Movie Details
INVICTUS

INVICTUS

The film tells the inspiring story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country through universal language of sport. Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship.

Language: English
Subtitle: Na
Classification: U
General Release Date: 04 Mar 2010
Genre: Drama / Historical / Sports / Biography
Running Time: 2 Hours 14 Minutes
Distributor: WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Cast: Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman
Director: Clint Eastwood
Format: NA



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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 3.0 Out of 5
Cast: 3.5 Out of 5
Plot: 2.5 Out of 5
Effects: 0.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: "Last King Of Scotland”, “The Blind Side”, “Gran Torino”

Well, at least Morgan Freeman had an easier job doing Nelson Mandela than Forest Whitaker did for Idi Amin! While the latter had to put in a passionate (and very sweaty) portrayal of the Ugandan military dictator, the former needed only to get the accent and walk right, fleshing out an old man respected today as a great freedom fighter who effectively put an end to apartheid South Africa in the 90s. As sure as Patrick Stewart is a dead ringer for Professor X of the X-Men, Mr Freeman could scarcely find another role that just screams his name. Yes. "Invictus" (Latin, meaning "unconquered") may not have been a movie that needed to be made - but Freeman is definitely the man for the job.

Make no mistake, the feel-good factor is less prominent in this Clint Eastwood sports drama than say, a contemporary release like Sandra Bullock's "Blind Side", although both feature a similar sport and parallel racial themes. The movie focuses on the South African leader's manipulation of their (rugby union home team) Springbok's campaign and eventual unlikely victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, en route to uniting a nation that was divided in "balancing black ambition with white fears".

Again, the none-too-subtle sentiments we saw in "Gran Torino" resurface, for example, in the all-too-likely and simplistic "racial repair" scenes where a great deal rendering emotions seem to have been skipped just to get to that result. More importantly, there seems to be an underpinning stiffness to the performances, which extends even to Matt Damon's role as team captain Francoius Pienaar. While he definitely packed more muscle for this role, the corresponding gusto is rather stifled or at least delivered sparingly.

As such, "Invictus" leaves us as a reassured, solid effort complete with a prolonged climax and some real rugby action - but lacks a certain epic quality that would elevate its status to essential watching. However, where it lacks in power, it makes up with an easy-to-understand narrative that can be inspiring at times. Audiences will at least get another listen to the Afrikaans accent after "District 9" revisited it recently.


Cinema Online, 12 January 2010
   

 
 
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