REVIEW: Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend (2019 – Documentary)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend — Directed by Alex Dell & Damien Piscarel.

The Making of a Legend is a French one-hour Netflix documentary about a famous French football player named Antoine Griezmann, who, in recent years, has become one of the frontmen for the French national team and a world-class player in Spain. In this documentary, Alex Dell and Damien Piscarel tell you the story of how Griezmann went from being a dismissed French talent to becoming a star player for the French national team that won the World Cup last year.

Griezmann is an outstanding football player, and I love watching him play ‘the beautiful game’. But the title of the documentary is a little bit of an embellishment. Griezmann is not the ‘legend of the game’ that the documentary’s subtitle would have you believe. And whenever the documentary insists or insinuates that he is at the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi — two of the best players to ever play the game — it is a huge over-exaggeration. Though he is the star of his team Atletico Madrid, he is by no means as good as those two.

Indeed, the original French subtitle of the documentary — Champion du Monde (champion of the world) — is more fitting for multiple reasons. Though the fact that the documentary is named after Griezmann would naturally lead you to believe otherwise, The Making of a Legend is much more interested in France and its achievement at the previous World Cup tournament than the actual subject of the documentary.

Now, that wouldn’t necessarily be a big problem if the documentary somehow managed to satisfyingly connect Griezmann’s journey with France’s, but I don’t believe it manages to do that. The behind-the-scenes shots of Griezmann with the national team are fun to watch, and it is, admittedly, intriguing to hear Griezmann say what happened on the football pitch at the World Cup from his perspective. But, seeing as the games go by fast (and the fact that not all of their games at the World Cup are discussed), this section of the documentary feels incomplete.

I was much more interested in seeing Antoine Griezmann’s career from the perspective of himself and his parents, but, even though we do get to hear his father discuss Antoine’s problems in getting signed to a French team, there isn’t enough here to justify a complete documentary. Perhaps if this documentary had had a more clear and direct focus on his career, then it might’ve actually been interesting to watch.

You see, the problem is that the documentary does little more than mention the important steps in his career. One controversial moment in his national team career is mentioned but not detailed whatsoever. His career at Sociedad is rushed through, and his time at Atletico seems like nothing else than a series of cup finals.

The one thing that I will say that I liked about the documentary, though, is the ending. That isn’t a thinly veiled joke at the expense of the documentary. No, I actually really liked what Dell and Piscarel touched upon towards the end. They very briefly mention the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, we get to see his sister discuss his reaction briefly, then, once he becomes world champion, we see Griezmann lose his cool in front of the camera when he is discussing the sacrifices his parents made in making his dream come true.

It is in moments like these that The Making of a Legend becomes even just slightly engaging or captivating. But the moments are over before you know it. There are worse ways to spend an hour on Netflix than watching Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend. Fans of Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid, or the French national team will likely enjoy this small glimpse into their star’s career. But it really is nothing more than a glimpse. The Making of a Legend is a much too hasty, superficial, and unbalanced documentary.

5.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.

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