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Passion of the game reflects Firth's true talents
on 22 December 2009
Teacher Paul Ashworth (Firth) has always been an avid Arsenal football club supporter and when he starts dating a fellow teacher his love for the sport clouds his other purposes in life.
The first thing that will strike you about Fever Pitch is that it has the most boring opening to a film in all of time. The second thing you will see is the appreciation the film has of all emotions relating to the beautiful game and how it affects beliefs, life and so forth.
Being a fan of British cinema I let the sleepy beginning slide and sat back to watch the film grow into this intriguing reflection on the football side of life and how Colin Firth brandished out on his typecast lover's role for once and created a remarkable shot at a man lost in a world of sport.
Bridget Jones, Pride and Prejudice, Mamma Mia and Love Actually. The common factor is? You're right, they're all awful. But they are all also romantic comedies and star Mr Firth as a brandished eye candy for the female viewers. I've never personally been his biggest fan, and like Hugh Grant in About a Boy, it is good to see him brandish away from the Prince Charming perception and dive more into drama. This hard nosed football fanatic is a glorious exploration of obsession with no way of real world understanding and having seen many of his films, he to me has never bettered this. But with A Single Man due next year critics are suggesting it's his time for an Oscar.
Sadly we can never fully escape his typecast and we see a love interest inserted to balance out the good and bad of his football obsession. This is almost as ridiculous as Love Actually, there was a brief laugh and then they're snogging, having argued previously in the week. Her jealousy and animosity completely contradicts what is to follow it and Ruth Gemmell in all honesty, brings little but negative vibes to the film.
As a fan of football I found the representation quite an accurate depiction of the way the football world used to be and how we as neutrals watched with eager anticipation to see our favourite players march onto the field to the cheers and plaudits of the crowd. Now in a world where we see players selling perfume with their wives (Beckham) and more stories off field than on (manager sackings etc) it has been quite a while since the game has really been viewed as a game of sport and not of tabloid tales. This film however looks beyond the press and sees it as purely a fan's perspective, which benefits it.
The scene in the stadium that introduces Ruth Gemmell to the game is a great collaboration of fan's passion and youthful exuberance.
The final game we see is a title decider and whether you support Arsenal or not you will be gripped with the fans on screen to see the outcome. Despite major flaws with flashbacks, narration and love interests David Evans has created a good intended drama that is a good reflection of fans emotions to the game.