uno sguardo impietoso sul genere umano e un bianco e nero splendido.
chi vuole ridere non ci provi, gli altri non si dimenticheranno presto di Frank Machin - Ismaele
…The rugby games also have to be as dirty and real. The
camera gets down on the field with the players, catching every blow, all of the
blood and mud. Lindsay Anderson makes it so you can see the bruises forming on
the bodies and feel the crush of every powerhouse hit. Frank is locked in an
eternal scrimmage, and there is no way out.
This makes the title This
Sporting Life into the film's
greatest irony. Though evoking a feeling of play, its true meaning is that all
of existence is a game, one that is ongoing, and that seemingly can't be won.
Frank often describes himself as feeling "champion," but that is only
when he is out in front of the struggle. A man can keep fighting, but with no
prize at the end, what for? You get knocked down, and then you get back up,
until the day you decide to stay in the dirt. Judging by the closing shots, one
does not imagine Frank Machin happy.
Brutish rugby player excels in the sport but suffers from self-doubt and can't get past his perplexing obsession with a widowed landlord (Rachel Roberts). Awfully similar to Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire - Harris is square-jawed Stanley, Roberts is a combination of Blanche and Stella - and the ending's even a little similar, with Harris' brutish demeanor finally destroying the woman he loves (him shouting her name in the last shot is yet another giveaway). The performances are consistently superb even though the story gives out in the last act, once it gets through all of its clever flashbacks and returns to the characters chewing scenery and physically battering each other (also, is the spider a reference to Bergman's Through a Glass, Darkly?).