The world of football and fans represents a daily routine for our country, despite the restrictions due to the Covid-19 emergency. On Netflix we have already had the opportunity to see the mix between football and organized crime – in this regard, we invite you to read our review of Ultras, the film with Aniello Arena -, but perhaps not everyone knows that in recent months a series has come from Argentina that starts from the description of the world of the ultras of a football team to culminate in a story of social decay. IS Gate 7, available on Netflix, and this is our full review.
It’s match day and the ultras of the Ferroviarios team they are, as usual, at the forefront of supporting their heroes. Among these stand out Fabian and Hector “Lomito” Baldini, group leaders and longtime fans. Not everyone, however, has the freedom to go to the stadium or watch the game. Mario, a boy from a poor reality, he has to do two jobs to support the family, because his father was stolen the truck with which he sold used furniture.
During the game, Hector is attacked by a man who stabs him three times, seriously injuring him before running away. The other members of the ultras group, led by Fabian, chase him until they reach him and gamble him in front of a group of children playing in the streets of the neighborhood. The President of the Ferroviarios, Guillermo, understands that the time has come to do something and entrusts the safety of the team to Diana, ready to face the violent, but who, over time, will notice that perhaps those who row against them are making their own from the company who hired her.
There is in fact Santiago, the treasurer of the Ferroviarios, who made contact with the local underworld and he wants to use his position on the team to make a profit. Diana, as well as Mario, hired by Fabian and Lomito as a driver, will face a world in which football and cheering are just a cover for what, in essence, is a gang of criminals.
Every damn Sunday
If at first glance Gate 7 it may seem like a series that immerses the viewer in the world of fans and ultras, as the episodes pass, you realize that it actually tells a story of social decay, of the desire to free oneself from a life of poverty and marginalization. The emblem of this condition is Mario, a normal boy, poor but honest, who irremediably changes when he is presented by his friend Rafa to Lomito and Fabian. Mario immediately understands that the activities of the two are illegal, but he does not distance himself and, on the contrary, takes the ball, until he transforms himself into a different person from the mild and smiling boy of the first episodes.
The change becomes tangible and irreversible in a precise moment, when, without thinking twice, he holds his friend Rafa responsible for the attack on his girlfriend and lashes out at him without giving any chance to reply. Mario’s face thus takes on completely different connotations, abandoning the relaxation of his smile to make room for the angularity of hatred and violence. Mario can remember “Danielino”, one of the characters of Gomorrah, which he took care of tell the fascination that organized crime can have on young people who do not have much economic means and are attracted by a life made of pleasure and money. In fact, Mario begins his journey with noble intentions – he wants to help his father – but good intentions pave the way to hell.
The setting that the authors give to the world of Gate 7 and the actions carried out by its protagonists have a very specific ethical-moral direction; and also the judgment that emerges from the narration is absolutely negative, both for the destiny of the characters and for the microcosm that is described. Lomito, and with him his family, Santiago and even Guillermo show no doubts in their decisions, no remorse or second thoughts, but go straight on their way, choosing greed, opportunism and economic and social success as their religion. ; dogmatic in their pursuit and hypocrites in wanting to mask their misdeeds in a context of necessity and sporting interest.
The characters seem almost to evaluate their way of concealing their real intentions as inevitable; not out of a form of social shame, but for the belief that only strange and wrong rules, set by obtuse bureaucrats, want to prevent them from getting rich and live a life up to their desires. In this case “the dull bureaucrat” is Diana (Dolores Fonzi), the new security officer. A very interesting character, because the adamantine immorality of the ultras she fights opposes with an equally uncompromising moral rigor, which inevitably leads her to clash with Lomito and his followers. Diana, like Mario, has a transformation that makes clear the resigned vision of the authors; to win the war, he will abandon his irreproachable conduct and use the same means as Lomito. This communicates to the viewer a spectacle of bleak resignation, as well as the impossibility of changing certain situations without coming to terms with one’s own moral and ethical constructs.
Technique at the service of narration
From a strictly technical point of view Gate 7 it does not shine for originality or for a peculiar style. The direction is purely of service and alternates fixed shots with furniture according to the narrative needs. There are few scenes of football played; after all this is not the main theme of the series, but the few present are still fun. The action scenes are well directed, almost always with a criminal background; adrenaline at the right point. The actors all give good proof of themselves: from Mario to Diana up to Daniel Araoz, all of them give back a good acting performance and know how to represent the duality of the characters and disguise their real nature.