Biographical Drama "Invictus": Movie Review

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Words: 848 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 848|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

The movie Invictus is biographical drama which is based on a passage from Nelson Mandela’s life during the 3rd Rugby World Cup in 1995, the script is based on a book by John Carlin. From most I watched this movie because of our assignment, because of my weak interest in sports, I did not include this film on the list of those that I wanted to watch, but this task made me watch it and say honestly I was surprised because I expected a boring and monotony film about some dude but it turned out the opposite, the film was full of interesting moments and unexpected twists. I would like to give some reaction to several scenes from this film that I was particularly interested in but first a brief summary will not hurt to be in this reaction paper.

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Speaking about the summary of this film, I found it difficult to write such a great film with several sentences because, as I said, the film is full of scenes that I would like to mention, but in this case the summary itself will take more than 500 words. Strictly speaking about the film, this is a biographical drama about an episode from the life of Nelson Mandela that took place when he is released after 27 years of imprisonment and immediately begins to fight against apartheid politics and the civil rights of the black majority, after which he expels the presidential election (1994). After losing to South Africa with a crushing score, the players express extreme dissatisfaction with the result, knowing that next year the Rugby World Cup is waiting for their country, so Mandela organizes a meeting with members of the South African Sports Committee, where the majority are blacks. The film showed many questions and challenges that Nelson Mandela and the South African people faced as a nation. Nelson Mandela had to deal with such a problem as the division of the nation, but in the end, he achieved his goal and was able to bring the South African rugby team to victory in the world championship. Perhaps this information is quite enough for a brief summary, but of course it is possible to write and describe the difficulties which he met on this path of life, but I prefer to say a few words about some scenes and express my thoughts and feelings for them, that is, give a reaction to these the scenes.

The first scene that I would like to use in this article, which did not take long to wait after the start of the movie. In that scene, Nelson Mandela shared to Francois his experiences in Robben Island, the place where Mandela was imprisoned for many years. Even though Mandela’s stay on Robben Island was rather low on his part, he was not afraid to admit it or even share his experience there. I can relate this to a discussion of the lines of life, which was once discussed in a lesson by one teacher in the recent school period of mine, our chosen life paths require competent leadership as it affects our remaining life. The chosen ways of life show or will show the experience gained in your life, which cannot always be only positive, but also negative and unpleasant.

The next moment from this film, namely from a poem by William Henley, words that could not leave me indifferent, namely “My head is bloody, but unbowed” (Chester Morney Williams), It meant to me that I was wounded, but I was not shot down. Our protagonist does not give up, he goes till the end. Honestly, these sentences from the poem affected me, because of my own experience from life. Several times I experienced moments in my life when I was in great pain, but I am not going to and was not going to be defeated. Life is not always easy and smooth as we would like to see, so when I have a bad day, I try to just forget about all and look for positive moments and think about something good. As a person from this poem, he does not allow bad things to upset him and not to control his feelings.

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The last moment I would like to express my reaction to is the next scene with a poem by William Henley against a background of memories that connected him with the prison. I especially remember the following excerpts from this song, ‘I Am the master of my fate / I Am the captain of my soul’. These lines show me the uniqueness of each person and prove that we can control our destiny and can control what we do, that is, control the result of our lives. However, we can do all this, only if we do our best and go all the way, continuing in the same vein. My idea is that, there is a misconception that our life is controlled by a group, the world or the government, it is managed only by ourselves, no one else can decide your fate and make decisions for you. 

Works Cited

  1. Works Cited
  2. Carlin, J. (2008). Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation. Penguin UK.
  3. Cluver, D. (2013). 'Invictus' as a source of inspiration for South African teachers. Perspectives in Education, 31(3), 11-25.
  4. Collins, M. (2014). Nelson Mandela's Leadership: Lessons for India. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 39(3), 31-44.
  5. Dlamini, J. T. (2012). Black Nationalism vs. Non-Racialism: A Contradiction in Nelson Mandela's Thought?. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, 39(3), 487-507.
  6. Field, S. (2009). "Invictus": Historical Inspiration and Contemporary Media in the Rugby World Cup 1995. Sport in History, 29(3), 385-401.
  7. Lodge, T., & Lynch, G. (Eds.). (2013). After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Oxford University Press.
  8. Mandela, N. (1995). Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Little, Brown and Company.
  9. Mathabane, M. (2011). Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom: A Case Study of an Icon in Life and Death. Social Dynamics, 37(2), 317-330.
  10. Rutherford, J. (2015). Sport, Race, and Empire: The Case of South Africa's Springboks. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 32(3), 385-400.
  11. Samuel, T. (2013). Remembering the Indelible Mark of Nelson Mandela: The Role of Legacy in Building a Nation. South African Journal of International Affairs, 20(3), 335-345.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Biographical Drama “Invictus”: Movie Review. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“Biographical Drama “Invictus”: Movie Review.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
Biographical Drama “Invictus”: Movie Review. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
Biographical Drama “Invictus”: Movie Review [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from:
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