The Sporting Film - Borg Vs McEnroe
Tennis : Legendary rivalry brought to life
Although this is not a new release, many of you might be getting the chance to see it on your preferred streaming service around now. Also as Summer approaches in the UK, the usual hysteria surrounding Wimbledon will surface, and old footage of years gone by will once more fill our screens.
Tennis has never made a successful transition to the silver screen. Actors can't be expected to learn technique, and the sport itself is as much mental as physical, which again is hard to portray accurately.
This film however does a pretty good job of capturing not only the essence of one of the great sporting rivalries, but the essence of the battle between oneself, as much as ones opponent.
Sverrir Gudnason plays a wonderful Borg. His looks are strikingly similar, but his mannerisms, demeanour and overall performance is wonderful. Shia LaBeouf does a good job as McEnroe, which surely must be one of the hardest of roles to play.
The amazing thing about the film is that the two look like they can play, and the shots they play are reminiscent of the players right down to the small details. Borg letting go of his left hand on the double handed backhand is highlighted from scenes of the Swedish maestro as a child. Some nice touches like this are littered through the film.
It's the best tennis film out there, without much competition, and is generally a good narrative of what were memorable times in the sport. It is unlikely such a rivalry will capture the worlds attention in the same way again.