Review: Masterpiece "Endgame"

Program: Masterpiece Classic “Endgame”
When: Sunday, October 25, at 8 p.m. (repeats on KLRU-Q Monday, October 26, at 8 p.m.)

Endgame is the true story of the covert discussions that led to the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, and the eventual first democratic election of 1994.

Michael Young, played by Jonny Lee Miller, is a UK businessman who brings together the Afrikaners and members of the African National Congress (ANC). Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Thabo Mbeki, the man who would eventually succeed Mandela as President. Ejiofor does an excellent job of capturing the internal conflict of Mbeki, mirrored by the conflict within the ANC at the time. Professor Will Esterhuyse, representing the Afrikaners, is portrayed by William Hurt. As always, Hurt delivers. The man has never given anything but an outstanding performance and this film is no different. The scenes between Mbeki and Esterhuyse, documenting the evolution of their relationship, are captivating, particularly the scene in which they discuss the origins of fear.

Also notable is Mark Strong who is sufficiently evil as Dr. Neil Barnard, one of the many men who greatly underestimated Mandela.

Finally, Clarke Peters’s quiet performance as Mandela is inspiring. I remember watching the release of Mandela in 1990 as an elementary school student. Almost 20 years later, the recreated scene of his walk with Winnie had me in tears. Knowing how it all ends does not lessen the impact of this moment in human history.

— Malaika Naulls

About the reviewer: Malaika Naulls is an intern with KLRU and in her fourth year of the JD/MBA graduate program at the University of Texas. When she’s not being an academic masochist, you can find her…sleeping.