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

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