Review: DIEGO MARADONA Is A Unique Sports Biography

FIRST IMPRESSION

Told interestingly through archive footage, Diego Maradona tells the fascinating story of the star athlete, albeit with not quite enough depth.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Diego Maradona, from acclaimed documentarian Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), is a new film chronicling the life and career of the eponymous Argentine footballer. An interesting, if overlong portrait of a public figure’s fall from grace, this is an all-around well-made documentary that will interest audiences even if they are unfamiliar with the subject at its core.

The movie documents the career of Maradona, one of the most successful yet controversial figures in all of football (the real football, referred to by some as soccer) history. The ultimate story of the rise and fall of public opinion, the film does an excellent job of showing the ways in which shifting public opinion affected Maradona, both athletically and personally.

If anything, the movie feels like it could have explored Maradona’s personal life with a bit more depth. Although some of the controversies that came up during the highest period of the athlete’s career, such as his drug addiction or his various relationships, but these things are often dropped in favor of exploring his athletic exploits.

Clocking in at over two hours, the movie does run long for a feature-length documentary, and perhaps could have been cut a bit shorter. One of the sections of the film that feels particularly long is the beginning in which Maradona’s career is still running smoothly. Although this section will appeal to sports fans, it is the most conventional material that the movie has to offer, the conflict in the latter half of the film being more compelling.

diego maradona ceremony

The movie also could have spent a bit more time exploring the post-career life of Maradona. Granted, Kapadia is known as a biographical documentarian and Maradona is his first subject to still be alive at the time in which his film was made and released, but there is a very powerful scene in the movie in which Maradona reflects on his mistakes. The film needed more of that.

That said, the movie does an excellent job in making the sports scenes feel exciting. Sometimes documentaries like this can have a hard time capturing the competitive nature of sports because these games have already happened and audiences will likely know the outcome before seeing the film. Thanks to well-edited archive footage, Kapadia is able to create an artificial intensity that lends the movie a narrative momentum.

Of course, Kapadia’s film is very well-made, as you would expect from the filmmaker behind some of the decade’s most acclaimed documentaries. Kapadia’s style is very interesting as he uses exclusively archive footage to tell the story, along with voiceover. Kapadia does include some modern-day interviews with Maradona, but not in talking head form — only as narration to the archive footage. The result works quite well and feels very unique.

Diego Maradona may not be the best sports documentary ever made, but it is a very good one. Audiences will likely be left wanting something more, yet the movie will still be able to maintain the attention of most.

Diego Maradona debuts on HBO on October 1 at 9pm ET.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Nancy Drew | Sinking Feeling | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Nancy Drew Thursdays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/NANgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Connect…

American Horror Story: 1984 | Season 9 Ep. 4: Rita’s Trap Highlight | FX

Seeking subjects for summer study. Contact the doctor for more info. #AHS1984 Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire…

Legacies | Matt Davis – Alaric Walks Away | The CW

Stream new episodes of Legacies Fridays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/LGCShowyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES online:…

BACK TO LIFE | NEW SERIES | NOVEMBER 10

SHOWTIME® presents the hilarious new comedy series BACK TO LIFE. Miri Matteson is the ultimate Adult Beginner; she’s funny, endearing, awkward and… eager to move on from her unspeakable past. Miri’s back in her hometown fresh from an eighteen-year stint behind bars and trying to nudge her way back into society, but life post prison…

Jim Gaffigan in Quality Time – Official Trailer | Prime Video

Jim Gaffigan is in top form for his 7th comedy special. The 4-time Grammy nominated comedian doesn’t understand why we aren’t more honest about the reasons we don’t want to attend events, while at the same time embraces lying to kids. From horses and dog birthdays to traveling and museums, Jim continues to impress. Get…

Nancy Drew | Season Preview | The CW

Stream new episodes of Nancy Drew Thursdays, free only on The CW App: https://go.cwtv.com/NANgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Connect…

The Boys: Best Bloodbaths | Prime Video

The Boys is a bloody good time — literally. You didn’t ask for the bloodiest moments, but here they are. » Watch The Boys now exclusively with your Prime membership: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoTheBoys » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About The Boys: The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here