Pele: Birth of a Legend Reviews

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Over the last couple of years we have seen many a biopic on screen, and each one makes your heart overflow with happiness. Pele's story may be raw and not as polished as say Trumbo, or Senna or Rush, but it has all the ingredients to make you want to stay until the end credits have rolled. (Manisha Lakhe-NOWRUNNING) Read Full Review
Jordan Hoffman (The Guardian)
To a non-fan, it looks like one guy kicked the ball to another guy and that guy kicked the ball in the net, but what the hell do I know? Soccer fanatics will meet me halfway and agree that AR Rahman’s anachronistic and omnipresent score is distracting, the dialogue sounds like made-for-TV gibberish, and the wide spectrum of accents is infuriating. - Read Full Review
Nicolas Rapold (The New York Times)
The film’s director of photography, Matthew Libatique, makes “Pelé” more than an eye-moistening anthem for a built-in global audience. Working around the screenplay’s childlike writing, this dynamic cinematographer hustles to turn the sensation of movement into the film’s driving force. He comes closer to evoking ginga than any of the gushy dialogue or soundtrack cues. - Read Full Review
Sankhayan Ghosh (The Hindu)
The most disappointing thing about Pele: Birth of a Legend is its failure to bring alive a fascinating story that has layers of historic, cultural and sporting significance.The story of rise of Pele is a very local one. But instead of peppering it with cultural detail, the directors try to paint it in the broadest of strokes. As a result, all the clichés of an underdog sports movie are overdone: poverty, racism, the underachieved mentor-father, the protective mother, a threatening injury, team in-fighting and the eventual glory on a world stage. - Read Full Review
Rohini Nair (Firstpost)
What Pelé: Birth of a Legend has attempted, then, is pretty amazing. Unfortunately, it is completely let down by its execution.What saves the film, however, is its subject. One cannot help but be awed by what Birth of a Legend is attempting to depict — the towering personality that is Pele. Pelé: Birth of a Legend doesn’t do justice to the story for the world’s greatest soccer star. - Read Full Review
Uday Bhatia (Livemint)
All in all, the sort of hagiographic biopic one expects when the person being profiled is the executive producer. A Pelé biopic after all these years—and it’s in English? Which is no surprise, given that the film is made with Hollywood money, for an audience that calls the sport soccer, not football. - Read Full Review
Andrew Barker (Variety)
“Pelé: Birth of a Legend,” which dramatizes the star player’s first World Cup triumph, tries its best to visually convey just how revolutionary Pele’s arrival on the scene must have felt, but it’s continually hamstrung by an uninspiring, ultra-traditionalist narrative. The dialogue is consistently awkward and the plotting strictly formulaic, though fans of the sport will have fun spotting the famous faces portrayed. - Read Full Review