Writer: Mike Jefferies, Adrian Butchart, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay)
Starring: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Sean Pertwee
Plot: The extremely talented Santiago Munez is given a chance at professional football, after being spotted by a scout who has ties with Newcastle United.
Tagline – Every Dream Has A Beginning
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Excellent Sporting Drama
Story: Goal! The Dream Begins starts when Mexican immigrates move to LA to start a new life, Santiago (Becker) works for his father’s business, turning to football to relax, where he excels. When former scout Glen Foy (Dillane) sees him play, he believes he could make it professionally, turning to his old boss to give him a trial at Newcastle United.
Santiago makes the trip getting a one-month trial, here he must learn the more difficult side to football, to prove everybody including his father, who never wanted him to follow his dreams, while Newcastle have spent heavy on their new signing Gavin Harris (Nivola) a flashy player whose reputation of a playboy lifestyle follows him around.
Thoughts on Goal! The Dream Begins
Characters – Santiago Munez is an immigrate kid living in LA, grown up to work with his father to keep the family together, he is a brilliant young footballer though, which he plays in his free time. He gets spotted by a former player that wants him to travel to Newcastle for a trial, a moment which could change his life forever, first he must prove his worth, showing determination to go with his skills and learning how to handle the fame which fellow playboy player could show him the darker side. Glen Foy is the former Newcastle player and scout that see Santiago play football believing he could one day be a big star, he pushes Santiago into travelling, though he would make this happen for him. Gavin Harris is the playboy style footballer, a big money signing that is all flash on and off the pitch, he does show Santiago the wrong path, only to learn just as much from him. Roz is the nurse that Santiago falls for, she doesn’t like the celebrity status around footballers, which will see her have to question why she is interested in Santiago, only to see that he is different than most footballers.
Performances – Kuno Becker in the leading role is strong, while some of the footballing stuff isn’t great to watch, the determination his character needs to show through the difficult moment in his life. Alessandro Nivola as the playboy footballer is entertaining to watch through the film, in the supporting roles we see Stephen Dillane and Anna Friel both doing their roles with ease.
Story – When we look at the story, we have a cliched, but enjoyable rags to riches story of a young man whose life gets turned upside down when he gets offered a chance to play football for one of the biggest teams in the world. we see how he must learn to adapt to a new country and culture, be put in pressure situations of just new fame, while remaining grounded requiring the approval from his father. One of the key aspects that makes this story enjoyable is the fact we are not watching Santiago join a team about to win something, they are looking to achieve the next level of success. We know how this will end as a story because it does follow the trend of a sports drama without fail.
Romance/Sport – The romance in the film comes from Santiago’s relationship with Roz, though it does take a backburner to the sports drama which is front and centre of this film.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show the different locations Santiago has come from, be it Mexico, the hot sunny street of LA or the cold muddy Newcastle, this will give him something to adapt too.
Final Thoughts – This is a football fans favourite type of sports drama, an unknown comes to save your team in their moment of need become an overnight legend in their eyes.
Overall: Fun football drama.