Posts Tagged: Africa
As with other films, the background I have about this film was limited. South Africa — nada. Rugby — less than nada. But, it’s an Eastwood film and it has two of my favorite actors, so what the heck. And, boy, what a great film. Morgan Freeman does a spectular job of playing Mandela…he’s less about the looks of the Nobel Prize winner and more about the persona. So, at the start of the film in the early 1990s, Mandela gets out of jail and is elected to president. Apartheid is over. Mandela sees rugby and it’s “whites” only popularity as a way to try and help some of the white South Africans that he determined to unite his racially divided country. Matt Damon plays the rugby team captain who is in awe of the inspiring Mandela. Some believe (both black and white) that Mandela’s focus on rugby as a uniting tool is fooling. The blacks want to know why he is focusing this much attention on a white sport. And the whites don’t believe he is sincere and feel he has some sort of ulterior motive. South African politics are a big part of this film, as is rugby. Knowing next to nothing about those subjects did not hinder my enjoyment here. The story is intense and passionate enough sustain interest throughout. This film is about heart and friendship. It’s about determination and spirit. It’s a movie for all — not only political or sports junkies.
This is a hard movie to say I liked because it’s such a hard film to watch. Much is made of the performance by Forest Whitaker as General Idi Amin (at the time I’m writing this, Whitaker has just been nominated for an Oscar – we’ll find out soon if he wins or not). But, the film is much more than just Whitaker’s brilliant performance. It’s the story about a Scotsman who heads to Uganda after medical school because he doesn’t seem to want to follow in his father’s footsteps of a medical practice in Scotland. Once in Africa, he gets entangled with the newly appointed (self-appointed in a coup) Dictator Amin and becomes the General’s personal physician. Once the Scotsman, Garrigan, finds out about Amin’s brutality, it might be too late for him to escape. Powerful performances by Whitaker and James McAvoy as Garrigan make this film a must see for anyone who is interested in political dramas.
No, not FAT…this phat means “pretty, hot and thick.” Thick, meaning large, which goes back to the original term of fat. Confused? Well, that aside, this film IS about a woman of size who is discouraged with her life…professional but mostly personal. As a woman of size myself, I found this film very positive in its depiction of the struggles a larger woman faces in the world. The main character here, Jazmin, is an aspiring plus-size fashion designer who designs her own clothes because she is fed up with the lack of colorful and vibrant options for women of size. Jazmin is a sexy, vivacious lady who, when she’s down and out, we really sympathize for. The movie, though, doesn’t seem to be milking the story for more pity…the trials Jazmin goes through all seem realistic for someone in her dilemma. I identified with her, as I’m sure much of the overweight female population will. Jazmin is Black, but she could be any color…her plight is the same. A fun, wild movie that actually has a decent, non-preachy message…something rarely done in Hollywood these days.