The consensus on the new Ronaldo movie is that the film does little more than to advertise the CR7 brand and show off Ronaldo’s abs.
The WSJ did a minute by minute break-down of the documentary in a flourish of
catty essential journalism noting that the most prominent image of Ronaldo is him shirtless.
“In the 89-minute film, he spends 3:45 with his shirt off. That’s a full 39 seconds longer than he’s shown playing for Portugal, and far outstrips the mere 19 seconds in which he wears the colors of Manchester United, the club that turned him into a star.”
Is this really a surprise given Ronaldo’s launch of an underwear line along with the rumor of his daily regiment of 3,000 sit-ups?
No, in fact it could be spun as some high-quality branding and screen time. But even if you overlook what seems like blatant branding for the CR7 brand you’re still left with a movie that just doesn’t do much.
Cristiano is never challenged or put forward as anything less than a boy who dreamed of being the best, worked hard, and now conceivably is. Audiences are treated to a view into the world of what appears to be an egomaniac.
But viewers are then torn because it’s clear that his egomania is fed into by everyone who has the privilege to be considered a part of the star’s inner circle. His own mother goes on camera to say that watching her son’s success is killing her,
“At one point his mother, Dolores, is filmed inside a chemist’s handing in a prescription for sedatives because she can barely take the stress of watching him play.”
“‘Its quite complicated to be the mother of a player who needs to win,’ Dolores explains. ‘I suffer a lot.’”
His agent acts as his father and brother and spends nearly all his time on his cell phone or praising Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Mendes is always there to fluff that ego and tell him he is better than Messi, and everybody else. It is far more than just the usual player-agent relationship.”
Their mutual love for himself/one another is encompassed in Ronaldo’s praise of his agent,
“He is the Cristiano Ronaldo of agents.”
Near the end it’s clear to the viewer that Ronaldo does live an isolated and seemingly lonely life. He’s practically an alien even amongst friends, and you wonder if there is a genuine happiness underneath his drive to be the best looking/playing/selling footballer ever.
The biggest tragedy, the thing that hits home the hardest though, is that as the viewer you know that the whole film has been watched and approved by CR7 himself, and you can see how absurd, fabricated, and lonely the greatest soccer player in the world’s life can be,
but why can’t he?