Montevideo, God Bless You! – Movie Review (2018 FIFA World Cup™ Special Series)

Group E

russiawc2018

Info

Country: Serbia
Original Title: Montevideo, Bog te video!
Director: Dragan Bjelogrlic
Release: 2010

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World Cup Historic

In the previous reviews, I usually kept the historic only of the most recent form of the national team, not considering the previous forms, like in the case of Soviet Union, but in the particular case of Serbia, I will start from the beginning.

PUMA 2018-2019 Serbia Home Football Shirt

The first national team in the country was founded in 1919 and began activities in 1920, representing the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. That was the team participating in the first FIFA World Cup, in 1930.

During the Second Great War, the football federation and the football, in general, was stopped and in that period, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was dissolved in 1941.

Uruguayyugoslavia1930
Photo from the Semi-Final Yugoslavia against Uruguay

In 1945, after the War, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established and the football restarted with its football federation reborn. Socialist Yugoslavia qualified for seven World Cups and had its best record, reaching fourth place in Chile 1962.

In 1991, Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, forming its own national football team, and the Serbian played the 1998 Cup under the name of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, later known as Serbia and Montenegro.

Germany 2006 was the only World Cup under Serbia and Montenegro incarnation. They were out after group stage and ranked as last in the tournament. Curiously enough, Montenegro was declared independent less than a week before the beginning of the World Cup.

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Photo from troblog

Serbia “alone” played the 2010 World Cup, in South Africa. They were eliminated in the group stage and only qualified for a World Cup again now, for the 2018 edition of the tournament.

In total, they had 12 participations, reached a quarter-final and fourth place twice, one in the embryonic debut of the tournament.

The Russia 2018 is a good opportunity for Serbia to reach the knockout phase once again, having a team solid enough to reach the runner-up spot in the group, considering Brazil as the first place.

(The video is from the Euro Qualifiers)

The team has two very good and experienced players in Branislav Ivanović and Aleksandar Kolarov and their best player is the Manchester United Defensive Midfielder Nemanja Matić. The two defensive-minded players are not exactly prolific scorers, likely the role of the Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović.

I quite honestly think anyone of the three remaining teams in the group can be runners-up after Brazil’s first place. We’ll see.

Prelude

The movie Montevideo: Taste of a Dream A.K.A Montevideo, God Bless You! tells the story of the Yugoslavian team and its struggle to reach the Montevideo World Cup in Uruguay.

For the first edition of the FIFA World Cup in 1930, all countries affiliated with FIFA were invited, but no European countries accepted until the deadline.

With the refusal of the European teams, FIFA president at the time, Jules Rimet, intervened and got the four acceptances: from France, Belgium, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

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Yugoslavia at the 1930 World Cup

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, under the rule of King Alexander I, had difficulties in making their World Cup project feasible.

The Croatians were boycotting the Yugoslavia National Team and the King refused to finance a national team without the representation of the Croatians. The National Team with an all-Serbian squad had to finance their trip to Uruguay some other way.

The Yugoslavian team, that was more like a Serbian team, had Blagoje “Moša” Marjanović and Aleksandar “Tirke” Tirnanić as the star players of the very young squad.

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Real Moša and Tirke

In Montevideo 1930, players performing for domestic teams composed most of the National Teams. The exceptions were Peru’s Julio Lores playing for the Mexican Necaxa and three Serbian players in the French league.

Julio Lores made his career in Mexico and later even played for the Mexican team, the same thing with the Serbian Ivan “Ivica” Bek, who played for France from 1935 to 1937.

The FIFA eligibility rules at that time were different than today, and in the 20th Century, players could play for different national teams, once they were naturalized. Now, once the player had an official appearance for a national team he cannot change it.

Montevideo.God.Bless.You.12
Moša (Petar Strugar) and Tirke (Milos Bikovic)

The film focus on the two main players, Moša and Tirke, and its different from Heleno, Montevideo is more football focused, but also have a little bit of personal drama, but labeled as Adventure and Comedy before Drama, the movie is funny and light, also diverging from the aforementioned Heleno.

Montevideo, Bog te video!

Started with the narration of the young Mali Stanoje played by Predrag Vasic, an orphan boy with only one functioning leg. He tells the story of that Yugoslavian team making history by reaching the World Cup Semi-Finals.

Tirke (Milos Bikovic) is the tutor and best friend of the little Stanoje, he’s not a footballer yet, we see his discovery by Bosko Simonovic (Nebojsa Ilic) and his first steps in Beogradski Sport Klub (BSK), now OFK Beograd, playing the third tier of the national football.

Milos Bikovic and
Film Moša and Tirke

BSK was the team of the already established footballer, Moša Marjanović (Petar Strugar), a star player in the team and the country. It was close to a Derby that Tirke arrived to make a test with BSK, making quite an impression.

The rival team was SK Jugoslavija, a team now defunct. We have a very heated match, not something rare in that time in football’s history. The two rival teams, however, later became one, to form the national Yugoslavia team.

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Tirke (Milos Bikovic) arriving at BSK

That is mainly the movie we have, the formation of this team and its struggle in getting all the logistics, especially money, to get to Montevideo.

The first thing I noticed was how well the period was presented, the costumes, buildings, kids playing in the streets and all that with a very beautiful color palette that suited this feeling really well.

The length of the movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes, a very reasonable length, allowing the plot and subplots to develop naturally, and not rushed. Added to that, good and likable characters and great competent acting and we have a very good work.

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Moša (Petar Strugar)

I already mentioned the main characters and actors so I will give more two mentions, the first Milutin “Milutinac” Ivkovic (Viktor Savic), one of the important pieces to the team and a good acting as well.

The real Milutinac, a revolutionary, was executed during the Second World War, he was only 37 at the time.

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Milutinac (Viktor Savic)

The other mention is Rosa (Danina Jeftic). I think she was a fictional character but was a great addition to the story and even though must occasions I don’t like much of romantic shit, I think her character was very good for the film.

To me, Montevideo was slightly better than Heleno and the second best in the group, was a good thing to revisit this movie I had watched some time ago and I will give it 8 Moons.

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Rosa (Danina Jeftic)
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Author: Marlon Santos

Random guy who loves movies and series, among other things.

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