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Diego Maradona Movie Review : A well-balanced cautionary tale
Diego Maradona Story: An in-depth look at the career of football legend Diego Maradona.

Diego Maradona Review: Documentaries traditionally use video interviews with their subjects, but Asif Kapadia prefers to let archival footage do most of the talking. Known for his work on ‘Amy’ and ‘Senna’, Kapadia has specialised in capturing the tragic lives of geniuses. Amy Winehouse and Ayrton Senna were both deceased, so he couldn’t interview them for the sake of the documentaries. But Kapadia uses the same approach for ‘Diego Maradona’ as well, filtering 500 hours of archival footage to present an authentic look into the colourful life of the football legend. The impact of this material is undeniable and lends a frenetic momentum as we follow Maradona's rise from humble beginnings to the top of the sport, and his subsequent fall from grace.

Born to a tough neighbourhood in the slums of Buenos Aires, Diego Armando Maradona became a football legend. The documentary brings perspective to those who aren’t into the sport by presenting events as they occurred and serving as a reminder of what made Maradona so successful. His ability to run circles around countless defenders while keeping possession of the ball is presented brilliantly. After a tough spell at FC Barcelona, his performance in Napoli lead the team to win the Serie A Italian Championship in 86-87. It’s easy to get absorbed by the euphoric mayhem that followed – this was an unprecedented event that turned the world upside down for the Italian city, and Maradona became a football god in the eyes of diehard fans. It’s also essential to understand how this hero-worship affected Diego.

As much as Maradona knew how to control a football, he had no idea how to balance his personal and public life. His shenanigans off the field were a whole different ballgame. His involvement with the mafia, allegations of an illegitimate son and indulging in drugs, all became instrumental in pulling Maradona off the pedestal he was placed. Asif Kapadia presents this sequence of events without passing judgement while making sure Maradona doesn’t come across as a saint either. The visuals speak for themselves and show a man full of contradictions – an irrepressible beast on the pitch, and a naïve child off it, it’s often hard to tell the distinction between Maradona, the football legend, and Diego, the self-professed ‘mama’s boy’. These multiple angles are presented for the audience to decide if a person’s achievements in any field, justify their irresponsible behaviour. With Asif Kapadia at the helm, ‘Diego Maradona’ is a well-balanced cautionary tale on the pitfalls of fame and glory.

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