Sunday, December 20, 2009

why can't we just play rugby and all get along?

The Film: Invictus

The Actors: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, etc

The Dealio: Based on the book 'Playing With The Enemy', this story plays, too, somewhat fast and loose with the facts, but ultimately tells a pretty compelling story, while glossing over the 'rough patches' of the actual events. Here is the skeleton: as one of his first acts as the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela becomes mesmerised by the parallels between the way the 2 disparate groups in South African society relate to their rugby team and the struggle between the white minority and the black majority. He sees that enabling the two groups to work together is the first priority in making South Africa the bright, shining example of democratic tolerance. And, for reasons unexplored in this film, focuses in on the rugby team as a vehicle to bring about this reconciliation, and enhance the ability for the two to work together towards some-any!- sort of common goal.
Although the film seems to imply that the entire process was without much more than a slight hiccup from inspiration to success, there are some truly moving moments, some wonderful portrayals of historical personages. Prendie read the book, and said that it was phenomenal, and well worth looking into (which). It also offers more details about the evolution of the team, the process and the people involved in making this happen.

The Grading Session: 4.23 pengies out of 5. A very earnest effort, some grand, hard work and we always love it when yo get to see pictures of the actual peeps portrayed in the flick. But, oddly, scant reference to why, if Invictus meant so much to the ultimate victory, there was so little of it seen as being used as an inspirational tool, by the rugby-ers.

Lessons Learned: Watching the rebirth of a country, the coming together of diametrically opposed sides and the forging of a new, solid whole from those halves, is seldom as easy a process as portrayed on big or little screen. Rather, it is more like the making of sausage or your son skateboarding down the railings of a 4 level shopping centre in Japan: there are certain things that are simply too painful to witness in the unedited versions.

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