The English Game Review: A Well Mounted Netflix Series - 3 Stars (Out Of 5)
Cast: Edward Holcroft, Kevin Guthrie, Charlotte Hope
Director: Birgitte Saermose, Tim Fywell
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
The English Game, a six-episode Netflix 0riginal miniseries, resorts to freewheeling blend of fact and fiction to dramatise the emergence of modern football in a Lancashire mill town in the late 19th century on the back of two hired Scottish players. However, the ballgame that the sweeping period epic plays extends way beyond the football field and addresses the British class system and the social movement that led to the game being wrested for good from the control of the aristocracy.
The vast narrative canvas accommodates a range of realities: the dwindling returns of the northern England cotton mills, the hardships faced by the overworked and poorly paid factory workers, the indignities heaped upon women in the Victorian era, and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor. As social indices plummet, football becomes an escape route for the toiling masses, which, in turn, precipitates an overhaul of the game.