Monday, July 6, 2015

Escape to Victory - Movie Review

This was a movie we missed during those school days and man was it one big regret. We'd hear endlessly from those who saw it about Pele's bicycle kick and kick ourselves in various ways (including the bicycle one) for missing out. Sylvester Stallone, Pele, football stars and mostly an escape film. We loved escape films. How did this one escape us? And then, a time when we did not know that technology would bring everything into our control, we thought we'd missed that film forever. It was tragic beyond words. We had to gulp our sorrow down.

Then I found this movie lying with a friend and got it home to open and savor it with care and love. Ah, this was the one that got away. So I sat down alone and watched the simple story of an Allies team of POWs take on a German team (second World War stuff) in an exhibition match. The Allies team is led by Michael Caine (his character Colby) who had been a professional footballer prior to getting mixed up in the war. He starts recruiting players, many of them great footballers. Meanwhile there is an escape plan too. Some training, some escaping by Hatch (Sly) who only knows American football, and some more intrigue before the heavily loaded game begins. Germany are quickly up 4-0. Pele is hurt, one key player injured out of the game. Bad referee. Allies play with 10 players hoping Pele will come back. Allies claw back, one goal, two goals, three. Pele comes in one hand incapacitated. Bicycle kick. Last minute penalty chance for Germans to go ahead. Super Sly makes a super save. Crowd charges in. Players escape in commotion. Escape to victory.

Mazaa aa gaya bhai. Worth waiting all these years. I can imagine how it must have been watching this movie in those fourteen year old minds. Escape. Freedom. Bicycle kicks. Fantastic.

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