Invictus Review

Good Essays
Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela-- it feels so right when you first think of it, doesn't it? The two look so similar that children growing up during the era of both apartheid and Driving Miss Daisy could be forgiven for confusing the two. But Freeman, despite his many talents and uncanny ability to seem like a comforting paternal figure, isn't exactly a chameleon, and while he very much looks the part of Mandela in Invictus, the transformation into the halting-voiced leader of a nation is never quite complete.

Such is the problem with much of Invictus, a movie filled with many moments that do work, struggling mightily against heavy, heavy clunkers that do not. As evidenced very much in last year's Gran Torino, director Clint Eastwood doesn't exactly have a light touch when it comes to race relations, so the Mandela portion of his film often features scenes so transparent, the director may as well step on the screen and proclaim "Why can't we all just get along?" As for the rugby, which makes up the other half, it's a very classic story about an underdog team rising from the top, and the movie thrums along nicely on the usual sports movie tropes. If only anyone had bothered to tell us exactly how rugby is played.

The important thing, though, is that the remarkable true story behind Invictus is properly told, and with a gravity that makes all the stakes clear. When Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in 1994, the country was still deeply divided over the wounds from apartheid, and even the white members of the Presidential staff were convinced that Mandela would fire them immediately in favor of blacks. Meanwhile the national rugby team the Springboks remained a symbol of the apartheid era, bearing the old South African flag's color of green and gold and boasting just one black team member.

Despite overwhelming black support for abolishing the team altogether, Mandela meets with the team's captain Francois Pineaar (Matt Damon) to convince

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Invictus

    • 325 Words
    • 2 Pages

    INVICTUS an essay about the film by Clint Eastwood. Your essay should include: A brief statement about the historical background: Apartheid, de Klerk, ANC, Nelson Mandela and Robben Island. An account of the symbolism of the first scene of the film the significance of the rugby team Springboks as defined by Nelson Mandela the development of the relations among the bodyguards the political attitude of the team captain’s family Brenda’s function…

    • 325 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Invictus

    • 855 Words
    • 4 Pages

    December 9, 2009 | 1 Print Page Morgan Freeman has been linked to one biopic of Nelson Mandela or another for at least 10 years. Strange that the only one to be made centers on the South African rugby team. The posters for Clint Eastwood's "Invictus" feature Matt Damon in the foreground, with Freeman looming behind him in shadowy nobility. I can imagine the marketing meetings during which it was lamented that few Americans care much about about Mandela and that Matt Damon appeals to a younger…

    • 855 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Invictus

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages

    invictus“Invictus” recounts the process of moving others to a place of understanding. South Africa was a very, separated and showed two very divided communities. This was due to tension, and the inability to forgive each other, between black and white communities. “Invictus,” shows to us how the country south Africa, can go form a separated and divided, to united area of all population. This is shown through the process of reconciliation and understanding. The Film “Invictus” uses relationships…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    the direction of a country so set on the norm? John Carlin tells the story of Nelson Mandela through the eyes of people close to him as well as through the eyes of his enemies. Both friends and enemies portray just his presence as overwhelming. Invictus tells the story of how Mandela used his overwhelming presence to unite a country through the sport of rugby. The story begins on the morning of the 1995 Rugby World Cup championship game. The rest of the book details how he got to that point.…

    • 2173 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Invictus

    • 257 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Invictus 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…

    • 257 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Invictus

    • 322 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Invictus is a short Victorian poem written by English poet, William Ernest Henley. This poem is about being invictus, a Latin word for unconquerable. Henley writes about the hardships he faced and how it has not made him weaker. In the first stanza, he writes, “Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods maybe for my unconquerable soul.” This stanza shows that even through the night, a metaphor for hardships, Henley is bothered. In terms of leadership…

    • 322 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Invictus

    • 692 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Analysis of Invictus Poetries are the many ways that people can express their feeling and emotion. They are the manifest of everything that the authors contribute into. In Poetry, whether its sadness or happiness, they are the nature of the authors soul and body. In the poem Invictus meaning unconquerable in Latin, the author William Ernest Henley wrote this poem in a life and death situation. Henley wrote this poem during his time in the hospital, being treated of tuberculosis as well as having…

    • 692 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Invictus

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Christopher was a boy who was born in a rich East Coast family. He graduated from one of the best universities in the United States. However, he wasn’t content with his life and didn’t know what the truth about his existence was. Therefore, he decided to abandon his family and society to find his sincere self, which was his vital target. He thought that he wasn’t the person that he was supposed to be. Clearly, he was ready to sacrifice himself to find his original self and his true being. He went…

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tone Of Invictus

    • 650 Words
    • 3 Pages

    “Invictus” Judging poetry is a subjective matter, but there a few concrete criteria one can use to evaluate it. Historical significance, tone, and subject matter can all be used to evaluate a work of art. For example, all of these criteria can be used to evaluate the poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. The circumstances surrounding the creation of the poem are significant because of the state of modern medicine at the time. The subject matter is one that many people can and have related…

    • 650 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Invictus Identity

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages

    and those around us in society become more aware and notice the changing of their identity and where they belong. It is at times of events such as 911, The Australian settlement and the change of President and uniting as a country in reference to Invictus, the film, that has influenced greatly on those who are left to suffer and those around them. As these events occur people become more aware of the impact it causes to a society, which changes and influences, their identity and where they feel like…

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays