood milked the ending tension a bit with the slow motion grunting and multiple cutaways, but other than that, "Invictus" is a truly great film.  It manages to tell a story happening amidst great social turmoil and in a land of incredible racial hatred and injustice without bludgeoning you to death that fact.  Instead, "Invictus" is about finding the inner strength to accomplish what must be done, no matter how difficult the task, its about being the 'captain of' your 'unconquerable soul,' it's about what motivates people to achieve greatness and where leaders find the inspiration to lead.  Mandela manages to find strength in a poem, and he instills that strength in François who leads him team to greatness and inspires them to achieve for a greater cause than just rugby. 

     Even if you don't like sports movies, and I generally don't, "Invictus" is an inspirational true story that is well worth seeing.


  1. I actually was not too fond of this. It just felt a little too uninspired.

  2. Rugby can do that to you.

    Seriously though, why not? What would it have taken for this film to be inspirational for you?