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3-min read

Losers Review: Netflix Documentary Explores the Hidden Sides of Defeat. 5 Stars

Mickey Duzyj, through 'Losers', has vehemently opposed the manifestation of triumph in popular culture and, in the process, has shown a masterful control over the art of storytelling.

Devasheesh Pandey | News18.com

Updated:March 3, 2019, 4:33 PM IST
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Losers Review: Netflix Documentary Explores the Hidden Sides of Defeat. 5 Stars
Mickey Duzyj, through 'Losers', has vehemently opposed the manifestation of triumph in popular culture and, in the process, has shown a masterful control over the art of storytelling.

Losers

Genre: Docu series

Director: Mickey Duzyj

When failure transpires in competitive sports, or life, there is a looming pessimism and disapproval surrounding, what we so fondly like to refer to as the losing side. Come to think of it, history is kinder to the ones who won than the ones who did not. Offsetting this narrative is Netflix, which has launched an original docu series by Emmy nominated filmmaker Mickey Duzyj (The Perfect 18 and The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere). Duzyj who, through Losers, has vehemently opposed the, often unsettling, manifestation of triumph in popular culture and, in the process, has shown a masterful control over the art of storytelling by giving an overtly emotional yet subtly hilarious turnaround to the notion of winning in sports.

Losers follows eight momentous tales of defeat, from around the world, and how an unassuming spin in perspective can lead to a gloomy event or day being seen in an entirely new light. The definitions of what constitutes losing and winning vary here.

Through chronicling life in the aftermath of a major loss, say at an Olympic event or a pro boxing match, the series attempts at unwinding the lonely yet alluding abyss that competitive sport tends to be. Surprisingly, the failing side of the story in sports remains largely unexplored in narrative media, albeit an inextricable part of it and extensively covered by it.

Say for instance episode two, Jaws of Victory, follows the world’s most popular sport i.e. English football, not from the viewpoint of victors but as recounted by the league’s lost cause—Torquay United FC. More than the team’s freakish luck, takeaway here becomes that of a dog story of endearing proportions.

In another episode titled Judgement, the makers explore the consequences of racial bias in sporting events and the repercussion it has on the player himself/ herself. Surya Bonaly, a multiple time French national champion and European champion in figure skating and an accomplished athlete otherwise, takes us through her journey of competing at international events where the dominant notion is ‘how you conduct yourself in the ring’ rather than how you play the sport. Surya disrupts this belief in her own small yet rebellious way when turning a pro and how!

Theme of loss is sewn intricately into the narrative and each episode has its own highs, introspectively and reflectively. Emotions vary in the range of abject shock and hilarity. The makers force us to delve into our own psyche and 3-D animation reinforces this further, while also breaking away from the monotony of talking heads and archival footage. Since the docu series travels through different regions, music has been sought out accordingly to fit the mood and flows aptly with impeccable storytelling.

Editing catches attention. The past and present run parallel, reinforcing the pain and suffering that followed in the wake of defeat, for the sportsperson, and how the victory is in the moment, up for anyone’s taking. The glory, as they point out, is superficial, the pain real and we as audience are obligated to pay heed to losers who make triumph minuscule as compared to loss.

It’s the story of mavericks by a maverick himself. A pool of incredible moments from the world of sports. Losers is a visionary concept, to say the least. Amidst a flurry of content, this one is a meaningful documentary that celebrates opportunities that life is, if nothing else. So if you are pent up hosting nothing but cynicism, this is the series you should watch. Losers is streaming on Netflix.

Stars-5/5

Also read: I'mMature Review: Hopeless Adolescence Inspires Humour in this MX Player Sit-Com

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