When you start watching a documentary film that comes from the makers of Senna and Amy, some of the best of the genre, the expectations are high. As a football fan, a biopic about one of the greatest of all time is a mouth watering prospect. I'm afraid Ronaldo left me sorely disappointed on both counts.
This film takes you through Ronaldo's journey from humble beginnings in Madeira to the 'mansion with the fish tank window' in Madrid where he wakes up every morning. His family and friends tell you why he's such an amazing person for managing to achieve what he has and how he makes all of their lives better. And it goes on for a while. Yes, there are moments, whenever Ronaldo's mother got screen time, she managed to say interesting things, including a fascinating account about a prospective abortion during her pregnancy with Ronaldo. His brother chimed in at one stage to share a bit of his own story, and how Ronaldo plays a part in his life now. In the backdrop of him never getting to really know his own father, Ronaldo's relationship with his son Cristiano Jr. plays an important role in this story. Ronaldo's moments with his son are heartening in the sense that superstardom hasn't managed to come in the way of what type of father he is to his child. We learn that Ronaldo is good father, but it's also clear that the directors are desperate to force the point with this issue. Ronaldo repeatedly keeps asking his son for hugs and kisses, and knowing that he's aware of the cameras pointed at him while he does that, the directors fail to decisively make the point they're trying to force.
The people whose accounts make up the movie include members of his family and his agent and best friend, Jorge Mendes. None of them have one bad thing to say about Cristiano, and halfway through the movie, you start to get bored because having established that Ronaldo is a great person, this movie was screaming out for something else. None of his teammates or ex-managers get to say anything and that's disappointing because the world knows Ronaldo as a footballer, how he is in the dressing room and with his colleagues is important to understand the kind of person he is.
Ronaldo's arrogance has been the greatest source of scrutiny for his critics for years, and in this movie, Ronaldo embraces it. He believes it's a part of his success and that sets the tone for some obvious showing off that you'll find throughout the movie. Ronaldo plays a game with his son where Jr. has to guess which car is missing from the garage. After making failed attempts with Porsche and 'the Rolls….', he manages to say Lamborghini. If that scene was one with the two of them kicking a ball in the yard instead, it'd probably have been nicer.
Ronaldo's obsession with Ballon d'Or is made evident through this film, and that comes from his determination to be the best in the world, also evident. Ronaldo manages to say things about CR7 you could have guessed, and it doesn't break any ideas the world has of him. If you always liked Ronaldo, you'll find reasons in this movie to like him more. If you never did like him, it does nothing to change your view of that.