This oddly unsatisfying and misfiring sports activities drama was Sweden’s Oscar submission final 12 months; it fictionalises the real-life case of teen Swedish footballing prodigy Martin Bengtsson who was on the verge of the large time when he signed for Inter Milan in 2003, however give up quickly afterwards, affected by despair and suicidal ideas. He was put beneath the extraordinary stress of being handled like a child on the membership’s youth academy, but showered with the form of cash that buys sports activities vehicles whereas being topic to the needling suspicion that he might get dropped at any time.
Erik Enge performs Bengtsson, Alfred Enoch performs his pal Ryan and Frida Gustavsson performs his mannequin girlfriend Vibeke; writer-director Ronnie Sandahl (who scripted Borg McEnroe in 2017) can’t fairly determine if the issue is with the footballing system usually or with Bengtsson himself as somebody together with his personal psychological well being vulnerabilities. We get scenes with Bengtsson out clubbing together with his mercurial, jealous teammates – although he’s shyly and watchfully aside from the true unhealthy behaviour.
There are coaching scenes, matchplay scenes, and loads of lengthy, barely redundant closeups of Bengtsson’s stricken face, conveying … what, precisely? The movie comprises moments during which we’re invited to imagine that Bengtsson has points with self-harm, and with meals and OCD tendencies, however Sandahl appears additionally to wish to take the emphasis away from this type of purely private prognosis, and to speak in regards to the dysfunctional world of elite sports activities. But even on this level, the movie doesn’t fairly go in for the kill. The climactic disaster itself, a way more oblique and ambiguous drama than that which seems to have been the case in actual life, appears like a quite melodramatic fudge.
This can be a laborious film whose closing intertitles quite superciliously guarantee us that Inter Milan has made higher advances than different European golf equipment on defending its younger gamers’ psychological well being. That declare is as cloudy as all the things else.
Tigers is launched on 1 July in cinemas.