Eastwood's 'Invictus' is solid

Morgan Freeman cheers on his fellow South Africans as Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's "Invictus. (Courtesy of imdb.com)"
Morgan Freeman cheers on his fellow South Africans as Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's "Invictus. (Courtesy of imdb.com)"

By Timothy Angerame
Staff Writer
Honor, valor, patriotism.
All are present in Clint Eastwood’s new sports drama “Invictus.”
Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is controversially elected as South Africa’s first black President. Years after he ends apartheid, Mandela notices that his people have lost pride in their country. He decides that he might renew national pride by helping the country’s perennially losing rugby team to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. If the Cup is won, the South African inhabitants will learn once again that they can accomplish anything. Before anything can happen however, Mandela must help the rugby team realize that for themselves. He does this by getting through to the team’s captain (Matt Damon).

Mandela shares stories of the hardships of being in prison, and the inspirational poem, William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus,” that changed his life forever and helped him pull through.
This is a great movie that teaches that all accomplishments can be made through inspiration, pride, and perseverance. One of the best lines of the Invictus poem is “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul,” and the movie succeeds in driving it home and showing how it is taken into play.

It also shows how one’s country’s unlikely accomplishments can inspire mass patriotism. Morgan Freeman clearly is the best person to play the role of Nelson Mandela. He looks and sounds the part, and Matt Damon unsurprisingly gives an amazing performance.
For the typical American cinemagoer completely ignorant of all that is taken into, or maybe even the existence of, the sport of rugby, the movie does a great job showing the strength, determination, and perseverance needed to play a rather violent sport.
With all this and more, Clint Eastwood’s Invictus may be the feel-good movie of the year.