17 Feb 2010


Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Year: 2009

Genre: Drama


Cinema-Reader – 8.3
IMDB – 7.6

FilmAffinity – 7.3

(Click picture for Trailer)

Cinema-Reader Synopsis:

Film that describes the struggle of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) to gather together a nation fallen apart owing to the apartheid endured for decades through using the National Rugby Team and the World Cup which took place within South African soil in 1995.

After attending a match, he realises that black people supports other teams, no matter which country they are, whilst just white people are behind the national team.

Therefore, and in order to do that, Mandela supports his effort on Francois Pienaar’s shoulders (Matt Damon), captain of Springboks, that will uphold for Mandela’s fight as his, focusing their target on the Rugby World Cup Championship.

Cinema-Reader Review:

Supported on stunning performances (both Freeman and Damon harvested Academy nominations) and a solid script (also nominated) based upon John Carlin’s novel Playing the enemy: Nelson Mandela and the game that changed a Nation; Clint Eastwood runs a breathtaking story of fight and faith.

Taking a game as apex for the story, Eastwood greatly develops both Mandela’s and Pienaar’s fights for different goals underneath the same aim.

The technically beauty of the rugby game frames is worthy to be highlighted. Eastwood used real rugby players to add a dose of realism to the game itself (Off the record, this is the reason Matt Damon doesn’t appear tackling or being tackled, passing the ball or even in a scrum) standing out from many previous attempts that failed notoriously. Cause there isn’t anything as fake as a guy kicking a ball, shooting to basket or whatsoever without a fucking idea of how to play (i.e. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in Bend it like Beckham or Madonna in A league of their Own).

Here, you can feel pain in every tackle as you were the one being tackled. The way in which the scrums were shot makes you feel within the middle of those huge animals rugby players are.

Despite has been panned by some critics that point out the fact that just Mandela’s life is barely touch instead of being squeezed deeply, is worth saying that the plot sets in the spotlight the game and develop all around (as secondary buy essential part) Mandela first years as South African first black president.

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