Monday, 22nd September 2014
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Features

'Mandela': A winner, and Winnie

As the tagline of the movie announced: "The leader you knew...the woman you didn't" the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, gives the viewers a fair and clear account of the lives of the two legendry characters Nelson Mandela and his second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

This biographical film directed by Justin Chadwick from a script written by William Nicholson is widely known for the performances given by Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harrisas as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The film tries to capture the life-events of Nelson Mandela within146 minutes.

It is ironic, how from the two main characters of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the film shows to us how one campaigns for peace while the other campaigns for war.

After the 27 years imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, the film depicts very well the conflict that occurs between the husband and wife who had learned to live alone separately without the company of each other.z_p15-Mandela2.jpg

The film portrays what years of solitude and suffering can do to a person: either one can learn to love and forgive, or one can learn to hate and fight.

This is clear from the behaviour of the two main characters. The husband and wife, torn by different ideologies and experiences separate at the end of the film while depicting Nelson Mandela's presidential election victory.

How accurate is the film historically? To a certain extent yes, it is accurate as it tries to sum up the main events that happened in the lives of these characters with many emotional and memorable speeches. History has been presented in a version by Justin Chadwick in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

The film is 'long' compared with the usual standards of timing in English films. Nevertheless the events are very engagingly presented that it does not make the audience feel bored at all.

Instead, we find ourselves hooked to the screen while waiting to see the historical events unfold before us.

Chadwick has presented most of the events of this film in an emotional manner that grabs attention of the viewers.

But artistically in the film, director Chadwick has not done anything extraordinary or stunning (or in other words artistically compelling). For example, no images succeed in reverberating in our minds after watching the film though the story succeeds to stay in our minds.z_p15-Mandela3.jpg

So historically, and biographically, Chadwick has done a fair job of work (an ordinary job of work) while trying to explain to his audience the life of an extraordinary person while also revealing to us the life stories of many significant people who were surrounded by this legend. Nevertheless the performances of the actors Idris Elba and Naomie Harrisas are highly commendable.

The characters of Mandala and Winnie come out very powerfully in the film while definitely leaving an impression with the audience.

Another thing that is standout in this film is its music which is composed by the British composer Alex Heffes.

The music helps tell the story while adding colour to the scenes of the film.

And the soundtrack of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom that was written, sung and composed by U2 titled 'Ordinary Love' is just simply remarkable: not only does it suit the story of the film, and the characters but the track 'Ordinary love' with its stunning lyrics is just superb and memorable.

The film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom shows the journeys of two people: a man and a woman, brought together by fate yet separated by time, who did extraordinary things to win freedom for their country and her people.


It is reported that the film is based on the 1995 autobiographical book Long Walk to Freedom by anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela. An interesting anecdote about this film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is that though the film held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2013, the film was premiered in London on 5 December 2013 as a Royal Film Performance at which Prince William and Kate participated along with Mandela's daughters from his second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.z_p15-Mandela4.jpg

However it is said that while the show was going on and the film being screened, the announcement of the death of Nelson Mandela arrived at the gates of the theatre.

It is reported that prince William and Kate were immediately informed of Nelson Mandela's passing away, while producer of the film Anant Singh (alongside actor Idris Elba who played Nelson Mandela's character in the film) took the stage during the closing credits of the film to inform the audience of Mandela's death.

A moment of silence was also held to honour the late South African president and incredible and extraordinary human being he was... it is also reported that on his way out of the theatre, prince William had made brief comments to the press stating that "I just wanted to say it's extremely sad and tragic news. We were just reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was..." However the film was temporarily pulled from theatres in South Africa the next day out of respect, but returned to the theaters on December 7, 2013.