The Match or La Partita is a 2020 Netflix drama film directed by Francesco Carnesecchi and starring Francesco Pannofino, Alberto Di Stasio and Gabriele Fiore.
The Match follows the Champions’ League final match where its results will decide the fate of many people, including Italo, Bulla and Antonio. Even though life around them keeps changing and moving, inside the pitch, it all comes to a standstill.
This is a slow-paced movie when you leave the pitch. Inside the pitch, tempers run high, and the adrenaline keeps it going. Inside the pitch, there’s an intoxication in the air. For the Sporting Roma, as the title card says, in its entire history, the football team hasn’t won one match. Coach Bulla is, thus, desperate for that one win against their rivals.
On the other hand, captain Antonio dreams to win the title in hopes of making his dreams of going pro come true. The craziness of the game is so much that tempers rise on the stands as well. There’s a novelty to watch the kids playing and the coach and the onlookers screaming for their teams. Whenever these scenes come on the screen, you can’t help but root for the Sporting Romas.
Off the football field, there’s a lot at stake. Italo, the president of the Sporting team, has bet everything he has on the outcome of the final result. After bailing his junkie son out, he doesn’t have much left. A lot is at stake for Antonio’s father as well, who asks his son to (essentially) forego his dreams for the sake of his family. While the tension and fever at the pitch keeps rising and time standing still, we get to look at the desperation of these same people off it.
The Match gives a slow and steady look into people’s passion for football, and how much people have to keep at stake for the actualisation of their dreams. Bulla, for example, even though hasn’t won a single match in 30 years, refuses to let go of his beloved dream even though there’s a more lucrative offer at hand. It’s a heartwarming, and often times heartbreaking, look into the lives of people without much of a choice, but with big dreams of living a better life. The passion for football is also evident in the movie, with Antonio, Bulla, and the whole team trying their best to make their team proud.
One of the best parts of The Match, however, is its strong performances. Every actor seems to have their characters nailed and plays it with so much passion that you are bound to feel their pain. Although the story does become sluggish sometimes, it definitely does do a good job of pulling on your heartstrings. It gives a nice look into the sacrifices that go behind living out your passions and does not shy away from showing you the truth on your face.
Summing up: The Match
The Match, with its football craze and characters rooted in reality, does a fairly good job at telling a compelling story. Its 1 hour 36-minute runtime tries to keep us entertained, and it mostly does. However, there were certain scenes that I felt went on for too long. However, the believable performances made up for it. The movie does its best to showcase the stories of desperate people with a passion, and the little twist at the end makes you wonder, and also feel bad for its characters. They really don’t have a choice with the corruption all around them. It’s a bit heartbreaking.
The Match is streaming on Netflix.
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