By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey
After much speculation, the biopic of Argentine footballer Lionel Messi will receive an official screening on July 2 in Río de Janeiro, right in the middle of the FIFA World Cup’s “round of sixteen”. Argentina is playing against Switzerland the day before for a spot in the World Cup’s quarter-finals, so it remains to be seen whether the movie will act as a beaming celebration or a conciliatory send-off for Argentina’s national team, which Messi captains.
The “docufiction”, simply titled “Messi”, is directed by Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia, best known as the creator of cult films like The Day of the Beast (1995) & Ferpect Crime ( 2004), and more recently Witching and Bitching (2013). Spanish production studio Mediapro is behind the movie. Judging from the trailer, it looks like the director’soutrageous style has been dropped in favor of a more serious tone. De la Iglesia traveled earlier in January to Messi’s hometown Rosario, where he shot at Messi’s former home, his primary school and the Newell’s Old Boys Stadium where he used to play.
The movie, written by coach Jorge Valdano, is equal parts documentary – interviewing footballers like Javier Mascherano and Gerard Piqué, and national team coach Alejandro Sabella – and dramatization, specifically of Messi’s childhood and road to fame and glory. Spanish child actor Marc Balaguer will play young Messi. Besides the World Cup premiere no commercial release dates have been given for Spain or Argentina, but in the meantime here’s the trailer:
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