The coincidence of Nelson Mandela’s death just as a film based on his life was rolling out to theaters seems less bizarre when you see the movie itself. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is cinema as civic statuary, a classic Great Man biopic weighed down by solemnity, duty, and an aversion to artistic risk.
It’s the Official Story of a man who was for nearly 30 years his country’s most unofficial person, and, aside from some youthful randiness early in the film, it wouldn’t be out of place at a state funeral. The movie is extremely well produced, it features two excellent lead performances—by Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as his fractious wife Winnie—and it is dull. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.