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The Underappreciated Pelé Biopic That's Definitely Worth Your Time

The mere mention of the name Pelé immediately invokes strong feelings for those with an affinity for the sport known as football in most of the world, or soccer for those in the United States. A legendary Brazillian footballer, Pelé played the position of forward, and his name is easily one of the most recognizable in the sport, acting as somewhat of a figurehead representative like Michael Jordan in basketball, Wayne Gretzky in hockey, or Tom Brady in American-style football. Even now, Pelé maintains a Guinness World Record for most career goals scored by a football player, with a staggering tally of 1,279.

Unfortunately, as reported by NPR, Pelé passed away at the age of 82 in December 2022 due to complications involving colon cancer. Born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento, his death was originally announced by his daughter Kely Nascimento on Instagram, who wrote: "Everything we are is thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."

Considering how much of an impact Pelé had on global sports, it makes sense as to why a biopic would eventually be released chronicling his famous life, and it is definitely worth a watch for those lamenting the great star's passing or craving a movie about the sport.

Pelé fans should definitely check out his 2016 biopic

2016 saw the release of the biopic film "Pelé: Birth of a Legend," which stars US actor Vincent D'Onofrio, as well as Kevin de Paula as Pelé, Diego Boneta, and Mariana Nunes. This particular movie isn't an-all encompassing affair that covers all of the moments in Pelé's notable life, but instead focuses on his upbringing and eventual accession to a professional footballer, and eventually to his first World Cup win in 1958. The YouTube trailer illustrates what viewers may expect from the film, which is how important football is to Brazil, and a young Pelé's drive to earn his country a World Cup. Although initially struggling to find his place in the world, the young Pelé begins to understand his latent skill and prowess.

Biography.com's review on Rotten Tomatoes for "Pelé: Birth of a Legend" states: "The film's predictability is counterbalanced by a terrific score comprised of several styles of Latin music, colorful production design, lots of special effects, and some memorable plays by the child actors who portray Pelé."

Similarly, The Times of India wrote: "The good points outweigh the bad, and if you're a football fan, you'll realize why football's 'the beautiful game' description came to be associated with Pele." In other words, if one is reeling from the prolific footballer's passing, or if one would like to celebrate the early life of the star, then one should check out "Pelé: Birth of a Legend," which is available for purchase on Amazon Prime or viewable with an AMC+ or IFC Films Unlimited subscription.