Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Class of '92 Review: Fame Doesn't Have to Change Us

Directors: Gabe Turner, Ben Turner 
UK Release Date: 29th November 2013
Running Time: 99 minutes 
Starring: David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Phil  Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs 
The Class of '92 is a documentary based on six talented football (soccer) players who rose from the youth ranks at Manchester United Football Club - one of the most well known teams in the world and who enjoyed success after success.  Directed by brothers Ben and Gabe Turner the documentary was able to film a get together of the selected six players to discuss their careers.  It also features interviews with footballing legends, Eric Cantona and Zinidine Zidane; film maker Danny Boyle and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.  You do not have to be a football lover to enjoy this documentary film as it links in the change in society and culture that was taking place through the nineties in the United Kingdom.
Six players, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, are the players this film champions as those who 'inspired a generation.'  All from humble beginnings they rose to fame playing for Manchester United from winning the FA Youth Cup in 1992 to winning the Treble in the 1998-1999 season. 

"In our eyes, we were just playing a game of football with our mates." - Paul Scholes

This documentary film is more about friendship for us here at M+F Reviews than it is about football. The films cuts from real interviews from throughout their careers to a recent meet up of the players and you can see nothing has changed.  They are laughing and joking about growing up together and you can see that deep down they are still the young boys they were when they first joined United.  The bond between them is ever present and it is really nice to watch. It is refreshing to see that fame does not have to change you and these six players show there modesty because to them they were just playing a game of football with their best friends. 
The Turner's have created a documentary film that is near on perfect with great balance between scenes. Clips of football matches cut to shots of Manchester and the UK during the same period showing how the two complimented each other. The people who feature as interviewees on the film give great insights into many different aspects, with the selection of those who discuss the relevant issues being spot on. It is not too football orientated and those who are interviewed are from different fields of expertise but they are able to still relate to the direction of the film. Tony Blair contributes by adding how politics were changing during the period and how Manchester United affected this.  Gary 'Mani' Mounfield (the bassist of The Stone Roses) provides great cultural insight while also demonstrating his passion for the club he supports. 
So what are they doing now? The idea for The Class of  '92 came from Gary Neville, now a top TV pundit/presenter for Sky Sports.  Ryan Giggs is the only player who still currently plays for the club even at the age of 40 while Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes are all associated with the club in coaching roles. David Beckham is in talks to buy a football franchise in the United States of America while also maintaining his reputation as a global superstar.
It certainly is a great documentary film that will inspire a generation - but not just footballers - film directors as well.  It is a fine example of how to make an excellent documentary and thanks goes to Gabe and Ben Turner for allowing The Class of '92 to be a superb watch for anyone. Do not be put off viewing the film because you do not like Manchester United - if you do this you will miss out on one of the best football/cultural/social film documentaries of recent times.
M+F Rating: 8/10


Reviewed by M+F Reviews.


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