Half Plus One
Forging A Dream
All Against Boca
Blood, Sweat and Glory
In a bid to snatch some of the limelight away from Amazon Prime’s impressive run of football documentaries, Boca Juniors Confidential sees Netflix take to the sun-soaked coast of Argentina for an in-depth look at Boca Juniors. While the series certainly sheds some light on the day-to-day running of this prolific club, poor editing and superficially produced drama hold this back from being a better documentary series.
Split across four episodes, Boca Juniors Confidential begins with showcasing pre-season training for the team across the first two episodes. The arrival of prolific striker Carlos Tevez sees an ongoing struggle between the three top strikers to be picked for the first team and a few injuries to key players highlight the intensity of the training regime they all undertake. The final two episodes rapidly fire through the season, switching between on-pitch action and face to face interviews with brief 2 or 3 minute snippets of matches, ending with the final day of the season and the outcome to the team’s championship race.
A brief history of the club, an insight to the fitness and training of the athletes and some really interesting shots featuring the self-proclaimed Number 12 (jubilant, musical fans) add some variety here but beyond that, there’s nothing showcased that hasn’t been done in a more glossy or polished way elsewhere. The on-pitch action is at times poorly edited and lacking in drama, accentuated by a profound lack of music and a barrage of repeating “Goal, goal, goal” by the commentary team every 20 or 30 seconds or so.
We all know Manchester City stormed the Premier League last year but in their documentary series games were injected with passion, drama and tension, spurred on through a great use of music, slick cinematography and passionate commentary. In Boca Juniors Confidential, we’re informed of the score before a ball has even been kicked and accompanied by a barrage of stock commentary phrases and a distinct lack of music making this quite the underwhelming football documentary.
It’s a shame the on-pitch action falters as the various elements off the field are generally well put together. A countdown to the number of days before a big match injects some much-needed urgency and seeing the gruelling training schedule along with the separate family lives of these players helps to give a grounded view, making good use of hand-held cameras and close-up shots during these segments.
Boca Juniors Confidential ticks all the boxes when it comes to presenting itself as an insightful football documentary but it lacks the excitement and passion seen in other series tackling this same subject. Despite some interesting bites of history and comprehensive elements to the day-to-day running of the club, poor editing and a lack of drama during the actual matches hold this back from being a better title. Boca Juniors Confidential feels underwhelming, failing to live up the high expectations we’ve come to expect from these documentaries thanks to Amazon Prime’s latest entries.