30 Second Review: Invictus

30 SECOND REVIEW:  Invictus
Directed by Clint Eastwood, released December 11, 2009

There’s not a lot of action in Invictus – even less than is hinted at in the trailers.  What little “action” there is feels somewhat clumsy and out of place, for this is a story based on fact – we know how it turns out.  There isn’t even a “decent” locker room speech.  But don’t let this deter you – Invictus is a wonderful film, full of drama.  In our modern times, there are few life stories more amazing than Nelson Mandela’s, and this film does a good job in showing what staggering obstacles he overcame in trying to unite his country.

This is Morgan Freeman’s show.  He’s the driving force behind bringing this story to the big screen, and he’s masterful as Mandela.  But Matt Damon should not be overlooked in the strong, understated performance he gives as Francois Pienaar, captain of the Springboks rugby team.  Also strong are the men who portray Mandela’s bodyguards, who are a mixture of blacks and Afrikaners.  Their initial distrust of each other and eventual (grudging) acceptance not only underscores the magnetism that Mandela  evoked, but also allows the viewer to understand the true victory was in the change of attitude of the masses, and that it was a great victory, indeed.

Don’t look for an action packed or hard-driving exposé of history, but a well acted, amazing story.  I give it a solid A-.

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~ by arcticwren on January 8, 2010.

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