Thelongestfilm.com – We Are Marshall, When a plane crash takes the lives of most of the players and staff from Marshall University’s football team and the spirit of life for the rest of his town, his new coach and the remaining players try to keep the football program alive. This historical biopic presents a realistic sports drama story.
This film, directed by McG and starring the duo Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, presents a very human side to the human struggle to treat the pain of losing loved ones.
Synopsis We are Marshall
On the night after the defeat of the Thundering Herd football team, on November 14, 1970, to be precise, they returned to their hometown by chartering an airplane. Unfortunately, it can’t be denied that the plane had an accident when it was about to land and fell in a forest close to the airport.
All 75 passengers could not be saved. Players, coaches, club staff, and crew all died. The university chancellor, who initially wanted to stop the football program, reluctantly continued because of pressure from his students.
This, of course, hurt the feelings of the parents and families of those who were victims of the accident. Jack Lengyel arrived as the new coach after many coaches who were offered the position refused.
Having difficulty recruiting players to fill the team in the short time before the new season starts, Donald Dedmon, the chancellor, asked by Lengyel to ask for waivers from the NCAA (the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the organization that oversees the student football league in America) to allow them to play the students. And this request is allowed.
The new team now consists of three old players and 15 new student players, as well as several recruits from other sports activities on campus, such as football, basketball, and baseball.
But due to a lack of preparation and experience, they lost the first game by a crushing score of 26-6 to the Morehead State Eagles.
In the world of sports, accidents that have killed many team members and forced them to rebuild from scratch have occurred several times.
What I remember most is a similar incident that happened to Manchester United in 1958. At that time, the team known as “Busby Babes” had just returned from Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
The image of the European Cup semi-finals after they beat Red Star Belgrade became one of deep sorrow. The same is true for the Thundering Herd football team. All team members died, leaving only three people who did not compete due to injuries.
Of course, parents whose sons have died may grieve for the rest of their lives if they remember. This feeling can seen when approaching the inaugural match of the new Thundering Herd team.
Many residents, especially the parents of the late players, feel their unhealed wounds are being hurt again by forming a new team. It’s as if these new players don’t respect and grieve for the painful event.
But this reiterated by Lengyel as a coach to his players: honor those who died in that incident and compete to uphold the name of the team and campus. Therefore, in the second match, more and more people came to the stadium to cheer on “The Young Thundering Herd”.
There was one plane crash that happened to another football team, Wichita State University, exactly six weeks before something similar happened to the Thundering Herd team.
Their fate in navigating the rest of the season is the same as the Thundering Herd, using the remaining players and new recruits suddenly.
Unlike other sports dramas
What makes We Are Marshall different from other sports drama films? Let’s take a look at some of the elements that usually exist in similar films, including the presence of inexperienced players, conflicts that occur between players or with coaches, and being an underdog team that tries to stop being a team that likes to lose.
Some of these elements are present in this film, but all of them occur because of the fog of grief that is still clumping in their minds and the wounds in their hearts because they lost their loved ones in a very tragic tragedy. So, the nuances of sadness are always present throughout the duration of this film, which takes more than two hours.
And if in another film, the team that had underdog status later became a strong team and won a tournament or league, but not with the Thundering Herd team,
The victory at the end of the film was only the beginning of the next few losses that they suffered in the remaining matches until the end of the season. Notably, they only managed to record two wins in that season.
Jack Lengyel’s achievements as a coach are also not very impressive. During the three seasons he managed the Thundering Herd team, he could only record nine wins.
Very different from the achievements of the coaches in other films. It could be, but it would be better to make a film that tells the biography of Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, or Pep Guardiola, whose achievements have recognized worldwide.
We are Marshall – Inspiring Spirit
The strength of this film lies in the acting of the actors, led by Matthew McConaughey, who appeared very impressive. Even an actor who often appears mediocre in other films, namely Matthew Fox, can make us feel how painful the wound is through his soft voice, tears, and emotions that explode when rebuking one of his players.
Anthony Mackie, who at that time was a newcomer actor, was one of the strongest-performing actors. His passion for reviving the team throughout the film feels natural, and this is what has made him one of the most revered actors in Hollywood cinema today.