Invictus is a very good political sports movie Blu-ray and DVD set starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pineaar, captain of the Springboks, South Africa's national rugby team if you are an Afrikaaner. Mandela has just taken his office as President of South Africa and must find a way to bring Blacks and Whites together. He decides to unite them behind the Springbox and asks their captain to lead the team in victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup being held in South Africa. The cover of the Invictus Blu-ray DVD combo pack shows Matt Damon holding a trophy.
Unlike Clint Eastwood's two other politically loaded movies, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, Invictus is surprising light on the didactics. There is no big momentous speech made by the team captain nor is there one made by Mandela (Morgan Freeman). Mandela is give a few pithy lines here and there but they are slipped in naturally.
Eastwood chooses instead to let the story tell itself and relies on details to show what is going on. For example Francois Pineaar's father is a pure Afrikaaner who rails against Mandela yet their maid is invited to the final match and sits with the family. A black boy trying to eavesdrop on the game on a cop car's radio is first shooed away and slowly makes his way closer to the driver and embraced by them at the end.
Invictus is excellent. It is a sports movie, a historical flick, and a human drama all rolled into one. If you do not understand rugby the movie tells you enough so you can basically get it.
Special features on the Invictus Blu-ray DVD set include a digital copy, picture-in-picture with the real participants to the story as well as the film's cast and crew, Mandela Meets Morgan which is also a bit of a making of, The Eastwood Factor where Eastwood looks back on his career, and Matt Damon plays rugby.