MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – THE REVIEW

Salty Kernel, Ben McHolme, returns to the cinema and writes a great review for MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM. I think this one will be squashed due to 12 YEARS A SLAVE being a far more gritty look at the hardships faced by “blacks”. Not to diminish from the awesomeness of Idris Elba, I love the man, and more than that I love everything about Mandela, is this the biopic we needed for Mandela though? was it too soon? Eerily he literally died just prior to the start of the premiere. Enjoy Ben’s review – MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is out this Thursday February 6th in Australia. It is rated M and runs for 141mins.

 

Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Deon Lotz, Terry Pheto, MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA, MANDELA LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, review, ben mcholme, Justin Chadwick, William Nicholson
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – IDRIS ELBA AS MANDELA

 

The thought of creating a movie based on the life of someone who has had such a phenomenally positive affect on the world would be a daunting task for anyone. However Director Justin Chadwick and writer William Nicholson have done an excellent job adapting the autobiography of Nelson Mandela into a feature length film up to Mandela’s presidential election in 1994.

The film does well to throw you straight into the life of a “coloured” person living in South Africa during the 1940’s. Mandela, who is dressed nicely in a suit, is still nudged to the side by an upper class white man who refers to Mandela as boy. We witness Mandela defend a coloured woman in a court case and immediately see the hardships he and all others would have to face on a daily basis. Through the progression in Mandela’s life from a lawyer defending the rights of mistreated “coloured” through to becoming leader of the ANC then onto his time served at the notorious Robben Island prison and then finally the negotiations for his release. I’m sure important aspects are missed or glossed over as it is based on an autobiography however Mandela is not made to look like a perfect man. We are all witness’ to his negatives not merely his positives. Throughout the film Chadwick keeps the tension and strain apparent. The decisions Mandela has to make, the weight on his shoulders is all evident which brings me to Idris Elba.

 

Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Deon Lotz, Terry Pheto, MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA, MANDELA LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, review, ben mcholme, Justin Chadwick, William Nicholson
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – IDRIS ELBA AS MANDELA

 

The acting by Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) is nothing short of amazing. If you have seen Pacific Rim you have an idea of Idris’ passion and acting skills in his somewhat lame “cancelling the apocalypse” speech. However, Idris, now combined with some great source material and heartfelt words has excelled. You could feel his passion; his hurt and his desire come through the screen. Well done! Not to be forgotten are the supporting cast especially Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribean) who plays Mandela’s wife and controversial opponent of the white regime.

The one part that annoyed me was the fact that the struggles of Mandela’s “comrades” are quiet often ignored. I know it is a movie about Mandela but I feel like a bit more information could be given on these seemingly nameless men. It seems history forgot them as well as throughout this actual occurrence a demand for Mandela’s release was prevalent but not much is said for these other men. I figured this was just the movie focusing on the titular character and assumed at the end of the movie there would be a brief outline of what happened to each character. This was not done, not even for Mandela. I suppose I must do my own research to find out about these other selfless heroes, one of whom was a white man fighting for the rights of the “coloured” man.

 

Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Zolani Mkiva, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Deon Lotz, Terry Pheto, MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA, MANDELA LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, review, ben mcholme, Justin Chadwick, William Nicholson
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW – IDRIS ELBA AS MANDELA

 

Mandela’s affect in South Africa is still felt there and around the world and it is great to see a worthy movie adaption coming to the mainstream cinema. The country has progressed amazingly since the end of apartheid. This fact proven as the whole advanced screening event seemed to be sponsored by Tourism South Africa. A mere forty years ago people would have laughed at you if you had wanted to travel to South Africa as a tourist.

Go see MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, at times it’s tough to see the raw darkness inside some people but the hope and selflessness shining through the darkness of apartheid and racism make it all worthwhile.

Interesting to note Mandela’s passed away just before the London Premiere and the only people told were Mandela’s daughters. The rest of the audience was told just after the film concluded. This was followed by a minutes respectful silence.

RIP Nelson Mandela 18/7/1918– 5/12/2013

 

4 Pops