Wednesday, May 29, 2013

United: The Re(al) - view

Alma George: Manchester United must go on.
I'll tell you the singular reason why I love this film - Manchester United!

But United is much more than that, it's a powerful sports drama, with much emphasis on the emotion that surrounds the sport. This is a film that is based on the 1958 Munich plane crash that claimed 23 lives, 8 of which were members of the Manchester United Football Team (aka The Busby Babes) and 3 of the club's staff; the film focused on Assistant Manager Jimmy Murphy (brilliantly portrayed by David Tennant) and Bobby Charlton's (portrayed by Jack O'Connell) personal experience before/on/after this terrible event.

To not seem biased, United is quite different from other football centric movies (Yes, I'll call it football because it's actually played with the feet!), in that it didn't feature any scene where competitive football took place, this was probably due to budgetary issues, and it turned out quite brilliant as such scenes could torpedo a film.

Director, James Strong, instead focused on what happens off the pitch, with the players, training sessions, the coaches and the FA (Football Association), and he was right in doing so. This approach dug into the soul of the game itself, and concentrated on the relationship between player and club. The production projected a  brilliant scenery of post World War 2 Old Trafford, with the smokestack terraces and dim lights which brought on more authenticity to the movie.

The acting were absolutely amazing and quite fascinating, from David Tennant's absolutely wonderful portrayal of surrogate father/coach, to Dougray Scott's interesting take on Matt Busby, to Sam Claflin's take on Duncan Edwards, to Jack O'Connell's soulful portrayal of Bobby Charlton and the pipe-smoking portrayal of Mark Jones by Thomas Howes. The portrayal of the entire cast of the movie was simply interesting to look at, particularly because most seemed to embody legendary figures in the game.

The truth about my sincere love for this film is not just my affiliation with Manchester United, but truly the way in which this tragedy was portrayed and how the club bounced back in the wake of such devastation. This entire depiction was perfected by a score (by Clint Manswell) that drew tears from my eyes.

Thank you James Strong, the cast and the entire production team for bringing this powerful and emotional drama my way.

Opened: April 24, 2011 Runtime: 1 hr. 30 min. Genre: Drama, Sports Rated: 12