I’m not the biggest fan of football in the world, although I can understand why it’s so popular with it’s fans. That being said, I am a fan of films (obviously) but can a film all about the passion of one Liverpool supporter manage to cross over the divide between film fan & football fan and not only deliver the passion that these supporter’s feel but also a decent film experience?
Will, an 11 year old Liverpool supporter, has been living at a Catholic boarding school ever since he was left there by his father Gareth three years before, but suddenly his father returns & wants to not only rebuild his relationship with his son that he lost after the death of his wife (Will’s mother) but also take him home to Liverpool.
Realising his son is as passionate as he is about his beloved Liverpool, the father & son begin to rekindle their relationship, and when Will informs his dad that he had a dream that Liverpool would beat Chelsea one nil in the Champion’s League semi-final, Gareth decides to make a bet to win the money to be able to take himself & Will to Istanbul to see Liverpool in the final (if they win).
But then tragedy strikes again and Will is left all alone in the world. But after Liverpool beat Chelsea, Will’s friends convince him that he owes it to his dad to travel to Istanbul & watch Liverpool in the final.
But can an 11 year old boy make the trip across Europe by himself & fulfill his dreams?
Let me say this from the start. If you don’t like films that tug at the heart strings or make you “have something in your eye” then you might as well go somewhere else right now, as if this film doesn’t affect you emotionally then you must be dead inside. Seriously. There is so much passion & heartache on display here that it just gets you “right there”.
Thankfully, it’s not just a tearjerker, it’s also a very good drama & also quite funny at times. I’m not talking laugh out loud belly laughs, but it’s not all tears & seriousness.
Perry Eggleton, The boy who plays Will is an absolute star. This is his first starring role, but he is so believable in the role that he never once takes you out of the film experience & makes you feel every last thing. He even manages to hold his own when he is sharing the screen with Bob Hoskins! He really is a great find for the film & totally owns the part.
But he is ably supported, firstly by Damian Lewis who plays his dad, who you totally believe is trying his hardest to rekindle his relationship with his son & the pair have a believable & touching onscreen relationship, and then by Kristian Kiehling who helps Will find his way across Europe.
Their relationship is actually really believable, with it never feeling really forced as the two of them come to terms not only with what has happened in their lives but also their position now in the world – the two of them are like the catharis that each others life needed, and it all feels so totally real that it just works onscreen.
The film is also lovingly shot, with Paris & the other locations throughout Europe looking glorious onscreen & it’s nice to see that Europe is used for a good reason in a film rather than just being a series of shots of famous landmarks to make a point and director Ellen Perry has crafted a wonderfully touching tale of one boy pursuing his dreams & changing the world around him with his personality.
It’s really hard for me when a film just works on so many different levels, because all I feel like I am saying is “it’s great! Really! And this is great! And this bit!” but it has to be said, this is a really good film. It’s sad and happy and funny and touching all at the same time. Perry Eggleton is fantastic & the whole thing just flies past as you’re watching, which is mostly due to his performance. I can’t wait to see him in a film again, as I think he truly has the potential to be a star.
Trust me, if you don’t mind a film that will have you reaching for the tissues then this is a great depiction of a young boy who has a passion for a football club which now means everything in his life. Watch it. It’s the least it deserves.