Based on the life of apartheid era icon Nelson Mandela’s life, “Invictus” focuses on the reconciliation process in South Africa. The film begins with the release of Mandela who is looked upon with intense speculation over his ability to run a government.

After winning the trust of the previous white regime employees, Mandela begins implementing his ‘human calculation’ to bridge the blacks and whites through rugby.

First he convinces his fellow blacks to retain the whites’ Springbok team’s uniform and then crosses expectations of the whites by meeting captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) personally. Once, he realises that all Afrikaans now have something to rally around together he begins lobbying for hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup in his country.

Clint Eastwood’s drama clearly shows how a good leader can make use of certain events to build a nation sans melodrama. Morgan Freeman shows he is the best man to play Mandela and this film is more of his than of Matt Damon.

The best thing about this film is that it hardly preachy. There are no overwrought dialogues or dramatic music to instill sentimentality. Drama remains the strongest tool in Eastwood’s tool box. The theme is serious in nature but there are numbers of humorous moments. It’s really fun to watch Mandela’s black and white bodyguards watching rugby together.

The blacks don’t know the A B C of the game, yet they soon develop a bond with their white counterparts through it. A rugby game may not completely heal a nation’s scars but it gave the Afrikaans something to cheer together and in one voice. ‘Invictus’ has made nation-building look so cool.

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