UK Release: July 25th 2014
Premiering in both cinemas and Sky Movies at the same time, British film ‘BELIEVE’, tells the tale of Manchester United’s Matt Busby (Brian Cox) taking a young lad obsessed with football under his wing (Jack Smith), to try win a 7-a-side football tournament. As with all British productions they tend to excel in this department, with this traditional story of the working class underdog. Like all production like this (‘Bend it Like Beckham’ is one of many), the film is very much about football, however this central theme does cut off any audience uninitiated or uninterested by the game as it is very accessible too them. What first timed director David Scheinmann has done here instead has used this as a backdrop to tell a story about the central relationships of his two man protagonists. One man (Cox) is rellying on his past, overcome with nostalgia, and the kid (Smith) focusing on the future and what lies ahead.
However the whole Munch Air disaster which plagues Cox’s character does feel very undelivered and hasn’t been convincingly done, feeling more forced if anything. Generally speaking the film means well though, is it an archetypal sport movie which leads up to a grand final, and everything is all very predictable. I think the big issue is how it feels cheapened with the use of conventional, clichéd use of music, really devalues the film accordingly and helps in the struggle for the films overall emotional punch. I can imagine that as a viewer it makes you feel less invested then what you would have liked it to be by the end, and this is a shame, as there is some good performances and the story has alot of elements which are potentially engrossing. Ultimately very vague. Also watch out for other actors of Toby Stephen’s (a cartoon character here), Natascha McElhone and Philip Jackson.