Someone I read, I can't recall whom, recently remarked of a film It didn't need to be made. And that got me thinking. What films don't need to be adapted to bet put on screen. I think I may have found the answer with Invictus. It's a story about Nelson Mandela [Morgan Freeman]. He's the new president of South Africa, a nation divided. Through his ingenuity he hopes to reconcile the country with sports and the help of the rugby team captain played by Matt Damon.
Now would be the ideal time to reveal by
hatred apathy towards Clint Eastwood. I'm just not a fan. That being said, I can't say that Invictus is like anything he's done before. But still, I'm essentially unmoved. It's not that biographical films shouldn't be made. But when we make a biography, something like The Aviator, or Schindler's List or Raging Bull or The Hours [and it's inexhaustive] something fresh is added. Sometimes, history is rewritten like in The Aviator, but there is that ecelctic feeling that this story must be told. As heartwarming as Invictus may try to be, I don't get that feeling from it.
The rugby that is so important to the film is never explained to the audience. What of those who don't play rugby? There isn't even a smidgen of explanation as to what's going on, and the cuts away from the actual game don't help.The first third of the film seems unsure of where it's heading, the second third seems unsure of why it's there and the last third is so predictable that you just aren't that invested anymore. I like Morgan Freeman a whole lot actually, but he does nothing for me here. It's the perfect example of an actor phoning it in, and the accent which comes and goes does not help. Actually, Matt Damon is the one who emerges as impressive here, in a stock role albeit. Where everyone is obviously acting I truly believe his performance.
Invictus main problem is its writing, but the direction and the action don't particularly help it's cause. I'm no fan of Clint, but this is a particularly underwhelming piece.