Wed, 13 Nov, 2019

'The Damned United', An Extraordinary Story

By Asmit Ojha

Photo Courtesy: Asmit Ojha

The Damned United (2009) is about a footballing figure that dominated English football in the 60's and 70's. It brings into light the character and journey of Brian Clough, who guided a second division club Nottingham Forest to 2 consecutive European cups. Still regarded as one of the best managers in English Football history, the aura of the man is moving and fills any football fan with excitement and a journey worth witnessing.

The story begins with Brian Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor starting their journey at a second division club, Derby County and meeting the most dominant first division champions, Leeds United. Brian Clough is very vocal and resistant to the playing methodology of Leeds and their Manager Don Revy. Leeds beat them easily in the 3rd round of the FA cup but what hurts Clough more is snubbing of handshake by Revy and there begins the revival of Derby. Taylor, shown as a man capable of spotting players as none other has very good relation with Clough and they go on achieving things and winning titles none has done in history. Through the arrogance, going against club presidents and directors, Clough secures brilliant achievements. But, due to his over confidence and arrogance, he is sacked and the most entailing part is he ends up being at Leeds due to taking over of English National Team Manager by Revy. But, without assistant Taylor and continuous words exchange with principle Leeds Players, he brutally fails to succeed Revy. Then, their new journey begins, Clough reunites with Taylor and they go on to leading a second division team Nottingham Forest to successive European Cups for the first time in English History.

Many of 21st century Football fans may not have even heard of Clough, but that's not the reason to not watch this movie. Michael Seen has done full justification playing the part of Brian Clough. The story is never dull, there's always something happening. Though this movie may have come sometime late than it should actually have, we can always enjoy knowing what football was like in the past. We also know the culture and tradition of Football in England and what rivalry was like in the past days. This might not be everyone's cup of tea but it definitely gives Goosebumps to football lovers and you will never feel like you have wasted one and half hours of your life.

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