There was Amy, and there was Senna, but there was a public Maradona and a separate, private Diego. The ways their imperatives often conflict are the sustained topic of the movie; as his trainer Fernando Signorini says at the end, “Maradona drags Diego around wherever he goes” Diego Maradona full movie download.
Signorini, along with Napoli manager Corrado Ferlaino and (to a lesser extent) Maradona himself, is one of the key interviewees whose commentary appears throughout the film, which focuses on the footballer’s period at Napoli from 1984 to 1991.
But its story is conveyed not only in their words: at least as much of it depends on the incredible footage Kapadia has assembled, with such a quantity even from the earliest years and the private life that it’s tempting to think some must be staged (it wasn’t; perhaps the existence of Maradona ensured Diego didn’t have much of a private life…).
It’s so consistently compelling that the sometimes very low quality never matters, and Chris King’s editing is masterful: he gives each clip enough time to sink in and speak to us, never rushing (and only rarely resorting to the documentarian’s cheap trick of slo-mo).
Mostly, the movie follows a one-two rhythm: an on-pitch scene, an off-pitch one, then back to the stadium. Perhaps the footballing sequences are a little heavy on goals and triumphant hugs, and it would have been nice to see more of the mundane moments – simply watching Maradona’s control of the ball, weaving through apparently overwhelming opposition, is often more compelling than the goals themselves.
But even so, they’re beautifully presented, notably in the tense Argentina-Italy World Cup semi-final in 1990 that spelled the end of Maradona’s popularity in Napoli when he was obliged to take a decisive penalty kick against Italy.
Brilliantly, at this critical moment Diego Maradona doesn’t show the ball going into the net: it keeps the man on-screen instead. For a moment we can see Diego, whose life is about to disintegrate, as a victim of Maradona, whose footballing genius gave him no alternative but to defeat the country that had hosted and feted him for years.
There’s some outstanding off-pitch material, too, particularly a silent shot of Diego seemingly alone and pensive at a Napoli Christmas party after the Argentina match; Diego Maradona full movie download is an object lesson in how visual mastery, and not just content, can make a documentary.
It’s not perfect. There’s a tendency to melodrama when the issue of Diego’s substance abuse comes up – the footage becomes, literally, darker as cocaine is first discussed, and is then posterised into black and red when allegations about drugs and prostitutes go public. The score by Antonio Pinto, usually low-key and supportive of the narrative rather than assertive in itself, is briefly maudlin when Maradona is arrested.
More problematically, Kapadia sometimes ducks questions: for example the degree of his subject’s complicity with the Camorra organised crime group, and the extent to which the Argentina match was the sole issue leading to his Neapolitan downfall, or just the last straw. It’s vague on his personal relationships and for a long time completely drops the issue of his extra-marital girlfriend and child, although it’s revisited at the end.
Indeed, to a large degree Diego Maradona is – despite its title – primarily about Maradona and his effect on Diego, only concerned with the private man insofar as the stardom affected him, rather than a more rounded portrait. We see both the success and the fall of the footballer, but only the ruination of the individual.
Within that limitation, though, it’s an outstanding documentary, as absorbing as Kapadia’s Senna or James Erskine’s Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist.
Maradona – or perhaps Diego – says at the beginning, in a quiet, reflective moment straight after the super-kinetic title sequence: “When you’re on the pitch life goes away, problems go away, everything goes away.”
Yet Diego Maradona makes it clear, with superbly chosen visuals and a great sense of the story’s big sweep as well as some illuminating tiny details, how the problems prevailed.
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