I Am Zlatan – Inspirational Story Behind the Icon
Director: Jens Sjogren
Writer: Jakob Beckham (Screenplay) David Lagercrantz (Book)
Starring: Granit Rushiti, Dominic Andersson Bajraktati, Cedomir Glisovic, Merima Dizdarevic, Hakan Bengtsson, Selma Mesanovic, Linda Haziri
Plot: Son of Balkan immigrants Zlatan Ibrahimovic, born in Sweden. Becomes, after a rough childhood, a Swedish football champion of several decades.
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: I Am Zlatan starts by showing us how the young player Zlatan Ibrahimovic is struggling to be accepting in Ajax. The Dutch press turning on his background quickly. Wanting out, he looks back at his early life. Here, we follow a young Zlatan, causing troubles in school. Lacking discipline in Sweden, with his family not being accepted as easily.
We will follow his young life, as he looks to break into the youth teams in Sweden. Always needing to overcome public opinion about him. He gets to reflect on his life from the Ajax starlet trying to push a move away.
Thoughts on I Am Zlatan
Characters & Performances
Zlatan is a football icon, in this film we get to follow three stages of his career. His childhood in Sweden, where he struggled to focus in school. Collecting football stickers and just wanting to be on the football pitch. Needing to learn discipline in life, using his inspirations of Muhammed Ali and Bruce Lee. The second stage is his time in the first youth team at Malmo. Where he still has discipline problems, but will need to show how he is ready to start to work with others. He can’t just be a solo selfish football player. The third stage is the Ajax player that is underperforming, looking to move away. The press turning on him, the manager not connecting with him. Needing to find his performance, before his talent gets wasted.
The man is someone that always makes headlines and learning more about his early life. Is one of the few things we never learn about him. We do meet his family, mother, father, sister and younger brother. Who have an impact at different stages of his life. We also meet the coaches at different stages of his development, who needing to stand up to his attitude. Trying to pass on lesson about being a team player. The film has great performances from everyone, even if more of the film is about the player himself.
The story here follows the three stages of Zlatan’s life, childhood. Early stages in the youth teams and his struggles in Ajax. The story will jump between the three eras as we get to see the lessons he learned along the way. Which will go hand in hand with what needs to guide him to become who he is now. Where this might not be for everyone, is that we don’t get to see much about his career. On the side that is more famous, diving into the arrogant figure we see make the headlines. The story doesn’t manage to get too much more out of the simple enough idea of working hard, becoming discipline and natural talent will unfold.
Themes – I Am Zlatan is a sports drama biopic looking at the career of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, we will see shots of football going on in different stages of his development, it does feel like the cinematic football, having the great and bad moments, not the doing well.
Signature Entertainment presents I Am Zlatan in Cinemas 3rd June and on Digital Platforms 20th June & DVD 27th June.
Final Thoughts – I Am Zlatan is an inspirational story about one of the greatest ever.