Pelé: Birth of a Legend: Film Review – Let the Game Begin

Verdict: "A beautiful game" certainly cannot be missed!

Based on a true story, Pelé: Birth of a Legend is a biopic of celebrated Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé. The movie shows his eight-year journey from struggle to fame. From being a boy who grew up in the slums of Sao Paulo to becoming the pride of Brazil, Jeff Zimbalist and Micheal Zimbalist have beautifully managed to capture each and every event of his life.

The story starts with a young Dico (Leonardo Lima Carvalho) playing football with his friends, in the streets of Sao Paulo during the time of the 1950 World Cup. Hoping for a victory, Dico climbs all walls and roofs to listen to the final verdict of the match but as unfortunate as the day was, Brazil lost the World Cup, which saddened the entire country. The little eight-year old, then, promises to his crying father that he will win the World Cup for him someday.

Pelé: Birth of a Legend - BookMyShow

One day Dico accompanies his mother, who is a cleaning lady, to work where he gets targeted by the rich kids who make fun of him and start calling him Pelé. Insulted and furious, along with his friends, he makes a team of his own – The Shoeless Ones – and decides to play against those kids to teach them a lesson. It was this match that got Dico recognition as Pelé and brought him under limelight for his Ginga skills.

Dico’s joy knew no bounds but a tragedy struck him, due to which he had to leave everything behind. Over the years, he accompanied his father to the hospital to clean toilets but his soccer practice continued. Under his father’s guidance, Dondinho (Seu Jorge), who was also a trained footballer, Dico’s talent only improved. At the age of 15, he played for Santos and for the 1958 World Cup, at the age of 16.

The journey of Pelé from childhood to teenage is beautifully depicted in 1 hour 47 minutes, and even a minute cannot be called unnecessary.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:

It’s an inspiring tale with exceptionally natural performances delivered by all the actors, making it seem realistic. Watch it for the crisp narration and the background score, done by A. R Rahman, which is so perfectly timed and is an added benefit to the film. All this and more makes this movie a must watch!

— By Sanaa Surve

Release Date: 13 May, 2016
Language: English
Director: Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
Genre: Biography, Sports, Drama
Cast & Crew: Kevin de Paula, Rodrigo Santoro, Vincent D'Onofrio
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