Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is the true story of leader Nelson Mandela. The film follows his life story from when he begun to stand up for the rights of dark skinned people to when he spent half his life in jail and to just a few years ago. The film is a chronicle of his life and it's very hard to say that it's a bad movie, but it's certainly not a great one.
The story of the film and Nelson Mandela himself is too respectable for this to be a bad movie. Nelson Mandela's life story is harsh, but it certainly is incredible. The things he did and his family did for what was right were charged as crimes and his story is just heartbreaking. This only just makes up for the sloppiness of the movie. I respect the storyline too much for me to dislike this movie and so I will not be giving it a bad rating.
There are so many outstanding performances in this movie. Idris Elba gives the greatest and most realistic performance he's given in his career. Although he has stared in various films I enjoyed more than this one, none of his performances will ever match the quality he gives in this film. Nelson Mandela's second wife, Winnie is played by the fabulous Naomie Harris who also gives the best performance of her career. There was never a moment when I thought 'Well this character's acting lets the film down!'
The shaky cam is unnecessary and irritating. There are a few films such as the Bourne films and Captain Phillips (coincidentally both done by the same director) that use shaky cam to it's advantage. In Mandela there is hardly any logical reason as to why we need to see it like this. Most of the shaky scenes don't have any action in them, but instead just talking or working or doing things in court yet it's being filmed like an annoying action movie where you have no idea what's going on.
The screenplay cuts through most of the important aspects of his life and focusses on his life in prison. I do understand that Nelson Mandela spent a fair amount of his life in prison and it's not fair at all, but I really didn't want to see half a movie of him in there. The film spends just a few minutes on what he did to be caught then spends 15-20 minutes of the court case which we already know the outcome to then it cuts forward yet again to him in prison. Plus it skims through most of his life before and after prison. If you had no idea he because president, which most of you probably would, then you still wouldn't know. It shows him, but there's nothing that says 'Look now he's the president!'
The film tries to hard to make you feel bad about yourself. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom continuously cuts between a conversation or an argument to realistic scenes of violence so you can feel sorry for all these people and yes we should be feeling bad for them, but when a film tries to do this over and over it gets really annoying and we begin to loose that remorse that we once had.
To sum up Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom features a story that's impossible not to like as well as many amazing performances, but it also has irritating shaky cam, skims through important scenes and tries too hard to make you feel bad.