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Goal! The Dream Begins

Released

Latest Home Video

Sep 12, 2006

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

118

Cast

Kuno Becker

Studio

2006 Buena Vista Pictures

Still shot from the movie: Goal! The Dream Begins.

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Reviewed by

OverallB+
ViolenceB
SexC
LanguageC
Drugs/AlcoholC
Run Time118

Making the Grades

Do you call the game played with a round, black and white ball, soccer or football? Your answer will likely reveal your geographic location -- as well as the probability of your fascination with the sport.

Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) from Los Angeles calls it soccer, and he has been passionate about the sport since his childhood. Yet despite an exceptional skill for the game, any ambitions of playing professionally are an unobtainable Goal due to his illegal immigrant status and humble circumstances. Then one day, he happens to catch the attention of Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane), a former scout for Britain's Newcastle United football (soccer) team. Impressed by the Mexican-born youth's talent, Glen pulls a few strings and arranges a tryout for the promising player, if he can get to England. For Santiago, that opportunity is when The Dream Begins.

But for his father (Tony Plana) the whole idea is a nightmare. Having lived in poverty his entire life, Hernan Munez has learned to depend upon the labor of his own hands, and not silly fantasies, in order to survive. Lending no emotional support, and having no cash to contribute, Santiago is left to figure out the financial arrangements on his own.

Money proves to be only the first hurtle the young hopeful will face. In his quest to be classed among the top soccer players (footballers) in the world, he will have to cut his family ties, cross an ocean, find his inner confidence, let go of his secrets, take a beating from the big boys, and get by on the good graces of others. It's a daunting journey requiring a lot of hard work (although not with his hands!).

Because this is a movie, there is really never any doubt Santiago will accomplish his goal. Instead, the unanswered questions are: How will he leap the many obstacles in his path and is he able to deal with the problems associated with success? Thankfully, the script manages to sidestep much of the possible sentimentality by providing room for character development, reasonable challenges, and ample evidence of effort expended for the rewards received.

Parents should be aware the heartwarming film includes depictions of sport violence and injuries, partying, alcohol abuse, and a mention of illegal drug use, along with a smattering of profanities, sexual slang terms and innuendo. As well, a soccer/football star (played by Alessandro Nivola) is portrayed as a playboy, whose implied sexual relationships involve one where he wakes up with two women. However, the story is quick to point out the negative consequences of such indulgences and exploits, while praising the virtues of determination, teamwork and pursuing one's dreams.

Those who identify themselves as football fans (and who likely reside outside of North America where the sport commands enormous audiences) will appreciate the appearances of many real life athletes, such as David Beckham, Raul Gonzalez, and Alan Shearer. There are also some of the team members from Newcastle United. Those who call it soccer (and live on the continent only recently made aware of this phenomenon) may find this fictional tale makes a great feel-good introduction to what the rest of the world is so excited about.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Goal! The Dream Begins.

What characteristics does Santiago have that make so many people willing to plead his case? How do these same qualities eventually affect the people around him?

What advice does Santiago give to his teammate? Why do you think the two players respond so differently to their opportunities to play soccer/football?

For more information about the real Newcastle United football team, see to their home page: http://www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Welcome

To learn more about the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) see: http://www.fifa.com/en/index.html

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Goal! The Dream Begins.

A female athlete with a desire to play soccer/football tries to emulate her hero in the movie Bend It Like Beckham. In Rudy, a young man goes through incredible obstacles to pursue his dream of playing American football.

News & Views About Goal! The Dream Begins:

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB PG Not Recommended for Young Children-----
ON PG
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Goal! The Dream Begins...

Although playing only in limited theaters in North America, Goal: The Dream Begins is bound to score big in the home entertainment market. Packaged with the DVD release are three featurettes, The Beautiful Game (examining the worldwide soccer phenomenon), Behind The Pitch (a look at how the script’s action scenes were put to film), and the Golden Moments of the FIFA World Cup (the best of the Federation Internationale de Football Association). An audio commentary with the filmmakers and the Happy Mondays Music Video Playground Superstar are also included. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound), Spanish and French, with Spanish subtitles.

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