This is a film that everyone should see. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life from his transition into manhood up until his presidential inauguration. It covers his wives and love affairs, his years in prison, and of course his fight for peace. This film is a well-constructed drama which also just so happens to teach a thing or two about equality.
There has been Oscar buzz around this film and I can see why. Idris Elba is wonderful as Nelson Mandela through his young, energetic youth and calm elder years. His spirit lights up the screen. While Elba is fantastic in his role, Naomie Harris is absolutely extraordinary as Winnie Madikizela. I knew Mandela’s story, but I did not know about Winnie’s struggles. Harris plays a woman who is vibrant, distressed, vengeful, supportive, and who is not afraid to do what she thinks is necessary. While Mandela settles into a peaceful activist position, hiding his emotions from his enemies, Winnie is completely the opposite, and is overwhelmingly passionate from start to finish.
Her colourful character matches the breathtaking scenery of South Africa. We see plenty of films shot in New York and London, but not many in this beautiful country of mountains, ocean-views, and grasslands. The film takes full advantage of its location, from the big cities to tiny villages, and gives your eyes plenty to soak up while your brain grapples with the dramatic plot.
I wouldn’t say this is an original movie – we’ve seen life chronicles before – but how can you argue with a story like this one? You hardly need a creative director and an emotional soundtrack – the plot practically stands on a podium and tells itself. It’s a story about suppressing the need for revenge and believing in peace. It is an important film because Mandela’s was an important life, and they did a beautiful job of teaching his story to the public. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has my strong approval at 8.5/10.
This post can also be found at http://thecinemaid.net/2013/12/10/mandela-long-walk-to-freedom-2013/#more-845