Movie Review: Invictus (2009)

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Those two lines are taken from the 1875 poem "Invictus" (Latin for "Unconquered"), the basis for the title of the film featuring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Why the title? I won't spoil it completely, but if you read the poem, it's about a person's resolve to take charge of his life and destiny-- themes that the film tackles though the eyes of two people.

In the film, it's 1995 and South African president Nelson Mandela (Freeman) inherits a country that just coming off the heels of apartheid. The nation is divided and the newly empowered populace is seeking revenge against their former oppressors. Mandela seeks the help of the Springboks, the nation's rugby team, and challenges them to win the Rugby World Cup against all odds. It's then up to Francois Pienaar (Damon) to make that a reality on the field.

The movie is an inspiring sports/political drama and Clint Eastwood is able to create a steady buildup to the finale. However, I felt that my unfamiliarity with the game of rugby union and its rules dampened by enjoyment of the film. People who also want to want a nice case study on leadership may want to see this film.

Invictus will be a triumph of a movie for those who will watch it. :)

Rating: 4/5