Bland it like Beckham: an emotionless Netflix documentary about the ex-footballer’s life

Beckham is a documentary series full of nostalgia, glory and passion – so why does it struggle to scratch beneath the surface?

Released yesterday, the new Netflix series ambitiously attempts to tell the story of David Beckham’s legendary career, as well his journey to becoming a pop culture icon.

The documentary, directed by academy award winner Fisher Stevens, is a first class example of how to blend archival footage with current day interviews.

Footage from Beckham’s adolescence, his legendary career and the media circus that surrounded him build a beautiful sense of nostalgia and longing for a time gone by.

Credit: Netflix

The editing and soundtrack also blended together to create palpable excitement and kept a quick pace.

It showed the Beckhams as you’ve never seen them before – David as a beekeeper and Posh with a personality.

But it’s the documentary’s interviews that fall short of excellence.

The first episodes explore the immense controversy Beckham found himself in after his notorious red card during the 1998 England v Argentina World Cup game.

Beckham begins to open up about the extreme backlash he faced after the game saying: “I wish there was a pill that you could take that could erase certain memories.

“The whole country hated me.”

Credit: Netflix

But while his words seemed to convey the pain and pressure he felt during the following media storm, it was said with minimal emotion.

Beckham seemed to only touch the tip of the emotional iceberg, never quite allowing his feelings to be fully expressed.

It wasn’t just Beckham’s flat responses that fell short, the documentary’s editing failed to capitalise on any moments that did show any real feeling.

In the final episode, Posh and Becks finally discuss the affair rumours that plagued their marriage during the football legends stint at Real Madrid.

Surprisingly, it was Victoria who discussed the topic with the most honesty.

“It was probably, if I’m being honest, the most unhappy I have ever been in my entire life” she said.

But just as she begins to open up, it cuts away.

The pair never confirm nor deny the affair, instead opting to talk about the media storm that surrounded them – picking at the emotional scab, but never letting it bleed.

Credit: Netflix

On a technical level, the interviews felt sloppy. They were often poorly lit and included the directors voice so regularly that it continuously broke the wall between subject and observer.

It was, however, an excellent love letter to Beckham’s incredible career overall and showed brilliant chemistry between the couple – reminding you why the country fell in love with them in the first place.

So, if you’re looking for a documentary full of 90s and 00s football nostalgia, you won’t find anything better.

But if you’re looking for one that explores the ups and downs of his personal life – it might be one to miss.

Main Image: Beckham on Netflix

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