The English aren’t quick to forget former glories. So much so in fact that, even 50 years later, the topic of “our boys of 66” is still very fondly remembered. Rarely are you likely to see the Germans or Brazil creating quite such a fuss over one single World Cup victory, but then again they have nine between them to choose from. Such has been England’s woeful record in major football tournaments that, here we are, desperately clinging on to this one moment of success. From that vein comes Bobby, the latest biopic about the ephemeral English captain of that great side, and yet another method of spinning out our singular footballing success.
The film itself is what you would expect from a documentary about a footballer, with archive footage and clips from “that” World Cup final. The audience are treated to appearances from Harry Redknapp, Pelé, Geoff Hurst, and surprisingly Russell Brand. Perhaps more touching, however, are interviews from his first wife Tina Moore, discussing the darker side of Moore’s life, particularly his recovery from testicular cancer just two years before leading England to World Cup glory. That the footballing world didn’t even know about his illness until 2012 shows his determination for success, a fact which is repeatedly highlighted in the film.
Where Bobby slightly struggles, however, is making the man himself exciting. Senna, the outstanding documentary on the late Brazilian racing driver, was desperately fast paced and intriguing, partly due to the boisterous nature of Ayrton himself, and partly due to the subject matter (that being Formula 1 racing). Bobby suffers because despite the best efforts of the director archive clips of a defender defending aren’t particularly interesting. Whereas Pelé banging in goals for Brazil can take your breath away, Bobby Moore booting it into row Z elicits not much more than a raised eyebrow.
Overall, the documentary itself is very well put together, especially when discussing the lesser known aspects of Moore’s life, such as his insomnia, rejection by the FA and his depression. For fans of Bobby Moore and those desperate to cling to that memory of English success it will tick all the right boxes. For those who aren’t, it may leave a little to be desired.
Bobby is released in selected cinemas on 27th May 2016.
Watch the trailer for Bobby here: