Thursday, March 29, 2007

Goal Tending

Who says foreign films are all about crying, opera-singing clowns? Get ready for a heaping, helping of testosterone Italian and Argentine style
The controversial life of legendary Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona (photo above) makes it to the big screen by Italian director Marco Risi.
Maradona who wowed fans with his skill, was also suspended from playing in Italy in 1991 for drug use and was kicked out of the 1994 U.S. World Cup after failing a doping test. He also suffered a heart attack in 1999 following a cocaine overdose.
The film, Maradona, The Hand of God (Maradona, la mano de Dios), takes its title from the controversial World Cup goal scored by Maradona in which he illegally used his hand. The film uses a series of flashbacks to take us through Maradona’s life. It ends with a corpulent Maradona, strong out on drugs and strapped to a bed in a mental ward, followed by a tagline that says he’s slimmed back down and has not lost his will to fight.
Maradona is played by Italian actor Marco Leonardi, whom audiences will remember from Cinema Paradiso, Like Water for Chocolate and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. It was shot largely in Buenos Aires and features an Argentine cast.
The film makes its debut in Rome tomorrow. Maradona played for Napoli, but during World Cup competition played for his home country, including the 1990 World Cup, when Argentina eliminated Italy from competition.