Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) Review

This film chronicles the life of Nelson Mandela from when he was a child and eventually becoming President of South Africa in the first democratic vote.

I have to admit that there was so much I didn’t actually know about Mandela and this film has filled so many gaps, I know it won’t have every single detail and will have things missed out but I still feel like I no more about the history of South Africa after watching this film. It is actually scary that it wasn’t really that long ago when the riots and killing sprees were taking place!

Idris Elba puts in a brilliant performance in the film, it must have been an extremely daunting task to take on such an iconic role. He transformed more into Mandela as the film went on and as he aged really started to look like him. Early on in the film he did not really appear to look very much like him but that wasn’t a massive issue because of how strong his performance was.

To begin with we see that he was quite the ladies man and had women throwing themselves at him, the film did put a huge focus on his wife and how that helped him through the time he was jailed. But how in all of that time people do indeed change and they were different people in the end after it all and he did not agree with what Winnie had become and her role in the uproar that was being created.

At times is was a difficult watch (like most films around this time of year) with it being not too far in the past. I am not old enough to remember when he was released or anything like that. Mandela in my eyes was an old man and I really didn’t have any clue what exactly he had been through and what happened in South Africa.

I think this film is a brilliant piece to show people of my age and younger what exactly the world was like and the fighting, and how one man really could make a difference and unite the people. It covers a huge span of Mandela’s life and ends just after he becomes President. Which was probably a good decision as we have already have Invictus covering the Rugby World Cup, so they didn’t really need to stretch that far. This was probably a good thing as the running time would have been pushing it even more.

After seeing this film at the cinema a couple of nights ago I really did feel inspired after the screening. I mean it puts life into perspective and makes you think about forgiveness. How is it possible that he forgive the men who put him in jail for all of those years. It truly is remarkable. RIP to Nelson Mandela, he will never be forgotten.

2 thoughts on “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) Review

  1. Good review Caz. Elba and Harris really make this movie a lot better than it is, which is a shame considering that Mandela truly does deserve a phenomenal biopic. Maybe another time down the road?


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