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Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

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Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom - 5/1/2014 6:19:09 PM   
Empire Admin


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Not as great as it should be. - 5/1/2014 6:19:09 PM   

Posts: 199
Joined: 28/4/2012
From: Oxford, UK
By the end of the film I felt as if I'd been taught (albeit fleetingly) about a series of historical events, but not necessarily about the people who took part in them. Anyone watching the film hoping to get a glimpse of the man behind the legend could well come away feeling disappointed, and I'd expected to be far more moved by the final reel than I actually was.
That said, it's worth a watch to see what Elba and Harris bring to their roles; they're always good value, and Long Walk To Freedom is no exception.


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RE: Not as great as it should be. - 5/1/2014 8:24:00 PM   
Groovy Mule


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There's just too much history in this film for the filmmakers to make sense of what is going on. The film spans from Mandela's childhood in his tribal hut to his becoming president (over 70 years). Some of these eras have been explored in better ways in other films, particularly Goodbye Bafana and Invictus.

As a result, the film is insufficiently engaging and a bit dull. Where the writers should be commended is for giving a balanced portrayal of Mandela where it would have been easy to beatify him.

Naomie Harris is brilliant as Winnie but Elba doesn't have the acting ability to carry off the part of Mandela. He is not helped but some of the worse make-up since J Edgar.



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RE: Not as great as it should be. - 10/1/2014 10:09:45 AM   
Dr Lenera


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Joined: 19/10/2005
It would take a cynic like me to wonder if executive producer Harvey Weinstein was not entirely sad when the news of Nelson Mandelaís death reached him, considering he had a movie about him about to come out. In any case, this biopic is a decent tribute to the great man, though itís not without its problems, the chief one being that, in name-checking all the events that most of us know of, it rushes through his early years at such top speed that little has much impact and we never really get to know Mandela the man, who often has little to do than give speeches and look noble, while the latter portion of the film is overly dragged out. However, it has an outstanding performance by Idris Elba, who may not look much Mandela but makes a good stab at sounding like him and definitely has his magnetism. When he speaks, you are totally drawn to him. The actor, though hampered by some unconvincing aging makeup, works terribly hard to fill in the blanks left by the script but is actually matched by Naomi Harris as his wife Winnie [who, in contrast to Nelson, hardly seems to age at all] in a really powerful performance.

The film has some heartrending moments when Mandela is visited in prison by members of his family, and is also appropriately gruelling at certain points during its middle section when Mandela is imprisoned. One scene of Winnie being taken away is rather intense for a 12A rating, while the many riot scenes have real immediacy about them, though director Justin Chadwick and cinematographer Lol Crawely end up overdoing the shakycam and the scenes end up being hard to watch not for the right reasons. In fact it sometimes seems that there are two distinct directors in this film, or maybe two cinematographers, one of them giving us far too many shots of children running around in beautiful African countryside, though said countryside really is beautiful. Meanwhile the score by Alex Heffes may strain too hard in telling us what to feel but isnít it refreshing to have an emotive old-school score like this in these days of film music tending to seem like it was written by machines rather than human beings. Despite having some issues, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is still a good stab at telling the manís story.


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Good but we know the story - 30/1/2014 5:17:30 PM   


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Joined: 14/10/2005
Mandela is a good movie but it feels a bit too long.
His early life is rushed too quickly, we dont see him enough as a lawyer and he joins the ANC so quickly and gets married twice too quickly, But when we get to the court case and prison, the movie improves and you feel isolated like him in the prison. Now the movie is better and thicks the boxes and it improves but still something is not right.
The performances are great, but we know what will happen but it still engages you but it wont get you emotionally.
Its a bit like 12 Slaves, that is a good movie but not a great movie.
Gravity will get best pic at the Oscars, outstanding and so is Captain Philips.

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