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Audible - Netflix Film Review


Directed by: #MatthewOgens

Still from Audible

Football player Amaree McKenstry-Hall and his Maryland School for the Def teammates attempt to defend their winning streak while coming to terms with the tragic loss of a close friend.

Audible, the new docudrama available to stream on Netflix, is a film about young struggles. Focusing on football player Amaree McKenstry-Hall and his teammates, we see collaboration and perseverance through hard times to achieve greatness. Following the death of a treasured friend, the players must focus their energy on journeying forward, rather than dwelling and sinking too deep into the past, for the past is unchangeable, and the future is whatever you make it.

As with most Netflix-backed projects, this is a pretty great looking film. It’s presented well with stunning cinematography featuring plenty of colours, sharp text use for the names of introduced people, and solid music to boot. The film is entirely dramatised, but based on true events, and the construction of scenes is superb. The problem lies with how little time we get to spend with these people. Amaree seems like a fantastic guy with loads of motivation and drive. We see just a snapshot of his life, his dealings with his deafness, how that makes his life a challenge, and how isolating it can be. The focus on friendship at the Maryland school is wonderful, and they really drive in the idea that communication and finding comfort in friends is a crucial part of life. But it isn’t enough; it would have been nice to explore all of the teammates lives, to see how they’re managing individually, and learn more about them as people.

It would have been beneficial to develop this film into a feature-length, or even spread it reasonably across a limited series akin to The Last Dance in order to find a little more balance between the dramatisation and real world issues, their experiences and just hearing what they have to say. Audible does everything right in terms of its concept, but the execution is greatly lacking and therefore we’re left with crumbs of what could have been.

It has its moments, but unfortunately, Audible leaves you feeling underwhelmed and craving something more. Pretty packaging and well-constructed footage only takes you so far and does so much, if the material isn’t as fleshed out as it needs to be. Though out of all 38 minutes, there is one important takeaway; “Be yourself” is told to us by one of the players, and I couldn’t agree more.

Audible is now streaming on Netflix.



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