Last Wednesday, I saw the movie Invictus, with a group of friends, and what that movie did for me was reinforce my already strong belief in the power of communication and the force of inspiration. This is one feel-good movie that leaves you with many quotes to ponder on without being too deep to handle. Its plot has enough historical depth in it to keep one intrigued. But, unlike other biographies, it is not focused on facts as much as it is focused on emotion while maintaining a more than respectable degree of authenticity.
In this story, set four years after Nelson Mandela was released from Prison and at the point where he was elected as the first black President of South Africa, sports and leadership come into play. Despite his heroic stature, Mandela’s post-Apartheid presidency is paved with rocky paths as South Africa was home to dire conditions of poverty and staggering crime rates at the time, not to mention residues of racial divisions between black and white South Africans.
However, the plot of this story really takes shape when Mandela watches a game of rugby between the Springboks, the country’s rugby union team, and England. He sees that the black people in the stadium were cheering for England, as the mostly-white Springboks represent prejudice and apartheid in their minds. From another angle, South Africa is set to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup in one year’s time. To cut a long story short, and to not spoil the plot for those who haven’t seen this movie yet, Rugby , leadership, and communication contribute to uniting a nation.
Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of Nelson Mandela is impeccable as was Matt Damon’s portrayal of Springboks’ captain but the key component that makes this movie a must see is its emphasis on speech and the inspiration of the crowd. One must appreciate it for its emphasis on the power of words. But, in the words said the movie holds many underlying themes that make one pause and think.
For example, in one instance Nelson Mandela says “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”. This reoccurring theme of forgiveness throughout the movie hits close to home, as I’m a believer in the power of forgiveness. In another incidence, he says “Times change, we need to change as well.” bringing in his words another powerful message about reinventing one’s self to respond to changing demands. “. Another theme in the movie which I particularly liked was the ability to take risks, whereby he says “The day I am afraid to do that is the day I am no longer fit to lead. “sending to us a great message about the importance of taking risks fueled by our beliefs and the downfalls we could face by holding back.
These are just a few quotes that have really stuck with me throughout the movie, but to me on a larger scale this is a great movie about leadership, commitment, courage, forgiveness, and life. Maybe the understanding of these concepts are the ingredients that make some people more heroic than others. This is not just a biography it is a movie worth watching again and again if anything for the great conversations it holds.
At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, our words have the power to make people, break people and hurt people. They have the power to bring people together and tear people apart. This movie resonated with me, just because it solidified this idea which I already had.
Although a movie from 2009, its messages still hold true timelessly
You can read more about the movie Here