The End of the Storm
It was impossible to miss one of the greatest sporting stories of the summer when Liverpool finally ended a 30-year wait to become the footballing champions of England. In The End of the Storm, Director James Erskine (Battle of the Sexes) attempts to offer the audience an inside account of the historic season. Promising exclusive access, never-before-seen footage and a slew of enlightening interviews with the stars of their triumph, the film unfortunately delivers on, well, none of the above.
The benchmark for football (and in a wider context, sporting) documentaries these days is set by the likes of the All or Nothing team at Amazon, the Sunderland ‘til I Die and Last Dance series on Netflix and the absorbing character studies of director Asif Kapadia (Senna, Maradona). Whereas the difficulty with a ten-part series might be filling the hours, The End of the Storm apparently struggled to find enough content for 90 minutes.
A strange order of importance is bestowed on the competition’s remarkable events. Why is a pre-season training camp in Evian, France, afforded even more time than the night Liverpool won the title, or even the game when they lifted the trophy? The picture boasts of exclusive access, but was the crew locked out of the celebrations fans most wanted to see?
An empty pop soundtrack clumsily fills some space and time between unedifying dialogues, as if it were single-handedly trying to inject some energy into proceedings. The undisputed star of the show, manager Jurgen Klopp, is to thank for providing the humour, entertainment and what little insight the feature gives into what makes this intensely high-achieving team tick.
Interlaced with interviews from the boss and his players are talking heads of a select few devoted admirers – getting the fans’ view in a way similar to Sunderland ‘til I Die – but those chosen, despite being from all corners of the globe, are almost uniform. Ultimately The End of the Storm is a confused highlight reel of a film. There is nowhere near enough focus on the actual matches throughout the season, and hardly any insightful commentary to make up for it.
The End of the Storm is released on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally on demand on 30th November 2020.
Watch the trailer for The End of the Storm here: