Another football documentary from my niche Amazon Prime Video watching series.
Make Us Dream narrates the journey of Steven Gerrard from a young boy to becoming an all-time Liverpool great. It is a biography of Gerrard but more dedicated to his life with the Liverpool Football Club from his joining their Academy to moving on to USA to play in Major League Soccer.
The documentary also covers some of the key events which helped shape English football to its current form. The Hillsborough tragedy which left 96 Liverpool fans crushed to death, the arrival of the Premier League and Manchester United’s rise, the arrival of big money in the form of Roman Abramovich buying Chelsea, players becoming the brand rather than the clubs and money increasingly becoming a deciding factor in player loyalties.
Liverpool is deprived of Premier League success although they won nearly everything else in the interim including becoming Champions of Europe. The documentary features the incredible 2005 Champions League Finals against AC Milan, where Liverpool come from 3 goals down at half-time and go on to win the shoot-out. [Incidentally, this game also featured in the documentary series “This Is Football” with Liverpool’s Rwandan fans].
We get to see Steven Gerrard’s partnership with Michael Owen at the start of his career and with Luis Suarez towards the end, the team-mates exits from the club, the multiple attempts from Jose Mourinho to get him over to Chelsea, the red cards, the headed own goal against Chelsea, contract disputes with Liverpool, injuries, and disillusionment with football, the desire to bring big trophies and the frustration of not being able to win the premier league title despite coming agonizingly close to it multiple times. There is the infamous slip against Chelsea after himself exhorting his team-mates not to slip up which proved critical in handing the title to Manchester City.
The documentary is bookended with Gerrard’s move to USA. He is called a genius, one of the very best but he just sounds exhausted by the end of it. And yes that truly is the highlight of the documentary, showing the man behind the player.
One grouse against the documentary. Gerrard’s long and highly successful England career is not mentioned at all! At least here, we have a clear winner in the club vs country debate!
Overall, a good watch.
Previously on MovieNotes – Take Us Home: Leeds United