Invictus is an excellent sports movie.
The acting is sensational at times, and Francois Pienaar could only have been played by someone of the personal charisma and persona of Matt Damon. Unfortunate that his physical stature does not quite match up to the huge Pienaar. And Morgan Freeman is excellent, he seems to have been made to play Mandela. The supporting cast is quite excellent, and the rugby scenes seem quite authentic, if somewhat in slow motion. Also, it’s great to get a rugby movie, it’s a tough, deep and extremely technical sport, one that I could never master. Back to the movie however, the emotional moments hit the right chords; sports fans as we are, a few scenes will choke us up. Clint Eastwood is a master of his craft, and chose to make a movie he has the best chance of doing justice to, one that is not so much a political statement but a story of human triumph.
However, does it not feel a little empty? If you are a fan of rugby, a fan of sport or of the movies, and can blank your mind from the world around you, that emptiness would not be felt and this movie should be a great experience. However, I felt that Invictus should have come in after a biopic of Mandela was made, however shoddy that biopic might have been. This is an appendage to a great story, the story of one of the few truly great men of the latter half of the twentieth century. The movie, it’s triumphant, it’s uplifting and it is miraculous. But it is the addendum. And one is (or rather, I was) left with a feeling of wanting more, after the movie was finished.
Four Stars, however. Highly recommended.