Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Hey there, everyone. Sorry for the tardiness, I’d been watching this movie on and off all day. Generally when this happens, it’s because the movie in question just doesn’t hold my attention and while that’s definitely not the case here, I suppose it might just be the fact that today’s film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is a biopic. The movie’s about Nelson Mandela’s (Idris Elba) entire life, not just one moment. So, in contrast, I could look at a movie like Selma which is about one specific, monumental moment in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life that was incredibly important to further being able to understand what exactly his legacy is all about. With Nelson Mandela being as world-renowned as he was, I felt like a movie like this may have been much more compelling if perhaps it was strictly about his imprisonment and, more specifically, how his son’s death may have affected his time on the island. Or perhaps just about his very early days as an advocate for black rights and other things like that. But, to make the movie about his entire life doesn’t really leave anything open for surprise. So, in being made to move away from his actual story, I began focusing on his wife, Winnie’s (Naomie Harris), story. Since I really knew nothing about her prior to watching the movie, I was very surprised at how hardened she became over the course of Nelson’s and her own imprisonments. She didn’t falter at all and it really seemed like the two complemented each other extraordinarily well when it came to keeping the fires of dissent lit within themselves and their many followers/supporters. I also had no idea that Nelson was so genuinely swept up in violence. In school, and in general I suppose, you always hear of Nelson Mandela as this great champion for peace and all of his pictures in his old age just make him seem like the sweetest guy ever so it was very cool to see how, at least in the film, he felt at a short time that violence was the only option left to ensure some kind of victory over oppression. I also very much loved that the movie is based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. There were moments where I found myself being surprised at how mortal, for lack of a better word, Mandela was portrayed, particularly in scenes dealing with his infidelities against his first wife. So, if you wanna see Idris Elba in his best role since The Wire (I’ve never seen Luther), go check out his portrayal as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Netflix right now and come back tomorrow for my thoughts on American Beauty. Thanks!


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