'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' is a little too staid

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Mandela' shows that adapting the leader's life as a film may be too difficult a task.

Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
Idris Elba and Riaad Moosa star in 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.'

Justin Chadwick’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is a staid biopic drawn from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

Idris Elba plays Mandela with burly force, but Mandela’s odyssey from young lawyer and amateur boxer to prisoner on Robben Island to the president’s mansion as his nation’s first democratically elected leader is mostly hagiographic.

Maybe Mandela is one of those historical figures whose life is greater, more larger-than-life, than any mere movie could ever do justice to.

Grade: C- (Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content, and brief strong language.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' is a little too staid
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today