Saturday, 6 March 2010

Movie Review: INVICTUS: Nelson Mandela and the courage to forgive

Clint Eastwood's latest directorial venture is an entertaining portrait of Nelson Mandela's initial days as President of South Africa - and what a time it was! Leading a nation - "balancing black aspirations with white fears" and confronted with rising crime, Mandela plays a gamble by backing the National Rugby team - still considered in 1994 especially by many blacks, to be a symbol of apartheid. The team is not doing great either, plunging to defeat after defeat. With the Rugby World Cup (South Africa been the host nation) barely a year away, Mandela calls upon the team captain and asks him, without actually saying it, of a service - to win the 1995 World Cup. His hope, it seems, is that the entire nation will be united and inspired if this occurs. 

Invictus - after a poem that inspired Mandela during his 27-year long ordeal in prison, may seem to be another underdog story, but it is more about the courage to change and forgive, about taking that big risk to bring together a nation. It is about Nelson Mandela, played so lovably by Morgan Freeman, while Matt Damon is competent as the Rugby team captain.

Watch it to know more about Nelson Mandela, and how he and a rugby team inspired a nation. A good watch - to think that it all really happened...

Other threads
Mandela's 'mixed' security personnel, his separated family, Damon's sceptical father and a little exaggerated part about the little poor boy.

Here is the poem INVICTUS written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


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