Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

2013-11-28 09:38
 
Long Walk to Freedom,nelson mandela,idris elba
What it's about:

Based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, the film chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.

What we thought:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a story that most South Africans know by heart – the life of our most revered icon, Nelson Mandela. In that regard, the movie is a good depiction of what happened. You might complain that lots of details are left out, but in all honesty it’s a movie with a time limit – you gotta go with the main facts.

Although Idris Elba does not really bare much resemblance to Mandela, which he himself admits, the force of his acting performance and mimicking of the ex-president’s mannerisms make it completely irrelevant. What other qualms you might have over the script or movie’s execution, you cannot deny that Elba gave a stellar performance.

The movie also had no qualms about showing many of Mandela’s flaws, for example his womanising ways, and it’s a good thing too, otherwise you are stuck with a holier-than-thou portrayal of a great man that is, after all, still human.

Naomie Harris, on the other hand, was okay. Not amazing, but not horrible, although the weird Jamaican accent she got going as a ‘South African’ one was quite jarring – I kept thinking I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean whenever she talked. Still, her portrayal of Winnie was interesting. Although many have criticised her involvement in necklacing during the Apartheid years, the movie justifies this through the mental torture she endured at the hands of the police. Her refusal to forgive juxtaposes well with Mandela’s efforts to uphold peace, which I think mirrors well the fissure in society during the years leading up to 1994.

As a South African, the movie holds up well as an informative piece that would be useful in history classes. That said, I found myself having enjoyed Invictus more on an entertainment level. The Morgan Freeman movie had its own  flaws, but it kept its pace better than Mandela, and also left you with more hope for the future South Africa.

As for how well the movie captured the Apartheid South Africa, that’s up for debate. It was before I could remember such a time, so I cannot rightly say yes or no, but I am sure this will bring up debate from various parties. There was a distinct lack of white people that weren’t police or working for the government, but an argument can be made that the focus of the movie was on Mandela and his life experiences, which involved more police and government officials than anyone else from the white society.

On the whole, Mandela is a good movie, but not as award-worthy as some have made it out to be. I encourage all South Africans to go watch it, but I’ll still hold my breath for a true South African movie, with a South African in the lead, about the father of the rainbow nation.

Let freedom reign.

Mari 2013/11/29 11:01 PM
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I've read much about the relationship Mandela formed with his guards during his time in prison, some sources claim that this was instrumental in him changing his attitude towards whites, I would have liked to see more of that in the film...Ultimately as a white person, this film challenged me with the question 'if roles were reversed, would I have been able to forgive?'This film was hard to watch but worth it
Phindi Mbedzi 2013/12/06 12:26 PM
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After watching the movie last night and waking up to the news that Madiba is no more has really saddened. His story has been told so much that although the movie was too sad, I kind of knew his part and what he was going to do next. On the contrary, Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela's story is not told. After last night I have to say that I have great respect for that woman and would like to meet her personally just so her strength can rub off me. She went through so much just so she stands up for what she believes in. And I truly understand why, unlike Tata Mandela, she couldn't forgive. I had my reservations when it comes to Idris and his accent, but I think he gave it his best (I love him anyway). Naomie tried her best anyways. I still think that we have very good actors and actresses in SA who would have done an outstanding job, I guess we still do not value our own work. Very Sad!!!
amie 2013/12/06 3:01 PM
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can we not get south africa actors to tell african stories??????????????
amie 2013/12/06 3:01 PM
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can we not get south africa actors to tell african stories??????????????
kalma 2013/12/06 5:42 PM
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after watching the movie,Sitting in the boardroom this morning sharing Ideas with different races and my ideas being valued, as a young black man I realised that this shouldn't have been possible without TATA ( Our National HERO. may his soul rest in peace
liam 2013/12/09 2:13 PM
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I watched the movie after the news and I think its a good movie. I agree with the other review about Winnie Madikizela Mandela's story but in all fairness the movie is not about her. I too have a new found respect for her. I think that Naomie did a very good job in portraying Mama Winnie. The emotion she managed to convey was beautiful. Idris did a good job too and I appreciate the effort trying to get the accents right. I think Idris could have tried much harder with his few Xhosa lines though. A good a movie as it was in telling Madiba's story it felt like it lacked something. The was no build up. Granted so many impactful events fill Madiba's life but the passing of his mother ans son just feel like another little piece in the story.In fact most of events feel like just little pieces. Apart from that though it was definitely worth watching. It is an inspirational story of our past and somehow makes me shake my head at how our education system has failed to educate us about our own past and our own legacies. I really do appreciate the South African contigent of the cast. It seemed as though only Idris and Naomie were foreign and I think that was amazing. Tony Kgoroge and Riaad Moosa were great! Thank you to all involved who brought this story to life. Honest and accurate review by Gabi Zietsman.
your friend 2013/12/25 9:02 AM
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the movie was disappointing....it was like it was rushing from one sub story to another....while at the same time trying hard to capture the essence of each of the stories... it is sad to see that a great opportunity to make an Oscar movie was missed.
your friend 2013/12/25 9:02 AM
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the movie was disappointing....it was like it was rushing from one sub story to another....while at the same time trying hard to capture the essence of each of the stories... it is sad to see that a great opportunity to make an Oscar movie was missed.
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