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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Movie Review of Invictus

Director - Clint Eastwood

Writer - Anthony Peckham and John Carlin.

Plot :-

When Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is released after 29 years of imprisonment, South Africa is still facing and international ban by many countries globally. The economy is bad. There is unemployment and it is on the verge of a civil war. Mandela decides to hold a democratic election, wins it, and decides to bring about the end of Apartheid. While doing this, one day he attends a rugby match between Sout Africa and England. He is disturbed to see that the black population is supporting England. To ensure there is unity between the blacks and the white, he convinces the South African team to keep the team name of Springboks (As opposed to Proteas that was a favourite with the blacks) and ensures that he gives his full support to the almost full white South African Rugby team and ensures that the entire South African Population supports them during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He uses the Rugby World Cup as a platform to unite South Africa like never before.

Critic’s Comments

I envy Film Directors like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino. Just when yoy think they have given their best work, they raise their Standards high with their subsequent projects and this keeps going on forever. You keep your expectations high and they live up to the audience's expectation every time. This is a wonderful feel good film directed by Clint Eastwood. Morgan Freeman is outstanding As Nelson Mandela and should be one of the strong contenders for the Best Actor Award. Matt Damon as the South African Rugby Team Captain Francois Piennar has given good performance too. This should be a must-see movie for everyone.

Psst –

1) Both Nelson Mandela and Clint Eastwood wanted only Morgan Freeman to play the lead role. This is the 2nd movie about Mandela's life. The 1st one was Goodbye Bafana which was about Nelson Mandela's imprisonment. There was a talk about a bio-pic on Mandela, for years, based on his autobiography "Long walk to freedom" which was meant to be directed by Shekar Kapur. However the movie never materialized because it spanned many decades and was not possible to make it in a single feature film. One of the options worked out was having Denzel Washington play the role of a young Nelson Mandela and Morgan Freeman play the role of the older one.

2) Invictus means invincible in Latin. It is also a poem written by William Henley who was a british poet, in 1875. The poem was written when he was in hospital having his foot amputated. This poem was very inspirational to Mandela while he was in prison and we can hear Freeman reciting the poem in the climax.

3) Morgan Freeman and Nelson Mandela are real life friends for almost 2 decades.

4) To prepare for his role, Matt Damon took coaching under Chester Williams who was himself a player in the 1995 rugby world cup. He even played the final after being injured for the major part of the tournament.

5) The Climax scene in the stadium was shot with 2000 people. Using Motion capture technique, the stadium was seen to be filled with over 60000 people.

6) Clint Eastwood became a fan of Rugby while making the movie, He used to watch hours of rugby every night while filming.

Quotes :-

1) "All the whites cheer for South Africa. All the blacks cheer for England."

2) "This country's changed. We need to change as well."

3) "According to the experts, you and I should still be dead."

4) "I was thinking how a man could spend thirty years in prison, and come out and forgive the men who did it to him."


1) This is debatable, but i am pretty sure the security guards would have been aware (And not surprised) about the plane flying so low and it would not have been possible for the pilot to make a last minute decision as shown in the movie.

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