Domestic Holy Grail after 30 Years
The End of the Storm is a global narrative, albeit one that centres on Liverpool’s first domestic title in 30 years. It has the added back story of the coronavirus pandemic which threatened to derail the Reds’ march towards their holy grail. In truth, it is a mixed bag. There is a brilliant story to be told with compelling content, but somehow it feels like a missed opportunity to rise above the rank and file of successful football documentaries.
The best value on offer here is the charismatic manager, Jurgen Klopp. When the German is on screen, it is always worth listening to his hopes and fears. In the first few minutes he sets the scene perfectly with his values driven by the role of adversity. He has a special stamp of authenticity which adds flavour to his persona as “the normal one.” The background of his childhood is touched upon. His father was a huge influence in driving him, giving him nothing but the tough love his son could ultimately use to his advantage in high level sport. Klopp’s wistfulness at how his late father would be proud is left hanging in the air to a touching degree.
Liverpool Player Insights
We get an insight from other characters, swinging from the too cool for school air of Virgil Van Dijk to the cheeky Brazilian Roberto Firmino and the statesman of the club, captain Jordan Henderson, who was previously defiled by so many supporters for not being good enough. The rise of his character and captaincy is given real insight by club legend Sir Kenny Dalglish with a twinkle in his eye. It would have been enlightening to see a little more about the change of culture that Klopp brought, and how everybody at the club seems to be in unison with it. What really shines through is the sense of community that has been engendered by the German and how that has been activated to help Anfield regain its place as a fortress.
Liverpool's Global Fanbase and COVID
On the pitch, the documentary runs like your normal, end of season review DVD but there are some nice touches. Liverpool were at one point on course for an invincible campaign before being derailed by first, Watford, and then, the virus itself. The latter provides an extra layer of dramatic context on a world scale as the video goes around the globe to meet “ordinary” Liverpool fans who have as much passion for the team as those on the Kop. There’s even a fan from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, who seeks solace from lockdown by spending 90 minutes with his favourite team. While the replay of matches being allied to celebrations as soundtrack to the team’s epic achievement is a little forced, it’s a huge insight into the power of the Premier League. No wonder other European clubs want a Super League when they can see the pulling power of Liverpool’s rebirth as a major player.
The End of the Storm depicts a team and a movement that was built to survive and thrive in all weathers. Its star, no matter how limited his screen star, is Klopp. The deeper achievements beyond the trophies are ones that don’t quite hit the mark enough. Even so, there is enough here to make Liverpool fans smile as fans re-enter Anfield just in time for Christmas.