Hello again ladies and gents, time for my second film review of the day which comes in the form of Mandela: A Long Road To Freedom. Now this was a film I was interested in but had no interest in seeing just because it didn’t look like my kind of film. But when I heard critics praising Idris Elba’s performance, it only then that I decided to give the film a shot. So how does the film fair overall? Well on to find out.
The story in this film is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name, which 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.
The story for the most part was pretty impressive especially with the way the filmmakers crammed so much history of Mandela’s life and the events surrounding him into a film just over two hours long. You see practically everything from beginning to around the 90’s. The use of music and archive footage was also really used well and helped illustrate and drive home the key events in history because it was raw material. So much drama, racism, love, endurance, violence, pain and suffering get covered in this film and I’m glad that it isn’t skimmed over and is brought to the forefront of the scenes and sequences in the film. I think the film tried to focus on too much by going through the whole of Mandela’s life, because of the whole life story there are a good few important events that don’t get as much important screen time as they deserve and in addition to that the film does become really long.
When it comes to the cast there’s only two people that matter and that’s Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. Firstly there is Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela. Man this guy can act. Elba while not looking very much like Mandela does a bloody good job as he captures the accent and mannerisms very well and he really transforms into his character to the point where you forget it is Elba on-screen (especially after he gets the additional make-up and classic Mandela clothes). the only thing that breaks the immersion is very you see him get facial hair for the first time and then you think of Elba again lol. And then there’s Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Harris has always been a great actress and I’ve really liked her in Sex & Drugs & Rock and Skyfall, but I think this may be a her best role to date as she gives an incredible performance that is soft, cute, beautiful, yet fierce, intense and so magnetic. Together Elba and Harris have great screen chemistry and work so well as a couple.
I also feel the need to mention the song “Ordinary Love” by U2, I loved it. It just seemed to fit the tone of the film and is very in line with the spirit of Mandela’s life in my opinion, plus it sounded just the U2 I loved prior to their last album from 2009.
In conclusion Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is pretty good stuff. It is a bit on the long side and there’s a good few events that don’t get enough screen time, but the performances from Idris Elba and Naomie Harris are stellar pieces of work.
Rating: 7.5/10 (An interesting adaptation of Mandela’s life with a great central performance from Idris Elba)
So what did you think of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom? Have you seen it and if so what are your thoughts? Whatever they are drop your comments below and I’ll see ya one the next blog post, laters. 😀