Sunday, 17 March 2013

Will (2011)

A warm family film about football and involving Liverpool Football Club is Will. Although the film is a vehicle to show the loyalty and length which fans of a football club will go as well as comradeship which can develop, it begins with a heart rendering situation in which a boy loses both his parents.


Will is an eleven year old in a convent boarding school because his father cannot cope following the death of his wife and the boy’s mother. He reappears unexpectedly one day calling at the Inn which his friend Davy manages (Bob Hoskins) to claim his old room and explains that he has worked through his grief and now wants to reunite with his son who he visits to the concern of the school head  given his failure to keep in contact and having made false promises. 


He takes the boy to his mother favourite picnic spot and then surprises with providing two tickets for them to travel to Turkey to watch Liverpool play Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final. He tells the head of his plans to settle in the area and for the boy to become non residential. She takes charge of the tickets. The horrific double tragedy occurs when father does not arrive for a visit and it is Hoskins who has the task of informing that his father had died from a brain tumour.


It is at this point that film begins to have similarities with Africa United in which a young football player with the possibility of being good enough to play for his national side makes his way to South Africa for the World Cup, revealing something of the reality of Africa to day with boy soldiers, militia, poverty, lack of educational opportunities and health care. In this instance Gareth, played by Damian Lewis, has an ally at the school that helps him first break into the head’s study for the match tickets and then leaves the school where he turns to Hoskins who explains that he cannot help him.  Fortunately an assistant has brought the takings to be safed and while Hoskins is contacting the school, Gareth takes the funds and makes his way to France.


He has his money stolen but fortunately again makes contact with a former professional footballer from Yugoslavia who works as delivering goods and helped to get across the channel..


He is persuaded to take Gareth to Turkey despite publicity throughout Europe to be on the look out for the boy. He takes him to his family village where the reason for his leaving football is revealed. He had returned to the village with footballs for the children and one of these had been kicked by a young blind boy into a cordoned area where there was unexploded ordinance from the civil war. The boy dies and Alek (Kristan Kichling) stopped playing football and vowed not to return.


They meet up with Liverpool supporters on their way by coach who do not advise the police when questioned that they have any knowledge of the boy. Unfortunately the buy get to Turkey they find the tickets are fakes and Alek’s efforts to buy spare tickets fails. Fortunately they meet up with the Liverpool fans and then Kenny Dalglish spots the now famous boy at the Gates and arranges for him to enter, meet with the team and lead the team onto the pitch with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher accompanying him as them.


At one point Alek had been in contact with the school to alert that the boy was safe and had agreed to wait until the school head came to collect him, The head with the rest of school watch the game and are delighted to see that Gareth has made it and is able to go onto the pitch to receive the applause of all footballers.

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