2 hours, 14 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for brief strong language.
Added DVD Features: Matt Damon Plays Rugby: Turning a Hollywood Star into a Rugby Player; Invictus Music Trailer.
Morgan Freeman ... Nelson Mandela
Matt Damon ... Francois Pienaar
Tony Kgoroge ... Jason Tshabalala
Patrick Mofokeng ... Linga Moonsamy
Matt Stern ... Hendrick Booyens
Julian Lewis Jones ... Etienne Feyder
| Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman "Driving Miss Daisy"), is finally released after spending 27 years in a Johannesburg jail for his
activities with the pro-liberation African National Congress which had
held numerous strikes and bombings against the white policy of
apartheid. He is quickly elected the first black president of his republic and he is determined to prevent a brewing civil war from erupting. He immediately integrates his
security force into half white and half black. Wary of one another at
first, they learn to feel genuine
affection for their new leader.
To bring his nation together Mandela deides to use
rugby, whose almost
all-white team gets boos from most of the large black audiences who always root for the visiting teams. He shows the white Afrikaners, who are actually only about ten percent of the population, that he fully supports the nearly all white rugby
team and he encourages the blacks to cheer them on. Rugby had come to South Africa during Britainís long rule over the territory, and Mandela goes on a mission to have the team, led by their captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon "The Departed") win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After a disastrous game with England, the team soon begins to pick up steam, thanks to Mandela's support. And before long the entire
country is pulling together to cheer them on.
Matt Damon competently plays the team's
captain, but what
really inspires them is Mandelaís personal contact
with them. The president learns the name of each player, going
out to the field amid feverish audience cheers, and greets each player by
his name, wishing each one good luck. The problem is that the
championship New Zealand team, the All Blacks, is led by a 270-pound Maori who is
given the ball on almost every play. And it looks like they will surely beat the South Africans.
This is undoubtably Morgan Freeman
ís film and he's fine, as always. The only problem is that it is only this performance that makes this rather conventional film directed by the multi-award-winning Clint Eastwood
("Million Dollar Baby") worth seeing. But Rugby fans all around the world will still be mightily entertained.
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