‘Baggio: The Divine Ponytail’ review: Dribbling through a career


“Baggio: the divine ponytail”, a Netflix biopic presented as “freely inspired” by the life of Italian footballer Roberto Baggio, ends with a group of fans of the athlete who greet and applaud him. In real-life clips during the credits, an announcer calls him “probably the most beloved player in Italian football”. It shows how confusing the movie is, as it never reveals how or why it came to be loved.

Even football is superficial. Instead of lingering on the pitch, director Letizia Lamartire switches to Baggio’s friends and family watching on TV. Chronologically ill-distributed, the film runs through key developments, such as Baggio’s recovery from injury or a commitment to Buddhist meditation, and more than once abruptly advances several years.

The pictures become a kind of shorthand. At a dinner party in 1985, Baggio (Andrea Arcangeli) informs his parents and siblings that he has signed a precious contract. “Well you can reimburse me for the windows you broke,” mocks his father (Andrea Pennacchi), who later adds, “Even if you earn more, you are no better than your brother, who is bust your ass at the factory. . “

Half an hour away, when the film reaches the 1994 World Cup, where Baggio plans to fulfill an apparent childhood promise to his father, the coach compares him to famous player Diego Maradona. Nothing the film showed of sulky Baggio, whose hair gives him his nickname, has drawn viewers to the comparison.

It is possible that “Baggio: The Divine Ponytail” resonates with football fans. But the famous greatness of the protagonist did not reach the screen.

Baggio: the divine ponytail
Unclassified. In Italian, with subtitles. Duration: 1 hour 31 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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