I’m not interested in sports or politics in real life, but I can usually handle a sports movie or a political movie. Both at the same time? That’s too much for me. I get the message, but two hours of rugby and social metaphor is just not my thing.
There’s an interesting story to tell about how Nelson Mandela handled his administration after his release, and the unorthodox way in which he started addressing the racism facing his policies. Mandela becomes the ultimate inspiring coach because there’s more at stake than just the team. It’s for the whole country. Incidentally, the rugby team didn’t have an actual coach to inspire them. They just played and met with Mandela.
It may seem silly but the film points out that the World Cup has an audience of a billion. That’s a pretty big forum for symbolic unity. You see the changing tide in the country and all the racist players learn something.
There’s not much exciting rugby until the end. You don’t actually learn the rules of rugby until an hour into the movie when they teach some kids how to play. The one thing I never understood is when the team got good. They suck in the beginning, then they start winning. We needed a montage.
By the way, I thought the actors playing the rugby players were super buff. That’s until I saw the photo montage of the real players at the end. They were even more ripped!
The whole thing is kind of boring, but remember I don’t like important movies anyway. Once you set out to be important, I don’t buy it.
There are interesting moments. Mandella getting distracted from affairs of state by sports anxiety in cute. That airplane stunt is balls if it was true. Anyway, racism is bad.