"“I was, more often than I should have been, laughing at certain parts that weren’t actually supposed to be in any way humorous...”"

When I went to see Will, I thought it wise to take my Liverpool-supporting friend along with me, due to the plot and nature of the film. However, you certainly don’t need to be a fan of football to warrant seeing this film, but you do, on the other hand, need to be under twelve to enjoy it.

The film follows the tale of eleven year old Will (Perry Eggleton), who attempts to see his beloved Liverpool play in the Champions League final, all the way in Istanbul, Turkey. Will’s father Gareth (Damian Lewis) promises he’ll take his son with him, before he unexpectedly passes away, resulting in poor Will becoming an orphan. Will feels that it’s his duty to go and see the game, even if it means travelling across Europe by himself, with little support nor money. Escaping from his boarding school, he has to take a trip through Paris, via Bosnia, in order to reach his desired destination, befriending ex-footballer Alek (Kristian Kiehling), along the way.

The premise is strong, not just because I am an avid football fan – but because it had the potential to tell a poignant, gripping, coming-of-age tale, but instead was over sensational, corny and downright ridiculous in parts. A child’s imagination is already strong enough, so there’s simply no need to depict such an unnecessarily theatrical outcome to this feature.

I think that, despite being fully aware that it was for kids, it was still over-dramatic and too idealistic. Perhaps it was simply because I was expecting it to be more pragmatic and sentimental. I’m sure I wouldn’t have minded it when I was 10 years old, but I remain sure that I would have thought it too preposterous (not to mention the fact that I support Tottenham!) In truth, it got so daft that at one point I thought the filmmakers may have rewritten history and have Will nod in a last-minute winner at the far post, to win the illustrious trophy for Liverpool.

For me, one of the strong points to the film, initially at least, was the football game itself that Will was desperate to get to. This is billed as one of the greatest football occasions of recent history, involving Liverpool and AC Milan playing out a 3-3 draw, with Liverpool winning the match on penalties, having come back from being three goals down. However, despite the romanticism and luminosity of the cup final, themes that filmmaker Ellen Perry was attempting to touch upon within the feature, we weren’t even shown any highlights from the game itself, and the exceptional comeback that Liverpool performed wasn’t even mentioned at all. I didn’t understand this as I felt to build up to a final, especially one as remarkable as this, and then not portray or emphasise it in any way, was quite odd and generally unsatisfactory.

There is a positive to the feature, which is the strong debut performance from Eggleton. He has a maturity which shone through as he seems to take on the lead role of Will effortlessly. Also, while we’re on the subject of positives, I thought that the opening credits were fantastic.

However, the film lacked integrity and bore a measly and far too conspicuous script. I was, more often than I should have been, laughing at certain parts that weren’t actually supposed to be in any way humorous. 

To sum up Will, perhaps a little melodramatically, my Liverpool-supporting friend who watched the feature alongside me, turned to me at the end and simply muttered, “Well that just tainted one of the greatest occasions of my life.”