Federer: Twelve Final Days movie review- A teary send-off for the sporting legend of our times

22 June,2024 04:17 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Johnson Thomas

This documentary that started off as a home video never intended for public viewing, ends up as a moving tribute to the sporting legend who finally decides to call it a day

Federer: Twelve Final Days movie review

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Film: Federer: Twelve Final Days
Cast: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray
Director: Asif Kapadia, Joe Sabia
Rating: 2.5/5
Runtime: 100 min.

This documentary that started off as a home video never intended for public viewing, ends up as a moving tribute to the sporting legend who finally decides to call it a day. This film captures the final chapter in Roger Federer's legendary tennis career. We see glimpses of his childhood, teens, adulthood on the tennis courts, him grappling with the after-effects of multiple surgeries, trying his hand at a comeback and then finally deciding to bow out from the competition.

The film features Roger, his wife Mirka, his four children, his parents, his entourage and contemporaries Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, legends like Bjorn Borg, McEnroe, Jim Courrier, Mary Joe Fernandez, and also the Gen Next of Tennis some of whom are set to participate in the Laver cup - which Federer chooses as his swansong. We also get to see 16,500 weeping fans heartbroken by Federer's decision to quit and wishing him well in his future endeavors.

The contemporaries talk about their rivalries with him, the legends talk about Federer's game, it's multi-surface brilliance and beauty, his calm demeanor and the steadfast nature of his friendships and relationships. Federer himself reads out the announcement of his retirement quite calmly before finally giving in to nerves and emotions after his final competitive match, the Laver Cup doubles match with Rafael Nadal as his partner. This documentary has the limited purpose of giving us a look-see into the final twelve days before he hangs up his shoes - and that's what it does.

Other than the emotion expended in the final moments, there's little here to give you a deeper insight into the many struggles of the 41 year old tennis player whose career spanned over 2 decades and hit high-points that today's players might find hard to match-up. One thing it does though is show you that the legend was never a dramatic personality. He never exhibited any off-court drama or gave in to on-court excesses.

This may not be a compelling engagement for everyone but its certainly an interesting aspect of his fading career that is being captured on film. There's no great excitement foreshadowing the narrative. There were some tense moments before the reading of his retirement decision but other than that it's all calm and smooth sailing. Just like Federer himself - the no-nonsense attitude framed by on court brilliance. It's his on-court wizardry that everyone admired and that's something, the sheer quality of which you'd be hard-pressed to ever see again!

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