Review: Goodbye Bafana
Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert
The film’s release during Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday week is timely. The intentions are unquestionably sincere -- to revive the memory of the long years Mandela spent in prison in South Africa.
Based on the memoirs of James Gregory,
traces the career of the former prison warden from 1968 when he was assigned to guard the most famous inmate on Robben Island, to Mandela’s eventual release in early 1990.
Directed by the multiple Cannes Palme D’Or laureate Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions), here’s a political drama tempered with a human interest angle.
A white Afrikaner who supported apartheid, Gregory’s (Fiennes) beliefs changed through the gradual bond he forged with the black opposition leader (Haysbert).
Initially, the white man had attempted to indoctrinate his children with racial prejudices. But his conscience was stirred following the tragic death of Mandela’s eldest son. Proud to walk by the freedom fighter’s side from that point, his former oppressor is even beaten up for being a ‘kaffir lover.’
Some critics have questioned the reliability of the source material, alleging that Gregory fabricated his close friendship with Mandela. Also, towards the climax the film does tend to get too solemn and sentimental.
Yet nothing can take away from the powerful performance by Joseph Fiennes. By contrast, Dennis Haysbert comes across as passive and ineffectual. With its pros and cons, this docudrama keeps us fairly engrossed for its running time of two hours.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Prakash Raj is the latest addition to the cast of Mani Ratnam's ambitious period drama Ponniyin Selvan. The two first worked together in Iruvar in 1997.
- Priyanka Chopra has shared Jungle Mantra, an original song from the White Tiger soundtrack, by Divine, featuring Vince Staples and Pusha T. Listen here.
- Kavita Kaushik took a dig at Rubina Dilaik while saying that she deserves to win the Bigg Boss 14 trophy. Earlier, Kavita walked out of the show after a nasty fight with Rubina.
- Filmmaker-actor Divya Khosla Kumar has spoken about her journey, and how she didn't want to join the film industry when she first moved to Mumbai.
- Twinkle Khanna shared a review of Tandav, which said that Dimple Kapadia 'upstaged' her co-star Saif Ali Khan. While Twinkle praised Saif's performance as well, she said that 'mama bear is still the best'.
- Actor Rajkummar Rao isn't over his obsession with Shah Rukh Khan. He has often spoken about his love for SRK.
- Sidharth Shukla watched the first three episodes of Tandav and praised the show. He also gave a shout-out to Gauahar Khan and said that he loved her performance.
- As actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan prepare to move into their house, their designer gave an insight into all the amenities the new home will have.
- Did you know that Pranutan Bahl and Kajol are related? Here's what the young actor has to say about her equation with 'Kajol bua'.
- Taimur Ali Khan was fascinated by a cow outside his Fortune Heights residence. He folded his hands and enjoyed its owner playing film songs on his wind instrument.