Wednesday, March 10, 2010


WORTH-IT: (Clint Eastwood) There were several movies out early this year that were not at the top of my list. I know that may be hard to believe for some of you who know me well, and know that I am usually "dying to see" every movie that comes out (and usually think they're all fabulous!). But, maybe I am maturing, or my film-buds are, or I don't know what, but this year came a slew of films unable to draw a sense of anticipation from me. Invictus was very high on that list. First, because I am not a huge Matt Damon fan... great movies - he just doesn't do it for me. Secondly, I know nothing of rugby. The only reason I was slightly curious was my love for movies illustrating history. Invictus is the story of Neslon Mandela's first year in office. And, rather than recount the story of his rise to power, it tells the story of his rise to popularity and colors in the lines of why so many respect him. The story does this through a country's passion for its national pastime--rugby.

Now, its no phenomenal film. I didn't leave with any lasting impacts, and I wouldn't have been disappointed if no one had been nominated for an award. But, what I can say, is that I was immediately surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, easy to follow and as genuine as a story that's already based on truth can get. Damon and Morgan Freeman were instantly believable. The complex story was simple and easy to grasp. The mix of high energy sport with politics and relationships made it easily entertaining and absolutely fun to watch. By the end, I regretted my original intent to avoid seeing the film and was lobbying for increased attendance.

I've heard the argument that the intensity of rugby was lacking, or that the movie overall was too vanilla, and I can't offer any hard evidence against those statements. I don't know rugby from dominoes, other than it is brutal and fast, so I don't feel like I missed anything. I was also ignorant to a lot of the South African political movement under Mandela, making this film simply an easy to learn history lesson. Watch it with that simplistic expectation and I believe it can do the same for you as it did for me--entertain and educate.

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