The wounded star player forced to confront the end of his playing career before it has even got going is as ragged a moment of honest pain as anything Mike Leigh could cook up on a London council estate.Country and Western crooner Tim Mc Graw shrinks his cowboy brio into a drunken brute of a former football hero facing up to the bitter realisation he has come to mean nothing more than history.Directed by sometime actor Peter Berg through the framework of an earthy coming-of-age saga, the grunt 'n' buckle trade-offs of 'football' have never felt so profound.Tags: Abbreviation Of AssignmentGcse English Of Mice And Men EssayThesis On AnfisPersuasive Essay Assignment SheetHow To Solve Manometer Problems With FluidsThesis Statement On Parents DivorceSteps For Essay WritingWrite Essay Dance Performance
Religion plays a role in the show, in the form of an evangelical Christianity whose enthusiastic services, in a large exurban church, distinctly resemble the football team’s pep rallies; and, on the other side of town, a black congregation struggling to pay the pastor.
But the show itself is essentially Christian in the cycles of spiritual experience it puts its characters through: error and discovery; confession; punishment and shame; and finally the chance for redemption.
As the team coach, Thornton is the honest-to-God kinda guy who, ironically, sees through the devotional haze; winning isn't everything, it only feels like it. The all-consuming obsession of Odessa, down to radio phone-ins and car park confrontations, carries the same religious patter as rabid soccer support does here. Berg is smart enough to find something suspicious in this and also the absurdity that Bissinger observed: the coin-toss to decide a tournamentÆs outcome, the real estate signs staked out on the coach's lawn after defeat, the inverse racism applied to influence referees ("zebras").
Such detail allows the film to breathe, keeping it aloft from the go-go sport-as-American-metaphor cliches too often hung on the game. The action has the punching, rhythmic edits of genuine sports coverage, and in among the players' lives the handheld camerawork has the unblinking force of a documentary.
His book offered a clear-eyed view of racism, economic distress, and the burdens that a community’s obsession with the game places on its teens.
As a review in the noted, Bissinger set down “a biting indictment of the sports craziness that grips not only Odessa but most of American society, while at the same time providing a moving evocation of its powerful allure.” Odessa residents, who thought Bissinger had come not to bury them but to praise them, were outraged, and the journalist received death threats.
The swaying emotion of the seesaw season carries a universal clarity. Yet, Berg's delivery still possesses an essential movieness, and his film has a mythical reach, skies filled with the contrails of unattainable dreams.
These are less the tones of the melodramatic sports milieu than the romantic Western, the young cowpoke's rite-of-passage transmuted from the chaparral to the stadium.
Yes, this is a film about American football, but it is so much more.
It is a stark survey of the hold sport has on life, with its tribal allure and power to devastate both supporter and player.