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TIFF 2017 Review: “Borg/McEnroe”: (2017) ★★★★★


It’s always a complete joy watching sports drama whether it’s about football, soccer, hockey or karate. But when the film you watch is based on a true story between two dissimilar men who found themselves on the tennis court for two different reasons, it is, I must admit, something which can never go wrong.

Set in 1980’s, there’s a legendary Swedish tennis player chasing his fifth Wimbledon title. The American John McEnroe, his first one. Both men share different personalities, background and vision on the court. One must be controlled psychologically, another one can’t handle his own emotions. When those two men, that ended up in history as the greatest rivalry, are about to challenge each other during the final game – nothing can stop them except one thing – the lack of readiness somewhere deep in their mind. But whatever the outcome will be – the final game for the championship title will never be forgotten.

Through the flashbacks we learn the Bjorn Borg’s struggle before he becomes the youngest player ever to play at Wimbledon or at the Davis Cup. McEnroe is a whole different story. His mathematical skills, analytical mind and ability to see the game through his calculation enables him to predict his opponent’s movement and beat them before the game even starts. The only problem McEnroe has, but rather two: inappropriate use of language and the audience that does not like him at all. But the night when Bjorn and McEnroe begin their final match – it will change the course of tennis, the love of people to McEnroe and the destiny of two men that nobody would see it coming…

The most outstanding part of Janus Metz`s film was incredible performances delivered by Stellan Skarsgard as Borg’s mentor and coach Lennart Bergelin (Stellan Skarsgard) who knew how to control and navigate Borg’s energy; Shia Labeouf who seemingly was born to portray McEnroe and Sverrir Gudnason as the Swedish tennis legend, who well captured the emotional struggle of a man, his love for tennis and his inability to handle the loss. All these elements were well executed turning BORG/MCENROE into the amazing trip back to 1980s, where we all have to witness the history and relive it all over again but through the silver screen.


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