Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mandela started the process of change, The Sprinbok win in 1995 cemented it - and then what happened?

Working with his regular collaborators like cinematographer Tom Stern, editor Joel Cox, and his son Kyle writing the score, Eastwood has focused on one particular story that illuminates just how difficult it can be once a country decides to make a change. The decision can be difficult enough, but then making that change can be near-impossible. For South Africa to have put apartheid behind it, to any extent, is something that seemed unthinkable at one point, and the mere fact that it happened gives me hope that no matter how difficult a problem seems in this or any country, it can be addressed, and with the right people leading, overcome.

SHOOT: In essence to move forward as a country South Africa needs another charismatic leader, and an honest one.
clipped from
The M/C Review: Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, and Morgan Freeman bring 'Invictus' to life
Really, though, the film boils down to one relationship, that between Mandela and Pienaar, and it's interesting how the film manages to make that relationship so important while really only putting the two of them face to face a handful of times during the film's running time, and they don't really have any long or in-depth conversations.  It's more the way they react to each other, the way they influence each other, and the way their actions then play out in South Africa as a whole.  Damon's fine as Pienaar, although it's a role it feels like he could have played in his sleep.  He's a decent guy who looks good on the rugby field and who manages to inspire his fellow players by example.
I'm glad it's not a biopic that tries to tell the whole story of Mandela's life, and that it doesn't ladle on the white guilt with both hands.
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