There is no question about the fact that the world tumbled down into a misfortune that has brought everything to a halt. Every other bad thing seems to have gone on backfoot, and everyone is focused on the singular challenge that grips our world. It’s hard to keep yourself sane in such times, but thankfully, there are films; and most of all, there are films that don’t tire us further.
2020 has been the year of such upheavals (and we have barely crossed a quarter of it yet) that the importance of light comedies has been accentuated. We want to watch films that don’t demand too much from us. We want movies that are simply pure entertainment. A good laugh is all we need, and a good laugh is what Netflix’s ‘The Main Event’ provides.
WWE has a fanbase of its own, and combining that with Netflix strangely works well. What makes the film better is that it taps into the dream of every fan who has grown up watching their favorite fighters in the ring and have wished to be there someday. Following this story from the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, it highlights the innocence of this wish and sends the viewers on a nostalgia trip.
The Main Event Plot
Leo lives with his father and his grandmother. His mother left some time ago, and his father never explained what happened there. At the school, he is bullied by a trio of boys who enjoy tormenting outcasts like him and his friends. The only thing that keeps him going is his dream of becoming a WWE fighter someday.
One day, running from his bullies, he enters an open house where he finds a strange mask. Because it looks like a WWE merchandise, he keeps it. Soon enough, he realizes that putting on the mask gives him a different persona. His voice becomes heavier, and he feels more confident. What’s more is that the mask also provides him speed and strength beyond his beliefs. Just in time, a WWE tournament comes into town, and Leo jumps at the chance to live his dream.
The Main Event Review
In many ways, ‘The Main Event’ is a lowkey superhero origin story. A strange object that becomes the source of the protagonist’s powers, him using the newfound abilities to do some good, but in the end, realizing that the real power resides inside him all along. This character arc is perhaps the most common thing to feature in films. So, if you go in expecting some new take on the same old story, you will be disappointed.
Even with the twist of superhuman powers for the hero, the film does not tread the path of a superhero film. It remains very grounded and does not unnecessarily inflate the story into something else. It knows its audience; it knows that they don’t want anything more than watching their eleven-year-old self in the ring. The film intends to project that desire on the screen, and it succeeds to a good extent, for the target audience, at least.
There are, however, a number of flaws in the film. It tends to focus on the WWE part of the story, which makes sense, but in doing that, it forgets to address other issues for the protagonist. For instance, the shaky relationship between Leo and his father, due to a heartbreak that both of them have suffered, is not given enough focus. Some other conflicts in the story could have been handled with a little more substance.
The film does deliver a good number of laughs along the way, and if you are in that mood, then it will probably be a fun ride for you. However, there are times when the humor is rather tasteless, even for an eleven-year-old. Then there is also the case of the hero not getting a worthy adversary, but then, I guess, that would be expecting too much.
‘The Main Event’ is the film enjoyed the most when you leave your brain in the other room. You could spend a good time discussing how stupid the villains acted for their age, or you can simply have a good laugh and not mention it again.
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