Thursday, July 23, 2020

Review Diego Maradona (2019)


#DiegoMaradona (2019): 7/10

Diego Maradona is the latest insightful documentary from Asif Kapadia (‘Senna’, ‘Amy’). Constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen archive footage, the documentary mainly focuses on Maradona’s time at Napoli, his meteoric rise from outstanding player to demigod, and presents a series of events that ultimately lead to his calamitous fall from grace with the Italian people.

For those unfamiliar with the Italian social ladder, the documentary showcases just how low Naples and its people were regarded when Maradona arrived, with many opposing fan displaying grotesque messages during Serie A matches, which only spurred Maradona on, almost single-handedly taking Napoli to the top of the Serie A tree, delivering their first ever league title, whilst also winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, the Quarter Final against England proving a pivotal moment with the now infamous “Hand Of God” goal; the archived footage proving exhilarating.

It’s quite evident from the documentary though that Maradona’s resulting popularity with the people of Naples left him feeling trapped, leading to friction with the press, and his relationship with the Camorra coming under increasing scrutiny, which all came to a head during Italia ‘90 with Maradona having a hand in defeating the home nation in the World Cup Semi Final, souring his relationship with the Italian people beyond repair.

Whilst the documentary is just as insightful and intriguing, it’s perhaps not quite on par with previous efforts ‘Senna’ and ‘Amy’, although with the added emotional weight of human tragedy in those, Maradona always faced an uphill battle to compete. Still, another fascinating piece of work that will satisfy both fans of Maradona and viewers exploring his story for the first time.

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