direction: Tori Tokikawa game time: 100 minutes | year: 2023
The fact that humans have an attention span of only eight seconds is a myth that is often debunked. How else will we be able to watch movies or entire sports matches? However, they should make an attempt to charm a little. There is no doubt about that Shohei Otani: Beyond the Dream, the filmmakers cut corners a lot. Humans are capable of many wonderful performances, but watching this baseball documentary that induces sleep for more than eight seconds will be difficult for many.
Shohei ‘Showtime’ Ohtani is a Japanese baseball player who proved his worth to the Los Angeles Angels in MLB (Major League Baseball) for five years, breaking Babe Ruth’s records. The documentary has no other approach and does little more than follow this information in chronological order. A conversation with Shohei himself, his managers, and a few other baseball players who would like to write in his friend’s book. This mainly concerns Shohei’s bold decision Two-way player (Throwing and hitting) to compete in a major competition dominated by Americans.
The documentary consists almost entirely of long monologues delivered from chairs in living rooms. Then it turns out that the thoughtful, analytical attitude that makes Shohei a good baseball player also makes him a very boring narrator. It could easily take five minutes about his doubts about whether his new manager believes in him. This is expressed in four different ways. His manager sees those photos on a tablet and replies that he always trusted Shohei. Shohei then sees those pictures again and again responds at a slow pace that this is a huge relief. This must be possible more efficiently.
The topics covered are all very uninteresting. This goes on for minutes around the shirt numbers. We also learn how Shohei Ohtani makes decisions (he trades for a long time, but in the end he lets his gut decide). Isn’t it difficult to play in such a different culture while not speaking the language? No, because everyone is really nice. Shohei narrates everything as if someone is holding him at gunpoint from behind the camera. The other storytellers are equally deadly serious and all seem bored. These few former baseball players who can speak fluently prove how much fun a documentary about them could have been.
Additionally, the documentary was sloppily produced. Aside from refusing to cut even slightly in long monologues, the transitions are sometimes jerky, and it’s strange that all the names appear only once and never return. There is also no approach towards non-baseball fanatics; For example, no effort is made to explain the “DH rule” in the footnote. But most of all, neither Shohei nor the documentary can tell a story in a way that makes you actually remember anything.
The few short montages of baseball highlights are too little and too late. Also the rare and interesting monologue about why Shohei is such a good marksman (he can act like… Two-way player Moving well at batsman) couldn’t hide the fact that this clinical pitching talk could have easily been done in ten minutes. A lazy and uninspiring product that can only be enjoyed by Shohei Ohtani fans.
Shohei Ohtani: Beyond the Dream It can be watched on Disney Plus.
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