We’re pretty big fans of Idris Elba and one of his most critically acclaimed films, 2013’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is coming to Netflix later this March – more specifically, on the 29th of the month. Why, then, is the Justin Chadwick-directed biopic worth checking out when it hits the streamer?
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom tells the story of Nelson Mandela, including his 27 years in prison as the result of his opposition to the then-apartheid government of South Africa, and subsequent rise to become President of the country. Elba plays Mandela as an older adult, with Siza Pini and Atandwa Kani also taking on the part for his early life. Naomie Harris co-stars as Winnie Mandela.
Although there were critics of the film’s perhaps overly-respectful and middle-of-the-road approach to Mandela’s life, most viewers appreciated Elba’s charismatic performance, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. Long Walk to Freedom‘s screenwriter William Nicholson later pointed to the parallel success of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave for potentially taking away what would have been a significant audience for the picture.
Idris Elba‘s star turn came as part of a run of major studio and franchise appearances, including in Thor, Prometheus, and Pacific Rim, to name a few. Since then, the English actor has been consistently busy, lending his presence to everything from Cats to the upcoming The Suicide Squad.
We may also be getting a long-awaited movie adaptation of BBC series Luther, which remains one of the the 48-year-old’s most iconic character portrayals. For anyone, then, who’s yet to check out Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, it’s a solid drama that perhaps didn’t get as much attention as it deserved on its initial release.