Cast – Kevin de Paula, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Colm Meaney
Genre – Autobiography, Drama
Director – Jeff Zimbalist & Michael Zimbalist
Running Time – 107 minutes
I was, once again, fortunate to be able to see the new Pele movie a day before its launch in cinemas today, thanks to the Ster Kinekor folks. Watching it in what is one of the best ways complete with good food and very comfy seats, Prestige is a great way to watch any movie I’m convinced. An avid and mad soccer fan for as long as I could make sense of anything, I was always intrigued by this flick ever since I saw the trailer. It being based on what is one of the greats in the game is the cherry on top. Anyway, enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff.
Pelé. Even if you are not a soccer fan, you probably have heard the name before and are familiar with who it’s associated with. A true sports legend who changed soccer forever, Pele is a national hero who carried the hopes and dreams of a country on his back. But before he was an icon, he was a kid from the slums of São Paulo, Brazil, so poor that he couldn’t afford a real soccer ball. Charting his meteoric rise from scrubbing floors to support his family to honing his electrifying playing style on the streets to leading Brazil’s national team to its first World Cup victory at the age of 17, Pelé vividly brings to life the greatest sports story of the 20th century. If that’s not enough to capture your imagination, then I don’t know what is.
What we liked
The movie is a tribute to a man who changed the beautiful game and in that sense is a great concept which probably should have been done a long time ago, better late than never. It doesn’t require you to be a soccer fan specifically and the scenery is also pretty cool. The movie shows the power of sports and what it can do to change one’s life forever, a story which many top athletes today can relate to I’m sure.
What we didn’t like
With all that said, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed by the movie. I felt like the storytelling could have been better and the sequence of the movie was a bit rushed with everything being squeezed together in under two hours or so. I would have preferred they made it longer to tell the story of the great man better. Also heading into it I was expecting something different especially on the back of what was being said prior, but I guess I have no one to blame except myself for that.
The movie Pele gets a 2.5 out of 5 rating from me. It’s good enough for you to go and see but not a must see. Despite the criticism above though I found myself learning some great facts and more about the great man off the field. A decent attempt by the Zimbalist brothers, it just fell a little short for me.