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Invictus: Movie Review

We really have to say that the timing of this film is just right for our country and why? Well, it is all about how an improbable leader solved an impossible problem by finding a whacked out solution to inspire his countrymen to band together. Sounds simple? No, when your country is literally torn in half by the effects of years and years of living with apartheid (which was a system of racial segregation used in South Africa by the Whites). Now we feel the movie's timing is perfect because we will have our national elections in May and the movie portrays the life of a great leader and how one man, with sincere disposition and willful perseverance, can change a nation in almost an instant. This should make people ponder a lot who to choose and vote for (or so we hope). Also it headlines Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman which we think is a huge bonus. Read on to find out our verdict.

It is 1994 and Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) has just won the presidency. He now has a huge problem - his populace of Blacks and Whites are still widely divided due to the trauma of the apartheid era. The Whites fear that having a Black president will obviously lead to disaster - in short, they think it is a huge mistake. The Blacks on the other hand still hate the Whites who have oppressed them for years. This hatred has seeped in so deeply in their minds that they even hate their own national rugby team as they deemed it a symbol of apartheid. Mandela, with a stroke of genius (or even madness), decides to unite his country by pushing for the Springboks (the name of the South African rugby team) to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This won't be an easy task though as the Springboks, led by team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), are struggling to even score close against their opponents. Worse, the team only has a year left to improve before the World Cup begins.

For the movie, we can say it was so-so at best. "Invictus" was as effective as it was frustrating. We can say that it had a lot to do with how the movie was presented overall. For us, it just jumped around too much from scene to scene. There were times that we just felt that things were being rushed too much and given how much an important role plot development plays in drama - even more so in biographical films - as such, our rating for the film suffered a lot. Although as a sports film, it was spectacular - it had us grabbing our seats in suspense - wait for the the Rugby World Cup scenes and you will get what we mean. Overall, we still recommend "Invictus" but we just cannot get remove that nagging feeling that it should have been way better than the current finished product.

Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman were both outstanding
- the rugby scenes were perfectly made - it made us feel like we were watching the real thing

Why you shouldn't watch it:

- there was a huge disconnection from scene to scene

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