Let ‘Em Come…

Tuesday, March 1 2011
Let ‘Em Come…

With Momentum at last releasing the post-Falklands football hooligan tale Arrivederci Millwall, about a bunch of Lions fans who head off to see the World Cup in Spain in 1982 at the height of the conflict, we thought we’d see if the feature length made for TV film, originally aired some 20 years ago, had stood the test of time. So who better to ask than a pal of ours, who knows a few people who knows a few people and is an expert on all matters Millwall. And we mean all matters… Obviously our pal, known colloquially as Millwall, will be remaining anonymous, but his thoughts on the imminent release show just how eagerly awaited this title is…

It’s 1982 down Cold Blow Lane, we’ve all come down to cheer…

When I found out that Arrividerci Millwall was being released on DVD I’ll be totally honest, my first thought was…why? I watched it on TV the first time around and at the time all I thought was “it’s not The Firm, that was much better”.

The Firm had everything, a West Ham firm, a Millwall firm, a “norvern monkey” firm, Pringle jumpers, Lacoste polos, Diadora Borg Elites, tools and the possibility of a job as an estate agent. OK, the last one wasn’t that appealing but the rest was my life. I remember watching Arrividerci Millwall and thinking “this isn’t really about football hooligans, what a waste of time”. What a shallow young man I was back then. If you don’t appreciate this piece of drama then you are a mug. Have I got your attention? I hope so because Arrividerci Millwall deserves your attention. It certainly got mine this time around. If you’re looking for another Football Factory or The Firm then this isn’t it. However if it wasn’t for this, there probably wouldn’t have been a Football Factory.

Anyway, on a personal note I loved it. I noticed things and parts of South East London that I miss. Catford Dogs. The Den (not the new one, the proper one). The yellow crush bars on the terraces at the ground. Fisher Boxing club which I still go past on the train every morning. It’s not supposed to be a piece of history but it hits the nail on the head with regards to the setting, the clothes, and the music. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like Arrividerci this time round as much as I do but it looks like I’ve grown up? Not so much that I still wouldn’t kiss the road when I get south of the river but it’s a start. I won’t go into the plot of the film too much but in a nutshell it’s about a group of young men heading to the World Cup in Spain in 1982. This is combined with the fact that the UK is at war with Argentina over the Falklands. When the Falklands War started I was living in New Jersey so I missed what was, in all honesty Rupert Murdoch and Kelvin Mackenzie’s war. “Gotcha” indeed. The backdrop of young men going to war in the Falklands is compared to young men going to “war” at the World Cup in Spain and is historically spot on. It captures an era really well without glamourising the violence that takes place. And it makes you think. Which is what all good films should do. If you have even a vague interest in working class culture then Arrividerci Millwall should be in your DVD collection. Now jog on.

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