Breaking News
  • December 3EXAM DATES: 12/20,12/21, 12/22
The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Netflix series Beckham explores the profound details of David Beckham’s life in an unforgettable documentary

Twitter Inc. from Pinterest
Netflix’s documentary series Beckham was fascinating from start to finish

Ever since the 2022 World Cup, I have become a passionate soccer fan.

Once I started to understand the gravity behind the sport and the sense of unity that soccer provided for fans, players, and teams, I began following a mixture of teams in both American and European leagues—the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, Major League Soccer (MLS), and La Liga.

I have observed players being thrown out to the brutal transfer window, witnessed them leave their childhood clubs in tears, and seen the impact that the media has on their personal lives and families.

When Beckham, a four-part documentary series about David Beckham’s wild, illustrious soccer career came out on Netflix on Oct. 4, 2023, I was thrilled that Beckham’s lengthy hardships, adversities, and vigorous public reprimand would finally be highlighted and justified. 

Beckham, directed by American actor and director Fisher Stevens, walks through David Beckham’s career from his youth club, his first professional journey at Manchester United, and his eventual transfer to Real Madrid—a highly prestigious soccer club located in the heart of Spain. The film also touches on Beckham’s brief participation in other clubs, yet the main focus of the series is rooted in Manchester United and Real Madrid. 

The series Beckham encapsulated every aspect of David’s career—one that proved to be prolific, devastating, and entirely enchanting. One singular player’s influence on the fans during the time period was unprecedented, and it was shocking to see the multitude of supporters surge and swell with Beckham’s faults and controversies. 

Beckham is famous for his array of league titles, guiding England through national competitions as a captain, and presenting himself as a cultural icon and entrepreneur with brands such as Adidas, Armani, and Breitling. Along with his substantial display of success, David Beckham also traversed through a world of fierce public criticism, balancing his career as a professional soccer player with the lashing outrage that trailed him during his journey.

All of the newspapers, televised clips, and recorded comments from real people are scattered throughout the film, showing the audacity that some of the fans had when showcasing outright contempt for the minor, human mistakes that Beckham made throughout his career. 

Although I enjoyed every moment of the four-episode documentary series, there were a few elements artfully incorporated that elevated the series and distinguished it from other documentaries I have watched. 

First, the framing of the documentary was woven into a chronological format that extracted memories from Beckham’s past and integrated them with his recent reflections from filmed interviews. 

As a child, Beckham’s father, Ted Beckham—who talks about David’s life in multiple interviews—filmed every single one of David’s childhood games on the muddy, grassy pitches in order to document his son’s progress and have a visual reference for him to improve upon. Although these videos were stashed away for years, they were eventually gathered in order to fully complete the picture of Beckham’s career.

The videos of Beckham’s childhood career as a prodigal player are intertwined with current interview clips. The scenes from his current interviews are relaxed, considering that they are filmed and recorded in the comforts of his home. It was really interesting to see the contrast between the videos from David’s hectic career—both childhood and professional—and the solace interviews in his home, told from the reflective, insightful perspective of a man who is reflecting on the passionate life he lived as a boy. 

Beckham reflects on his faults and accomplishments with unmistakable pride. It is inspiring to see his raw reactions to the awful experiences he went through during his career: being sent off during the 1998 World Cup Final after a little scuttle, receiving endless death threats and public reprimand, and battling against the hate targeted at his family were just a few of the hardships that Beckham navigated while trying to uphold his career as a professional soccer player. 

The hostility targeted at David Beckham during his life as a soccer player is appalling. All of the newspapers, televised clips, and recorded comments from real people are scattered throughout the film, showing the audacity that some of the fans had when showcasing outright contempt for the minor, human mistakes that Beckham made throughout his career. 

Beckham’s ability to remain composed through his journey highlights an issue that wasn’t discussed openly at the time: mental health. Discussing Beckham’s story with all of the elements momentarily shifts the focus of the documentary to the lack of discussion regarding mental health during this time, exemplifying how difficult it was for him to suffer in solitude.

As the framing guides the audience through Beckham’s life in a fluid sequence, multiple guest interviews are scattered throughout the film in order to buttress the narration and original video clips from the referenced events. 

His wife, Victoria Beckham—a former Spice Girl—is featured frequently, adding details regarding their enchanting, dramatic love story and how she viewed their relationship during both of their prosperous careers. David and Victoria’s relationship is portrayed through a raw, unfiltered lens, displaying both the positives and negatives of their lives together instead of solely exhibiting the glamorous aspects of it. 

Although there were countless other people who were interviewed for the film, the ones that I loved the most were the interviews with Luis Figo, one of David’s coaches at Real Madrid, and Gary Neville, one of David’s best friends during his time at Manchester United. The documentary series also featured comments and anecdotes from Sir Alex Ferguson, David’s coach at Manchester, and Eamonn and James Clarke, who were paparazzi for Manchester United and captured snapshots of David’s life for years. The insight and backstories of all of these people added a sense of reality, verifying and bolstering all of the details of Beckham’s wild career.

The last moments of the fourth episode were by far the pinnacle of the entire series. As Beckham’s career eventually came to a close in 2013, he decided that while he might be forced to hang up his cleats due to age and injuries, he still wanted to be involved in the world of soccer in some way.

The film briefly touches on Beckham’s decision to found Inter Miami CF, a Miami-based soccer club in the MLS league. The culmination of pride and fulfillment that is portrayed on Beckham’s face during the club’s first games is beautiful, especially after witnessing the brutal backlash that the sport pitched at him throughout the years. 

Having clips of Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami debut was simply captivating—to me, the environment that David Beckham fostered with his club is a little haven for players in all stages of their career who want to excel in a positive atmosphere, a nod to the conditions that Beckham didn’t always have during his own journey. 

The message of David Beckham’s life is clear and thoroughly exemplified through his inspiring perseverance: be tenacious, keep persisting, and of course, never give up.

From start to finish, Beckham is an unforgettable film that precisely depicts Beckham’s reflections on the hardships of his past, documenting the well-deserved success and triumph at a level that only David Beckham could achieve.

View Comments (2)
About the Contributor
Lucy Yoder, Junior Writer
Lucy is a senior entering her first year writing for The Central Trend. She has been entertained and positively in love with writing and reading for as long as she can remember and cannot wait to expand and improve her writing further. Lucy runs varsity track for her school and has been involved with club track over the years as well. As senior year starts and concludes all too quickly, Lucy strives to create millions of memories, all comprised of her favorite things: friends, sunshine, running, and her adorable puppy, Jackie. Favorite artist: Taylor Swift, without a doubt Favorite soccer team: FC Barcelona Car: 2005 Lexus GX470 named Lucifer Favorite place she's been: Galápagos Islands

Comments (2)

All The Central Trend Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Millie AltNov 17, 2023 at 9:13 am

    So well done! You’re a great writer.

  • J

    Jia NiemeyerNov 16, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Such a great writer!