Pele: Birth of a Legend is a very light sports entertainer that fails to capture the game in its truest form. It is not a good sports movie, but it is definitely a great entertainer if you are looking for something really frivolous to go with your frolic mood. It seems to have been helmed for those who aren’t really big fans of the game.


Pele: Birth of a Legend will let you have a glimpse into the life of Pele the true legendary footballer and throw some light towards his madding fad. Things that were pulling him down were all around him, and despite all the odds he shone through.

The movie tries to capture his street football shenanigans, adds in some humour, a pinch of dramatic spices and tries to bring in the forefront the popular Brazilian Ginga style that was Pele’s USP.


Despite how Pele: Birth of a Legend lodges in you some good vibes, it falls flat owing to its pathetic depiction. You constantly see drops of frustration on Pele’s brows, which really takes a toll on your spirits. If you are really looking for something extraordinary to happen given the mammoth sports figure he is, the movie lets you down so many times, you constantly wonder if something out of the box is going to happen. Even though it does, it is nothing akin what happens in a gut-wrenching live sports match.

Leonardo Lima Carvalho was a pleasant find. He made young Pele really endearing. His group shenanigans were a delight to watch. The starting bits of the movie were the best moments I would say. Even Seu Jorge who played Dondinho was great. Vincent D’Onofrio unfortunately had very little to play with in his baggage, but he performed his bits nicely.


Melodrama has been deliberately pushed in its frames and there is so much of it that it becomes really exhausting at times. When in the middle of the game players go in bullet mode to have a look at each other, you can almost imagine how implausible its dramatic elements must be.


There is a guest appearance by the legend himself at one point, which will bring a smile to your face. But that’s about it. Eventually you get to see one game in Pele: Birth of a Legend, but then it is smitten with so much melodrama that sports simply gets lost in those pointless close-up frames. Nothing wrong with watching it once though.