Baggio: The Divine Ponytail review – rushed screenplay and haphazard narrative

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 26, 2021
Netflix film Baggio: The Divine Ponytail ending explained


The life journey of one of the greatest living legends of football through his injuries, arrogance, religious beliefs, and relationship with family and friends.

This review of the Netflix film Baggio: The Divine Ponytail does not contain spoilers. 

Netflix’s Baggio: The Divine Ponytail is an Italian film based on the life of one of the greatest footballers, Roberto Baggio. A true legend of the beautiful game; this film portrays the journey from a boy belonging to a working-class family to becoming probably the most beloved footballer of Italy.

Directed by Letizia Lamartire, this film focuses on Baggio’s personal feelings on achieving his goals in life than his professional career as a famous footballer. Of course, football is from the first frame of the film, but it is not about Baggio, the footballer, but rather about Baggio, the human. This approach seems different from other biopics, and the screenplay to justify this is very dull. It is too rushed that it ends up with key scenes underdeveloped throughout the movie. In addition, the abrupt time shifts and excessive fast pacing of the movie do not allow you to engage with the entire narrative.

Also, the important football match scenes are not designed well. The scenes in Baggio: The Divine Ponytail need more detail; it just brings footage of plays, with quick cuts of family members and fans watching the game on TV or hearing on the radio. For example, in a particular scene, it shows the first match is about to begin, and then it cuts to the post-match discussion. This kind of unmotivated editing gives you a jarring feeling and restricts your anticipation.

But the part which stands out the most is the depiction of his religious belief as a Buddhist. Some of the quotes about his life are very relatable. The philosophy of Buddhism actually signifies the whole life story of his great personality. His whole journey is well defined by this philosophy. That portion of the film is most memorable.

Coming to the acting, Andrea Arcangeli as Baggio is quite believable. He pulls off the role quite well. From his frustration, religious belief, relationship with his fans and family, he has done a good job. Among others, Andrea Pennacchi as his father, also does a good job. The complex father-son relationship is one of the important highlights of the film.

Baggio: The Divine Ponytail is a nice try, but it doesn’t become a memorable biopic of one of the greatest footballers of all time. But due to its rushed screenplay and haphazard narrative, it fails to engage you in the entire film. Though it can be a favorite among football fans, this is a one-time watch material as a normal film viewer.

Movie Reviews, Netflix