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    February 26, 2010

    RENO REVIEW: INVICTUS

    INVICTUS (English/U)
    Genre: Drama/History/Sports/Biography
    Release Date: 4 March 2010
    Distributor: Warner Bros.
    Running Time: 133 mins.
    Director: Clint Eastwood
    Producers: Clint Eastwood, Lori McCreary, Robert Lorenz, Mace Neufeld
    Writer: Anthony Peckham (screenplay); John Carlin (Book)
    Casts: Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman
    Plot: The film tells the inspiring story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country through universal language of sport. Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship.


    THE VERDICT

    Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar. Hm… A political movie? Not really. A sport movie? Not exactly. A perfect blend of politics and sport. I would say yes. Clint Eastwood exceeded my expectation here by delivering such a nice piece of movie, that I think the most inspirational movie of the year 2009.



    When the President of South Africa, Mandela (Morgan Freeman) and the captain of South Africa rugby team Springbok, Francois Pienaa (Matt Damon) crossed their path, that’s also when the post-apartheid democracy and sport spirit came working together to bring a nation that torn apart so long towards unity. The plot is just as clear as the message in this film. It did drived my spirit high just like a rudgy game when it started with how a ex-political prisoner took over the office of the damned nation till the victory of South Africa in Rugby World Cup which the whites and the blacks cheered together as a united nation. It clearly showed us how sport can bring a country together, abandoning the past (apartheid). Too bad for its release for the year of 2009 when apartheid issues were florished with blue-skinneds (‘Avatar’) and prawns (“District 9’) by the others. But, it gives us no excuse to miss this movie as well.

    Frankly, I’ve no idea about this dude Mandela, but Morgan Freeman did a fantastic play here protraying as the first democratically elected South Africa President with a lot of country damage to be repaired and a passion for rugby to be dealt with. He must have done a pretty much of preparation to really speak like a leader of a nation, especially one well-known for his unique monotonous speech. On the other hand, Matt Damon’s acting was just fair enough. Though one-dimensionally as a national rugby team captain, but his role is crucial as being the channel of the president to influence the team as a whole representative of the country. The only thing that not so convincing to me is his body size that I think too small to be a rugby player. Forget about the height, he’s doing just fine.

    Cinematographically, the scenes selected in this movie gave me a sense like being in South Africa, especially the slums and the post-apartheid tension everywhere in every characters, not to mention the heavy breathing in the rugby fields that gonna make you breath in labour as well. Part of the movie’s successful portrayal of this nation during the time of 1999 is the music score that I’ve to acknowledge. Indeed, those musics make you pscyhed during the rugby math, and most of them indirectly tell you to be ok to have faith in the nation even though the world are in doubt that you’re in a lot of shit after the aparthied falls.

    Screenplay wise, ‘Invictus’ is apparently more interesting and easy to follow compared to other Clint Eastwood’s work. Everything was taken care of, from the individual dialogues to the whole cheering crowd, and not to mention the national antheme of South Africa. As the theme for this movie is kinda heavy, the screenplay well balance the two main things in the movie, which are politics and sports. Both interwine smooth enough to produce the end result of inspiration.

    In a nut shell, if you’re looking for a movie that has thems like sports or inspirational unity, this is your perfect cup of tea. Even though the movie is more than two hour, you just have to sit back and relax as the background of the story is bring forth before everything started. No worries about this is a political factual movie. Just follow how Mandela shows you the path to bring both parties who hated each other for so long to sit down and watch a rugby match together. I’m ready for my sorry for its lost in Oscar later, but let’s show some compassion by supporting this movie.

    THE RATING:
    Story – 3.5 stars
    Casts – 3.5 stars
    Cinematography – 3.5 stars
    Effects – 3.5 stars
    OVERALL – 3.5 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.0

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