A new review from guest reviewer Sarah W.
Invictus (A). It is 1994 post-Apartheid South Africa, and President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is looking for a way to erase his country’s past racism and unite the South African people. Mandela’s answer to the struggle: rugby. Mandela saves the white-supported Springboks from black South Africans’ attempts to dismantle the team and asks Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) to lead the team to a World Cup Victory. This tale of the underdog has the potential to lose its credibility in a series of feel-good Disney scenes, but director Clint Eastwood keeps things grounded: the Springboks fight for a team victory, Freeman delivers some incredible Mandela speeches while keeping his character human, and a country is not so much united as it is united behind a sports team. The only real breaking down of barriers is seen among Mandela’s secret service men who, initially apprehensive about working together, engage in a chummy rugby match on Mandela’s lawn. Nonetheless, it is a great depiction of South Africans’ post-Apartheid hope for the future of their country.