This film had me on the edge of my seat even though we already knew the outcome.
Wimbledon, 1980, we’ve come to the final of the men’s singles, reigning number one tennis player Björn Borg is playing for his fifth Wimbledon title.
The challenger John McEnroe, the up and coming tennis player who wants to win and make a name for himself.
Directed by Danish filmmaker Janus Metz who said he wanted to focus on exploring the inner turmoil of Borg and McEnroe.
“The film deploys visceral cinematography with lots of handheld and steady-cam stressing a sense of immediate presence and realism,” said Metz.
Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason is well cast with an uncanny physical resemblance to Borg whereas Shia LaBeouf though looking less like McEnroe his personality both on and off screen is what makes his performance believable.
Over the course of the film we see the weeks leading up to Wimbledon as well as flashbacks of Borg and McEnroe as teenagers first starting out in tennis.
Only in their early 20s each athlete is already imprisoned in their careers with the industry calling them “Ice Borg” and “Superbrat”.
At the heart of this film we see what it takes to be an elite athlete with the pressure and anxiety of the whole world watching them.
Stellan Skarsgard plays Borg’s coach Lennart Bergelin who helped Borg with his anxiety and anger issues throughout the years.
We see that McEnroe and Borg are very similar and the two rivals realise that they understand each other.
When watching this film, it reminded me of Ron Howard’s Rush (2013) about the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
Overall the film is shot beautifully especially the final match with overhead shots that build intensity and keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
I would definitely recommend going to see this biopic as I enjoyed the insight, cinematography and acting.
Borg vs McEnroe will be screening at UWA’s Somerville cinema from 18-24 December. Or at ECU Joondalup Pines 26-31 December.
Click here for more information and to book tickets https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/borg-vs-mcenroe