Having read endless books on the Busby Babes and the terrible events of Munich, you can forgive me for thinking a film about the disaster would bring little more to the table than I already knew; however ‘United’ surprised me, not only as the excellent portrayal of that harrowing day, but brought to life the real characters and personality of the players involved. It also for the first time emphasised the importance of the role that Jimmy Murphy (brilliantly portrayed by David Tennant) played in keeping the football club together, in what was its darkest hour.
‘United’ was beautifully put together and the filming encaptured what 1950s England was like in every regard. The filmmakers had clearly done their research and the portrayal of the muddy pitches, the back streets of County Durham, to the watering holes in Manchester brought authenticity to the proceedings and this sense of realism had you gripped. The filming of the actual crash, whilst harrowing, was done tastefully and appropriately, without the need to over dramatise the shocking event. It is clear that no stone was to be left unturned in this production which showed great sensitivity to all those involved with the event.
I suppose it would have been easy to do a Hollywood-esque blockbuster around the crash, like so many other tragedies have been depicted before, but ‘United’ wasn’t about that but instead focusing on the human response to tragedy and how a community came together as one to fight through it. It is a deeply moving movie and I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone watch it.
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