Went to see Invictus last night and came away feeling slightly let down. Both the World Cup and politics were blatatnly sugar-coated with the get down and dirty aspect sorely missing.
Francois Pienaar’s character came across as a bumbling-country-bumpkin – which he is not – with little in his head other than rugby-ball-shaped-brain-cells. And as for his physical presence, Matt Damon just didn’t pull it off. His accent was pretty good though.
Sadly the rest of the world-cup team were treated as mere extras, portrayed by actors with little or no resemblance to them. Which is a great shame as many were true characters and played a pivotal part of winning the trophy. How can we forget Joel Stransky and his belting boot, and the ever colourful James Small?
Some poetic licence was used for the thunderous SAA fly over as well, almost implying it was unplanned and somewhat 9/11’ish. Which we know it wasn’t.
But despite the above, there were some good points. Morgan Freeman for a start was really good. He mimicked Madiba well, to the extent if he ever finds himself short of cash, he could successfully rent himself out as a credible double. The old heartstrings were played with too, and both my friend and I felt quite emotional at times, something I suspect non SA residents will not experience – it’s a kind off a “you have to have lived here to get it” scenario.
So don’t be put off, go and see it. But keep in mind Invictus is not a gritty political and typical Clint Eastwood movie, but rather a nice movie about some nice people who work together for the greater good.