Wednesday, 31 March 2010


A Clint Eastwood directed film always has a solid storyline, and Invictus (2009) is no exception. Adapted for the screen by Anthony Perkin, who also wrote the screen play for the recent Sherlock Holmes film, Invictus is an account of the relationship between two men from totally different backgrounds. A black South African, Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for state terrorism and sabotage who became the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election and the working-class Afrikaner Francois Pienaar captain of the South African Springboks rugby team. Mandela, released from prison in 1990 and elected president in 1994, was no fool when he seconded the 1995 rugby World Cup to help unite the divided South African nation attempting to bring black and white together to support the predominately white rugby team. Crucial to this was the Mandela’s controversial decision to risk alienating his black followers by preventing the new sports council from abolishing the Springboks rugby team and its distinctive green and gold uniform. The film was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Mandela’s release from prison and is based on John Carlin's book Playing the Enemy. Morgan Freeman plays Mandela; although he does not resemble him physically he does however manage to convey his characteristics, Pienaar is convincingly played by Matt Damon. Almost anyone else other than Eastwood could have made a cheesy triumphant sports movie but he does not allow this to happen, although the match sequences look very convincing and you do find yourself getting quite involved. An interesting and entertaining look at recent history.

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