Movie Review: Invictus
"Invictus" tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country.
President Mandela has just been elected and struggles to unite a nation that remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. In order to unify his nation, Mandela calls upon South Africa's underdog rugby team to make unlikely champions in the 1995 Rugby World Cup; using sport as a political tool that no one had ever thought of before.
The strong themes of forgiveness, unity, and compassion make this much more than just a sports movie or a historical account. The movie can easily be regarded as inspirational at times, such as when, after years of oppression, Mandela encourages forgiveness of the white elite and not vengeance. "We have to prove we are not what they feared. We have to surprise them with compassion." By the championship Rugby match, any predictability on screen goes unnoticed aside the excitement and joy on display.
The film never comes off as too exaggerated or arrogant, requiring nothing more from the viewer than an open mind. Eastwood's film shows how sport can unify people, a straightforward and moving message that leaves audiences cheering. The sports, accurate portrayal and the solid storyline earn this movie a manliness rating of 3/5. However, the entertainment value, historical accuracy and strong message this movie delivers earn it an overall rating of 4.5 stars. Definitely, worth seeing.
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