Beloved around the globe, Liverpool Football Club ranks among the top ten most financially successful football clubs. Unfortunately, for their fans that success has not translated to the pitch. Despite several close calls, it had been 30 years since the team last clinched the Premier League championship. As some of their fans would say, it is almost like they were cursed.
While there are no voodoo dolls present in James Erskine’s The End of the Storm, the documentary makes it clear that Liverpool had been stuck in a seemingly never-ending string of bad luck. Even their legendary 2019/2020 season, where their fortunes finally turned the corner, threatened to be derailed by a global pandemic. Providing unprecedent access to Liverpool FC and their fans, Erskine’s film is as much a love letter to the team as it is an examination of the hard work needed to overcome adversity.
As club manager Jürgen Klopp, who is featured prominently in the film, states early on, the team needed a complete change in mindset to create a winning culture. Interviewing players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, and Jordan Henderson, Erskine presents a glimpse of the personalities who turn Klopp’s philosophy into a championship. While the players provide brief insight into both their lives and the pressures that come with playing on the team, it is when the film focuses on the team’s fans that The End of the Storm is most fascinating. Traveling from Brazil to India to America, and places in between, Erskine captures not only Liverpool’s global impact, but the ability of sports to unite generations.
Showing how family and friends around the world come together to cheer on Liverpool each week, The End of the Storm is a film that will no doubt appeal to fans. Unfortunately, those not as attached to either Liverpool FC or the Premier League will not be as enthralled with the film. While it is interesting to see how the team entertained themselves in the early stages of the global lockdown, Erskine’s film never adequately captures the tension of Liverpool’s championship season. The End of the Storm manages to keep things on a surface level. As a result, the journey to the mountain top never feels as momentous as it should given the three decades worth of attempts.