Jan 10, 2010

Invictus, 2009

Invictus, 2009. Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Short synopsis: Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup

Stage: home theatre

Pre-phase: the new Eastwood wave inspires me to see the movie regardless of the cast, scenario, etc. The name is enough. Seeing the topic (or the trailer), I am convinced, I am going to see at least half of Mandela's biography or at least an important part of his life. A political then, I think. Rivalry, competition, bribes, etc. Classic political. I couldn't be more mistaken, as the movie is something completely else.

Eastwood dances with both separated parts of complete nation of South Africa, divided by apartheid and fighting amongst each other. In an attempt to solve this, a "devine" hand is given, in shape of Nelson Mandela, beautifully performed by Morgan Freeman. I am a bit lost in the weird english that is used at first, however it seems pretty much genuine and you get used to it. Despite the fact that I really expected a political saga (and in this way also the movie begins), Eastwood tricks his way through the most frequently used tool to connect nations, I suppose - sports. In this case rugby. The quest for winning the championship overruns the complete movie and represents the mainframe for the spectator as the perfect way to make people happy and neglect everyday problems. It glorifies the efect of sport to the nation and at least for a second or two you can sense the nation unified.

Some of my key "grande" thoughts when watching this..
Is sports truly the way to handle a nation's tolerance among the people? (from the president's perspective) Or is just like in roman times, when you need some bread and games to make the crowd happy not to see everyday worries.. in a sense I can see the similar thing happening in my homeland, with the football and basketball euphoria. Or in the last two months, the glorification of winter sports and unifying the nation in front of tv and celebrating in the streets. In some cases also I am not an exception to this charming happinness. Maybe it's the simplest way for the leading party in the pairlament to catch some votes. In my country, sadly enough, we only want to stand behind sports when they are doing splendid. The point is.. if we think of Mandela, do you really suppose he would cast his votes this way? Invictus is a movie, based on true story. During the movie, I am thinking constantly, which president would really take the time and come and cheer for the team, come to the practice, invite the captain of the team for a cup of tea. On the other hand, it was our head of pairlament that cleaned the shoes of our football team when they won and entered world championships (ironically - also in South Africa).

I believe that many people will find the movie inspiring. In my country also, the happening in the movie could be easily transported or also applied to balkan countries in general.

Morgan is working magic with his performance, also Damon has one of his better rolls. I still cannot get rid of the feeling that I wanted to see more of Nelson Mandela, not just a fanatic rugby fan. The energy within the movie is somehow similar to the one, made in "Remember the Titans". And also the ending. I have to remind myself, that is based on the true facts. And that Invictus, by the way, means unconquered. A poem, written by William Ernest Henley, that inspired Mandela during his prison time to change his perspectives.

More reviews on the movie: http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2009-12-10-invictus10_ST_N.htm

I am sure you will like the concluding tunes, president thinking to himself..
I am the captain of the beat,
I am the master of my soul.

My personal rating: 6,5 (enjoyable). + some of the match scenes on big screen take your breath away. Still makes me wonder, why do this to oneself and one's body (rugby I mean) :)

p.s. IMDB peak: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1057500/

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