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Idris Elba takes on the iconic leader in 'Mandela Long Walk to Freedom'

Mandela Long Walk to Freedom


Recently there have been a few films depicting the life of Nelson Mandela and that of his wife Winnie Mandela. Of all of them only Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom received the big budget treatment and even had its song by U2 nominated for an Oscar. The film features Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela but does it manage to standout in any way that the others have not?

Official Poster
Anchor Bay

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom follows South African lawyer Nelson Mandela who joins the African National Congress in the 1940s when the law under the Apartheid system's brutal tyranny proves useless for his people. Forced to abandon peaceful protest for armed resistance after the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela pays the price when he and his comrades are sentenced to life imprisonment for treason while his wife, Winnie, is abused by the authorities herself. Over the decades in chains, Mandela's spirit is unbowed as his struggle goes on in and beyond his captivity to become an international cause. There will never be a film that could possibly do the story of Nelson Mandela justice, but it is important that it is attempted. This film works fine and does a decent job telling the story, but doesn’t push the boundaries to express the deep emotional torment and anguish that these people went through, but instead plays it safe for the most part and by the numbers. Thankfully Idris Elba and Naomie Harris both deliver excellent performances that help the overall film elevate to a higher standard. There are a lot of aspects to his story that are essential to bring it too life but some of the ones that would have made a bigger impact felt a bit glossed over. The visuals bring this time period, place, and historical history to life works great and really does work well, but could have been so more effective with a stronger overall delivery.

As mentioned before there is no true way to make this story come to life and really make you feel and understand what these people went through, but it is an aspect of history that needs to be told and this film does a fine job at that. It may not always pack the punch it really needed, but it does justice to Mandela’s life and is worth checking out.

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