Daily archives "January 14, 2014"

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom ****

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Run Time: 141 mins         Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s (Elba) journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.  

 

Finally the adaptation of Mandela’s best selling autobiography makes it to the silver screen. Initially the film was supposed to star Denzel Washington, now Idris Elba has the daunting task of trying to portray such a larger than life figure.

 

The performances by Elba and Harris are great. Naomie Harris gives a powerful and tragic performance of a wife who has to struggle while her husband is in prison.

 

It is a shame that there was not more emphasis put on the time in this period between the two parties. This adaptation may have been better set as a mini series as Mandela’s life is so interesting that a 2 1/2 hour feature.

 

The film is beautifully shot with some amazing sunsets. While the tranquil sounds of traditional African music give an authentic feel of late 20th Century South Africa.

 

A compelling life story of such a intriguing is letdown by underdeveloped screenplay. It is never less a good biopic with impressive towering performances.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

All Is Lost *****

 

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Run Time: 106 mins         Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Directed by J.C. Chandor, “All Is Lost” follows the survival attempts of a lone sailor (Robert Redford) lost at sea in a remote location. 

 

At the beginning of the movie, the audience is introduced to an older man sailing on his boat in the Indian Ocean. As the story progresses, the weather worsens and the anonymous sailor makes use of the limited resources available to try and save himself.

 

The movie only contains eight lines of dialogue and relies on the actions of its sole character to tell the story. While this could easily have made for a boring film, it is made interesting both by Redford’s creative attempts to stay alive and the mystery surrounding his backstory. Every scene raises questions in the viewer’s mind and the outcome remains uncertain until the last minute.

 

Redford gives an excellent performance throughout the movie. The role had the potential to be difficult due to the lack of dialogue and character history, however Redford’s actions and facial expressions say a lot about the character without actually telling the audience anything.

 

The ending is unpredictable and has a strong element of mystery. If anything, the viewer is likely to leave the cinema with more questions than they arrived with.

 

Overall, the film is a great piece of writing with plenty of suspense and a top performance from Redford.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan