PELE: BIRTH OF A LEGEND REVIEWED
“Pele: Birth of a Legend” feels like a handful of sports movies that I watched this week. Focusing on Pele’s rise to fame at the 1958 World’s Cup, we learn what lead Pele there. Growing up in Brazil, Pele used to sell stolen peanuts to pay for soccer balls. Seu Jorge plays Pele’s encouraging dad, who just seems to know that his kid is going to be great. This film was produced by Pele and you can feel his influence throughout the narrative. After 20 minutes, you’ll thrill to multiple shots of crowds cheering his name.
Pele is still a sports oddity in America. While hardcore soccer players know his fame, the guy never struck it that big outside of an Atari game. Soccer still lacks that mainstream punch that other sports enjoy in America. But, don’t let that stop you from enjoying Vincent D’Onofrio playing a Brazilian soccer coach. That was a casting stroke of luck.
When Pele eventually makes his cameo in the film, the camera lingers on him longer than Dirk Diggler’s dong. The directors are 30 for 30 veterans. While sports docs aren’t narrative features, I expected more than something like that. But, that’s what I get!
- 2.40:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby 5.1