Diego Maradona (2019) ****

June 11th, 2019
Author: Meredith Taylor

Asif Kapadia | Doc, UK 120′

Asif Kapadia completes his trilogy about child geniuses and how they handle fame with this portrait of star who is still very much alive. The trio started with Senna (2010) that depicted the life and death of the Brazilian motor-racing champion. His biopic Amy went on to win an Oscar and became the highest grossing British documentary after its Cannes premiere in 2015, and was even more popular than his debut doc. Himself a football fanatic Kapadia is clearly fascinated by the Argentine soccer legend’s charisma, low cunning and leadership, but mostly by his sheer ability to bounce back from the lows in his career: “He was always the little guy fighting against the system, and he was willing to do anything to use all of his cunning and intelligence to win.” This all footage foray blends over 500 hours of grainy media coverage with home video material to transform Maradona’s story into an adrenaline fuelled two hours that sees the cheeky mummy’s boy from a poor barrio in Buenos Aires transformed into a charismatic winner whose undiluted hubris was bound to send him Icarus-style on a meteoric mission to the sun. Crucially Kapadia’s film is about both sides of the megastar’s personality: the affectionate insecure slumdog and the epic hero who would finally crash to earth. MT



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