Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Movie Review: Invictus

This is an astonishing movie made all the more astonishing by the fact that it's based on true events.  Just a year after the end of apartheid in South Africa, newly elected President, Nelson Mandela, asked the South African rugby team, the Springboks, to win the World Cup (which was set to be hosted in Africa that year). Going into the tournament, the South African team was an underdog. The New Zealand team, the All Blacks, led by the unstoppable Jonah Lomu, were dominating their bracket and were expected to easily win the World Cup.[1]

My verdict: I was surprised to learn that this was directed by Clint Eastwood. It was a little more conventional than I expected from him. I generally liked the film and thought it made good use of South African music and/or musical styles to contribute to the tone of the film. There were several feel-good moments which made the movie worth it. Detractors: Several issues are hinted at, but never fully developed. For example, the racism of the Pienaar family just sort of evaporates and the expected conflict between François Pienaar and his father, over the issue of François' support of President Mandela, never materializes. I would've liked to see what made the Pienaars change their minds. Also, it is alluded to that Mandela was estranged from his family, but we learn little more than that. And: the strong profanity which earned it a PG-13 rating was completely unnecessary.


[1] See Rugby World Cup.

No comments:

Post a Comment