Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) just became the President of South Africa. Despite his victory at the election, the country is still torn apart by racial conflicts. Mandela decides that one possibilities to unite the country is by giving them a sports team to root for, together. So he asks François Pienaar (Matt Damon), captain of the rather desolate Rugby team, to win the World Cup.
Before I say anything about the film, I should probably come clean and say that it is not a movie I would normally watch – I don’t like Clint Eastwood and the story is not really interesting for me. But since I always make this effort to watch all the Oscar Nominated movies, I ended up seeing this one as well.
That said, it didn’t surprise me one bit that I didn’t like the film.
I don’t know why people consider Clint Eastwood to be a master director. Seriously. I have yet to see a movie he made that doesn’t bore me. (Of all the movies by him I’ve seen, the only possibility for me not to fall asleep is to see it at the cinema…) Even when I find the plot compelling and the cast absolutely amazing, I am bored.
Exactly the same thing happened with Invictus, where I didn’t even find the plot compelling… I mean, of all the stories you can tell about Mandela (and goddammit, there are a lot of those as the man is very fascinating), you choose the one that has a white man at its center? And then you don’t even have the decency to cast South Africans in the role?
That is not to say that Morgan Freeman or Matt Damon did a bad job. Not at all. They were both very strong. (I can’t say about their accents, though, since I really don’t have a ear for that. Not even half an ear. I leave that to the experts.) Generally speaking, the cast was really good.
And I also liked the way the poem Invictus was used in the movie – Morgan Freeman does a wondeful job with the reading and it was used in the right moments. And the lines
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
are very poignant and wonderfully fitting for the film.
Summarising: Unless you’re an obsessive movie-goer like me or an obsessive Clint Eastwood-fan unlike me, you can skip this film.