Movie Review: Pelé: Birth of a Legend

‘Pelé: Birth of a Legend’ is a 2016 biopic about the early days of Brazilian soccer legend, Edson Arantes de Nascimento (aka Pelé).

 

That's Pelé in the middle (looking great for 75) with the two young actors that play him during the film.

That’s Pelé in the middle (looking great for 75!) with the two young actors that play him during the film.

 

Although somewhat predictable with it’s rags to riches storyline, nonetheless this film is a feel good movie with an uplifting theme of finding your voice and embracing who you are.

Chronicling Pelé’s slum childhood through to his 17 year old World Cup fame of 1958, Pelé unknowingly enters a class war when he shows up on the soccer scene with his local ‘ginga’ style – the opposite of ‘playing like the Europeans’ which the Brazilian team was under great pressure to conform to.

 

Pelé's famous 'bicycle kick'!

Pelé reminds his downtrodden Brazilian teammates of the strength of their ‘ginga’ style and wows the world with his now famous ‘bicycle kick’. 

 

Although a little Hollywood-ised (I would have preferred english subtitles and more era-culturally-appropriate music), this is an interesting and heart-felt film for those who enjoy soccer, biographies or even a peek into Brazilian life in the 1950s.

 

The childhood experiences with his friends in the slums were some of my favourite scenes.

The childhood experiences with his friends in the slums were some of my favourite scenes.

 

Available on Netflix and you can check out the official trailer here:

 

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