Categories
Documentary

‘Pelé’ (2021) – the game that made Pelé cry

Pelé (2021)
Pelé (2021)

The Netflix documentary Pelé has all the makings of a prestige film: a man known as the greatest footballer in the world, the only player to have won 3 World Cups, and celebrity in the historical context of a brutal dictatorship. The twist in the story is that you see an aged man at his most physically vulnerable, who cries at remembering all the pressure he withstood to make his fans happy.

Categories
Documentary

‘Fixed!’ (2020) – how to play the match-fixing game

Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)
Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)

Once you’ve served prison time for match fixing, what is the easiest way to keep making money? Claim yourself notorious, become a consultant, and get paid to give interviews about corruption in FIFA. 

The story of match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal first broke in 2010, when as a FIFA Match Agent, Perumal arranged an international friendly between Bahrain and a fake team from Togo. The resulting outrage brought the match-fixing to light.

Categories
Suspense

The soccer is murderous in ‘Kick – Sudden Death’ (2015)

Kick - Sudden Death (2015)
Kick – Sudden Death (2015)

Is it fair to write a review when I abhor horror movies? To add to my dilemma, I could not force myself to finish watching Kick – Sudden Death because it simply defied logic. Maybe that’s what horror movies do; since I don’t watch them, I can’t really judge. So to compensate, I will keep this review short.

Categories
Drama Suspense

‘Sikandar’ (2009) shows the omnipresent terrorism in Kashmir

Sikandar (2009)
Sikandar (2009)

Sikandar opens with the activities of a small Muslim village in a beautiful mountainous setting. As school lets out, children stream downhill to the market plaza. A child spies a loose soccer ball, kicks it, and it explodes, blowing apart everything and everyone in the plaza. Welcome to routine life in Kashmir.

Categories
Drama Kids

I’m no fan of ‘Fan of Amoory’ (2018)

Fan of Amoory (2018) 
 عاشق عموري
Fan of Amoory (2018) عاشق عموري

The most charitable description of Fan of Amoory is that it is well-meaning propaganda meant to exhort young boys to follow their dreams and work for them. In the glory of the UAE.

Categories
Documentary

‘In Search of Greatness’ (2018), born from creativity

In Search of Greatness (2018)
In Search of Greatness (2018)

If we study the Great Ones of sport, we find there are many contributing factors to their success: motivation, competitiveness, mentors, resilience, discipline, talent, and luck. Writer-Director Gabe Polsky gives us examples of all that and adds one more trait, creativity, that extends across music, art, and other disciplines.

Categories
Drama

‘Penalty’ (2019) a well-meaning film that stereotypes

Penalty (2019)
Penalty (2019)

Penalty is a well-meaning but mostly flaccid first feature film from Director Shubham Singh. Singh uses football as a vehicle to weave a narrative about discrimination in northern India.

Categories
Drama

‘Adidas vs Puma’ (2016) – How the feud began

Adidas vs Puma (2016) 
aka 
Duell der Brüder

Duell der Brüder is a welcome entry in my list of football films. Titled Adidas vs Puma for Amazon, it covers a small but significant piece of sports history along with the drama of two brothers turned personal and business enemies amid the effects of World War 2.

Categories
Drama Suspense

Football frames ’90 Minutos’ (2020) of life in Honduras

90 Minutos (2020)
90 Minutos (2020)

90 Minutos is an excellent first feature from Pulsar, a young Honduran filmmaking company. Director Aeden O’Connor Agurcia and Writer Daniel Frañó fused 4 disparate stories from Honduran life, each with a connection to football. But soccer is mainly a vehicle to capture movie-goers’ attention in a futbol-crazy country.

Categories
Drama Kids

‘The Goal’ is social justice + football in 1999

The Goal (1999) aka द गोल
The Goal (1999)
द गोल

Gulbahar Singh is a director who wants to make feature films on humanity, and The Goal (द गोल) is an unusual football drama in that its coach decides that overcoming prejudice is more important than winning.

Categories
Documentary

‘Elite School’ (2014) a view of a German football academy

Elite School (2014) also known as Die Kaderschmiede: der traum vom profi-fussball
Elite School (2014) also known as Die Kaderschmiede: der traum vom profi-fussball

A Kaderschmiede is an elite training center, school, or academy, and in the case of Karlsruher SC, its purpose is to create a cadre of skilled footballers. Writer-Director Juana Guschl followed the club’s youth players for the 2013-2014 season and submitted this film for graduation from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2014.

Categories
Drama

Daisy Shah a reason to watch ‘Gujarat 11’ (2019)

Gujarat 11 (2019)

Gujarat 11 is promoted as the first Gujarati sports film and stars popular and handsome Gujarati actors Daisy Shah and Pratik Gandhi. The story mixes in a number of themes, but while each theme has good points, they are not enough to forgive 2 hours and 20 minutes of banality.

Categories
Notes

Notes: Best and Worst soccer movies in 2020

2020 has been a year we all want to forget. Many of us are isolating at home while the pandemic rages around most of the world. The market for home entertainment seemed to increase the number of soccer movies that were available online.

Categories
Documentary

Strive to be as ‘Unbreakable’ (2019) as Steve Zakuani

Unbreakable (2019)

Unbreakable: The Steve Zakuani Story is an extremely well-made documentary of a man reviewing his chance hit footballing career that ended just short of meteoric. By telling his story, Steve Zakuani hopes to convince every young teenager that they can be at rock bottom but still rise again and ultimately give back.

Categories
Comedy

I found ‘Rembat’ (2015) funny the 2nd time around

Rembat (2015)

The pandemic may have altered my sense of taste — in movies. When I first tried to watch Rembat 2 years ago, I could not finish it. It seemed so weird and nonsensical, and the actors kept spitting rice everywhere.