Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) Movie Review

It’s not easy to bring a 600 page biography into a film, but this movie does a pretty good job. Showing a short summary of Nelson Mandela’s upbringing, his struggles in life and his grave achievements, the movie tries its best to show only the most important details from his life, since showing the whole thing would take much longer. Of course that’s not easy, who is to say that one detail in his, or anyone else’s life is more important than the ther? The screenwriter did his best to choose, and honestly, for a 2 hour film, he did a pretty good job.

The director of this movie seemed to share the same ideas with the screenwriter. Both of their perspective in this movie is quite noticeable. They root for all good of the mankind, trying to emphasize how struggle and work can help our community reach greater good. They try to show how the people just need a little push and everything will at least try to fall back into its place. This is a wonderful way of looking at things, instead of saying that one man has to suffer for the others to find

freedom it says that one man has to suffer to open others’ eyes and to push them towards fighting for the greater good. This is what happened in this movie, this is what happened in this story and hopefully this is going to happen in our world right now. People are dying and are being tortured for silly reasons, so maybe the people need a push to realize that it is in their hands to stop this violence. It’s in their hands to let the world find peace and happiness, and they need to do is fight.

But the screenwriter and the director weren’t the only ones that did a wonderful job, Irdis Elba (The man who played Nelson Mandela) shows a very strong and appropriate character. Through his performance he portrays Nelson Mandela’s emotional strength, where a man in his mid 40’s is being sentenced to life in prison and is being treated like a nobody. Irdis Elba did a perfect job to show the viewers how horrible Nelson Mandela’s fate was, how much he had to go though to achieve what in the end he achieved. He helps the audience understand and actually feel how Nelson Mandela must have felt when he was faced with his struggles. One of the hardest jobs for a movie to do is to transfer the character into the real life of the viewer, and the team that worked on this movie together did a grave job at this.

All of the actors in this movie were splendid, a great choice of cast and a great choice of the team. Naomie Harris (the woman that played Winnie Madikizela) showed a perfect character development through all of her acting. She did what she had to do – she showed the world what Winnie Madikizela had to say, how she got to that and why she decided to act. You can tell that Naomie Harris, simply through her facial emotions

shows and supports Irdis Elba perfectly, portraying the relieved wife who sees a different man at the end of the movie, compared to the beginning.

The film starts with showing Nelson Mandela’s early years, where he was a lawyer living a comfortable and poised life. The transformation of his character throughout the movie makes exactly what the movie needs to teach the audience, how a womanizer justice seeking Nelson Mandela becomes a serious elderly mandela, who has let go of his gracefulness and different touch to life.

One of the major themes of this film was contrast. Showing the difference between private life and public life, where he white supremacy and the struggle of the black people to leave the oppression. The battle was violent and the protest was peaceful, the contrast between these two is what portrays the soul and the heart of Nelson Mandela’s life. It wasn’t easy for Nelson Mandela to transition from the armed freedom-fighter to a peaceful politician and activist. He was called a traitor. But Nelson Mandela saw no other way to fight for freedom, the South African internal battle was what pushed him to pursue peace. He didn’t wish to do this by treating the “supreme” white people the same way he was being treated by them, his goal was to become better than them. To fight for love, humanity and peace, it wasn’t easy for Nelson Mandela to be called a traitor when he was fighting for his own people’s’ freedom. Nelson Mandela only chose the path less travelled, because he believed in a free, democratic South Africa. This movie showed that Nelson Mandela was not the loving grandfather that the whole world came to know him as, rather he was a man who changed the world, and not just politically. He freed the human heart from any cells that it was locked in. That’s why it’s important to recognize this part of the movie, where Nelson Mandela says: “: I have walked a long walk to freedom. It has been a lonely road, and it is not over yet. I know that my country, was not made to be a land of hatred. No one is born hating another person because the color of his skin. People learn to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” This is what the whole movie is about. Freeing the human heart.

In my opinion this movie does a wonderful job in showing the progress needed for finding Peace in a very turmoil culture. Nelson Mandela searches for peace all his life, through trial and error. He bumps into bad decisions and good moves, but in the ends he wins the hearts of his people and finds a way. What helped him achieve this? The 27 years he spent in prison? Alone? Battling with himself over how to free his country from the unfairness that was brought by the white people? The answer is yes. The only way for a person to fight for peace is for him to fight his inner demons and fight peace within. Thinking. Loneliness. Struggle. All of these are essential to finding the truth, the hope to find peace outside your inner self. That’s how Nelson Mandela found peace. That’s how all of us should work to find peace. That’s how peace works.

In conclusion, this was a great movie. I enjoyed watching every second of it, with its ups and downs, with the happiness and sadness portrayed in the film. The realness of the characters and the surroundings of the people. Even though there were some slight mistakes (The Mercedes waiting for Nelson Mandela in front of the prison in 1990 is actually the model which was manufactured in 1991) but this isn’t what makes the movie. How the characters went from completely brutal to peaceful and content, how they found peace and healed their hearts – is what makes the movie real.

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