Before writing this I had to decide which blog to publish it on. The cricket one I have that has maybe one tiny post, or this one? I went with this one simply because I have picked up some steam with this site and also, well, it is a review of some kind.
The dilemma is that this film comes down to subject matter rather than stylistic substance, and that subject matter is cricket. It’s a documentary about one of sport’s ‘biggest scandals’, except it’s revealed early on that this scandal is basically how world cricket is administrated and run. As cricket is a major part of my life, I was deeply interested by this. The well-being of cricket for me feels like an ill relative and if you’re clued up with any of the details you’ll understand it’s pretty much a terminally ill relative.
Being directed by two maverick cricket journos (Jarrod Kimber & Sam Collins), it takes a critical approach to the subject. What follows is an investigation into things such as ICC (International Cricket Council) corruption, the problems with the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the the death of test cricket. It is set up with interviews of the heads of cricket, and they really poke the tiger with some of them, If you are unaware of these people, the discoveries may come across as shocking, though the whole topic is very non nonchalantly looked upon in the cricket world. To back all this up, they elevate the film with Australian cricketer Ed Cowan, in a sort of fairy-tale story of success and failure. For me, these were the strongest parts of the film as the love of the game really shines through. And this is what the film does well; becoming a fond reminder of cricket at ground level, rather than of the corporate world.
As a documentary, the film portrays it’s story clearly in 99 minutes, however the problem arises from the subject. It only works if you know cricket and have a admiration for the game, otherwise the film loses pace. You could find yourself counting down the minutes to the end of the film if another jargon filled interview began to bore you. A good way to describe it would be a corruption film filled with metaphors. I guess this is what the film is about though; a real problem right under the eyes of the cricket world but no-one can see it, or choose to be ignorant to it.
Despite all of this, I consider the film to be of great importance and if their was a cricket school, this should be shown first. It should be aimed at the heads of the bastards that are ruining cricket, and viewed as education for those in the dark about these issues.
[This is one of those that I could spend hours mulling over and possibly write a 3000 word essay about, but watching the film is all you will need. It’s on Netflix.]