United Passions

There comes a time, when we heed a certain call. When some countries, must come united as one. That is basically the intro to We Are The World, and I am stealing it. But it is okay because I said so right now.

United Passions is about bringing people together, who share a passion, and uniting them under one. A federation of like minded individuals. One that is international. One where people are proud to associate with each other. One where people can talk about Football.

That’s right. FIFA. United Passions is about the founding and history of the organization that brings us the World Cup every four years and is totally fine with people dying in Qatar so the world cup can be there in 2020. They had quite a bit of controversy this year, with charges being put on many members, accepting bribes and kickbacks from announcers and and sports marketing organizations. This had led to situations like, I don’t know, Qatar having a world cup, and a shit ton of revenue going into these people’s hands.

So the fact that they also have a movie coming out to show how great they are is both terrible timing, and also just pathetic in the strongest sense of the word.

Despite the number of trophies awarded in this film, this film will be awarded no trophies.

This is the part of a review where generally I do a rough plot outline or synopsis to let you know what the movie is about. But you know what it is about. It is about the founding of FIFA, how it started, and things that happened in its history after the fact. As John Oliver put it, it is a sports movie about the executives, not the sports stars.

And I can’t be too detailed, because after about 10 minutes I realized how much of a piece of propaganda junk this was, and my brain started to shut off. So here are the bare essentials. Gérard Depardieu plays Jules Rimet, one of the original founders who had to convince everyone this was a good idea. He also might have been their first president? He really wanted Africans and South American’s to be treated with respect and have an equal chance of winning.

Sam Neill is Joao Havelange, who helps FIFA get bigger or something. Also eventually corruption. He is replaced by Sepp Blatter, played by Tim Roth, who totally gets the corruption out of the game. Totally. Also in real life not movie land, Blatter is one of the biggest components in the corruption scandal.

Also featuring Jemima West, Thomas Kretschmann, and Fisher Stevens.

And now the ball is in our court, viewers and soccer fans.

So I am taking these claims from Wikipedia, but I am sure they are sourced correctly. About the corruption and the film ignoring FIFA’s current reality and the decades of rumors:

Roth has said that he asked the filmmakers: “Where’s all the corruption in the script? Where is all the back-stabbing, the deals?” He said he attempted to convey these elements through his performance, saying: “It was a tough one. I tried to slide in a sense of it, as much as I could get in there.”[9] The film’s director, Frédéric Auburtin, claimed he inserted “ironic parts” into the film.

But after watching the film, all of this is hard to believe. There are no obvious winks at the camera or anything, so if anything was subtle, it was extremely subtle. Instead the film plays out like a dreamy Hallmark film. Sure there is some adversary. Like racism! They have to overcome racism! And uhh, some minor corruption. But they get through it and the good guys win and sportsmanship!

Basically everything about this movie is dreadful. I could only look at the clock waiting for it to end. They had some sports, but soccer itself wasn’t the focus so it was all terribly done. There was one point where it was a championship game of Brazil vs Uruguay, I think in Brazil. It would be their first win and the whole country was watching! But it was like an incredibly awkward montage. It kept fading out to black then fast forwarding to a later part of the game, with the narration all being from an announcer of the game. Add in shots of people looking anxious in the stands and listening on the radio. Except it faded at least 5-6 times and it was just so terrible.

Thankfully the tone didn’t go all over the place. It was consistently cheesy and shit. Everyone who watches this film will be united in their passions of “lack of interest” towards a second viewing.

0 out of 4.


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