‘Baggio: The Divine Ponytail’ Review: Dribbling Through a Career

“Baggio: The Divine Ponytail,” a Netflix biopic billed as “freely inspired” by the lifetime of the Italian soccer participant Roberto Baggio, concludes with a group of the athlete’s followers greeting and applauding him. In real-life clips in the course of the credit, an announcer calls him “probably the most beloved player in Italian football.” It’s a measure of how muddled the film is that it by no means conveys how or why he turned beloved.

Even the soccer is perfunctory. Instead of lingering on the pitch, the director, Letizia Lamartire, cuts to Baggio’s family and friends watching on TV. Chronologically malapportioned, the movie races by means of key developments, reminiscent of Baggio’s restoration from an harm or dedication to Buddhist meditation, and greater than as soon as abruptly flashes ahead a number of years.

Clichés turn out to be a form of shorthand. At dinner in 1985, Baggio (Andrea Arcangeli) informs his mother and father and siblings that he’s signed a precious contract. “Well, you can pay me back for the windows you broke,” scoffs his father (Andrea Pennacchi), who later provides, “Even if you earn more, you’re no better than your brother, who’s busting his ass at the factory.”

By half an hour in, when the movie reaches the 1994 World Cup, the place Baggio plans to meet an obvious childhood promise to his dad, the coach likens him to the celebrated participant Diego Maradona. Nothing the movie has proven from the sulky Baggio, whose hair offers him his nickname, has primed viewers for the comparability.

It’s potential that “Baggio: The Divine Ponytail” will resonate with soccer followers. But the protagonist’s reputed greatness has not made it to the display.

Baggio: The Divine Ponytail
Not rated. In Italian, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 31 minutes. Watch on Netflix.