Movie Review: Goodbye Bafana (2007)


Nelson Mandela (R.I.P) was a great man. He fought for equal rights of black and white people in South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years (Damn) and was released in 1990. Unfortunately we lost him in December of 2013. He inspired a lot of people. There have also been a lot of movies and books about his life. One of the books, written by the prison guard who watched him during all these years(ish) got popular enough to get a movie. A movie that got released a few years back. But did this reviewer like it? Let’s find out!

Ladies and Gentlemen…”Goodbye Bafana”.

Like I said, this movie follows the book which told the story of the real life prison guard James Gregory (Joesph Fiennes). This movie like I said is an adaptation. It follows Gregory as he is stationed on Robben Island with his wife (Diane Kruger), his son (played by 2 different actors through out, so I’m not mentioning them because I’m lazy) and his daughter (like the son, too lazy). Gregory gets the mission on the prison to watch over the recently captured Nelson Mandela (Dennis Haysbert). And the story follows these two men’s relationship from “prisoner and guard” to “friends”. Yep, I just spoiled it. But that is because this is a biography which you can look up anywhere. This is truth that you will find out anyway. It’s not like a fictional work which you haven’t seen before. But I found the story and the evolution of the story to be extremely intriguing and gripping. It even made me tear up at one point. Not gonna spoil which moment, don’t worry.

The characters…incredibly realistic (No shit). Not just because they are based on real people, but also because the actors felt so real. They did a fantastic job. And the writing was really solid as well. I was really impressed on the character part.

On the music…it was really good. Not that I wass surprised…just sayin’ it was good. It really set the mood, not jsut for the movie itself but also fit the scenes fantastically well! Loved it!

The camera work in this movie was…great. Sure, it was not the most original and visually stunning that I have ever seen…but it certainly holds its own. The times where you got to see some landscapes in the movie…fantastic. Also, this movie is not always easy to watch…believe me on that. Not saying that it is as disturbing as maybe “Requiem for A Dream”, but it is not always the most fun to watch. Did I also mention that it made me tear up at one point? What? I did? Damn.

Reception for “Goodbye Bafana” is something that is not easy to find, becuase not many people saw this film. But I’ll try my best. There is none of the “Critic scores” which I usually post here for Rotten Tomatoes, but there is at least the “Audience score”. Audiences like it and it has an 82% rating on RT. Next thing is which (based on less than 9000 votes) a score of 7,1/10. That is really all I could find for “Goodbye Bafana” when it comes to reception. I’m sorry…I have failed you.

“Goodbye Bafana” is a gripping, deep, thought provoking, incredibly well-acted movie with a great soundtrack and Dennis Haysbert playing Mandela (Seriously, he was born for this role). So…time for my final score on this short review. My final score for “Goodbye Bafana” is a 9,67/10 which gives it the rights to the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

“Goodbye Bafana” is now reviewed.

Shame on you people! More people should have seen this amazing thing!

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