I must say, as historical and inspirational this story is, in all honesty, I was quite disappointed with this film. It’s hard to be critical on movies concerning sensitive topics like this, and I definitely do not want to start a comment-war with someone, so I apologize in advance if I offend anyone with my comments. I am purely commenting on the film itself, not Mandela’s story.
Synopsis (IMDB): A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
There just wasn’t anything truly exciting in this film. By exciting, I mean a build up, a climax, a resolution, a denouement. The classic timeline that is present in most films/books/stories is there because IT JUST WORKS. I understand if the structure of Mandela’s journey may not follow the classic hero/villain archetype, but for film and entertainment’s sake – add some flair in there. I don’t mean completely diverge from the true story, but there are ways to film and edit things to create more excitement, more accents. Yes, I understand that films like these should be accurate – but this one wasn’t even accurate.
It was also just a very long film. The only parts I liked were when the crowds of people were chanting and yelling. Especially those led by Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela. In my opinion, these were the only moments of true emotion. Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela was ok – but nothing in his performance sparked me, inspired me. I was not attracted to his portrayal of his character at all, and if you are unable to get attached to the protagonist, the film is pretty much done for you. I couldn’t invest in the movie. I didn’t feel the feels that I was expecting to feel.
Unfortunately, this one wasn’t a standout for me, but many do disagree with me. Take a watch and let me know what you think!
just my rating: ★★★
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