Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.Written by
Screenwriter Anthony Peckham is a native of South Africa, which gave him a special insight to the story's era. See more »
In some of the game footage you can clearly see the pitch is too small but more obvious is the lacking of goal posts which were nowhere to be seen in some clips. In rugby all pitches have goal posts for conversions and penalties. See more »
High School Boy:
[seeing passing motorcade]
Who is it, sir?
High School Coach:
It's the terrorist Mandela, they let him out. Remember this day boys, this is the day our country went to the dogs.
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The Warner Bros logo is the 90s era logo, in keeping with the time period of the film. See more »
Invictus is an enjoyable film, Morgan Freeman is great as Mandela and it's an inspiring story. The movie revolves around the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Mandela's attempt to unite South Africa behind its rugby team. Mandela develops a relationship with team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon)playing the role of mentor and motivational coach.
Although it's well-made and worth watching. As a rugby fan I was a little disappointed with the action on the field although most ordinary film-goers may not notice. I am not convinced the director (Clint Eastwood) really understands the game and the actors hired to play the Springboks didn't really look the part. At 5'10" Matt Damon is a little small to play the 6'3" and 240 lb Pienaar. Pienaar was a popular charmer with a ready smile and a real ambassador for South African rugby. Damon still seemed to be playing Jason Bourne. It was an intense performance but it wasn't how I remembered Pienaar.
South Africa had not been allowed to play in previous world cup tournaments and the years of isolation had left the Springboks uncompetitive. They were seeded ninth coming into the tournament but exceed expectations by reaching the final. The action focuses on the final match with New Zealand. New Zealand had an amazing wing (running back) in the 20 year old Jonah Lomu who at 6'5" and 265 pounds seemed unstoppable. South Africa really were the underdogs. It was also the only time that the All Blacks have managed to reach the final since 1987. They usually get beat by the French (1999, 2007) or Australia (1991 and 2003)in the quarters or semis.
Overall it's nice for rugby to finally receive some recognition from Hollywood, because it's a major global sport. It's a good film.
I discovered that "Invictus" is a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley. The title is Latin for "unconquered". It was first published in 1875.
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