I went to the Watershed last night to see Ben A Williams’s “The Pass” – about an ambitious footballer leading a life of denial. Here’s a very rough synopsis: it tells the story of three nights over 10 years in the life of a Premier League footballer, Jason (quite brilliantly played by Russell Tovey); it’s about fame, celebrity, talent, arrogance and aspiration (I WAS going to write ‘goals’!!)… but it’s also about lies, fortune, excess, image, selfishness, desire (in both senses of the word) and repressed sexuality – within the hyper-masculine and very public world of professional football.
The other principal character is Ade (again, wonderfully
played by Arinze Kene) – who, in the first of the ‘three nights’, is sharing a
hotel room in with Jason before an important European match… including, out of
the blue, sharing a kiss (the film title thus providing a clever double-meaning
to ‘making a pass’ in a sexual and footballing sense). The dialogue and acting
in this scene are quite brilliant – a combination of pre-match nerves,
locker-room banter and teenage nonsense.
By the last of the ‘three nights’, ten
years on, Jason is coming to the end of his career, nursing an injury, living
off his somewhat fading reputation as a player and seeking to secure one final
lucrative deal to end his career (possibly in a new football league in India?).
You get the general idea…
It’s a very impressive, tough, powerful film which deals with
the stereo-typical ‘more-money-than-sense’ football star image, but also about
ego, relationships… and loneliness.
I found it utterly
compelling… and yet (perhaps it’s just my unhealthy contempt for rich
footballers?), it really wasn’t quite my cup of tea (or even coffee!).
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