Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom 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.
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom 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. less
“An inspirational biopic about the life of Nelson Mandela with an impressive performance by Idris Elba. Crisper execution and an insightful script would have done wonders but Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is worth a watch.”
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A biopic always runs a huge risk of turning into an over long praise saga. When the source material is an autobiography of the subject, the odds are stacked against an honest analysis. Mandela, a long walk to freedom does just that- present a loving reverential picture of Mandiba, deleting out any chance of an analysis of his life and ipact on the world. At about a 140 minutes running time, it is also long drawn history sermon that aims to pack a lot more than it should have.
Director Chadwick does not bother with any grey shades to Mandela. The first half of the film is paced fast, establishing the man's life, his first unsuccessful marriage and then his second one. We are given facts we already know about him, in ample detail, till we move into the second part, that is seriously dragging. The sense of fatigue and dreary walking along with the film is reduced however in large measure owing to the stellar performances by Elba and Harris. Surprisingly the film gives mandela's wife and her struggle as much footage as the man's himself, something other popular tellings of the man choose to ignore. Harris shines through, bringing in resilience and strentgh to her part. Elba on the other hand gets Mandela's mannerisms and delivery of speeches spot on. However, even this seems to fade off once the film continues beyond the point of telerance.
One wishes throughout for something, anything that would prove Mandela was a human too. A blemsih, a quirk, a fault, that would highlight how despite his shortcomings the man rose to greatness. It is not possible there existed none. Yet, the film chooses to paint him in a gloiwing saintly white, putting him up on a pedastal for generations to come. Out of all the films made on the man, this is definitely the most memorable. However, considreing his impact on the modern world order, Mandela deserves a more clinical less emotional post mortem of his life and work. Perhaps the timing is wrong, the film comes close on the heels of his demise. Till an encore of a bipoic happens, this is the best that it gets.