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The Rave Review - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 01 Apr 2008 10:28:00 GMT
For those red and green fans who need a dose of nostalgia to help them survive the Rabbitohs ordinary start to season 2008, there is no better time to watch a copy of South Side Story.

Fixing a football club on it's hands and knees financially, spiritually and athletically doesn't sound like an appealing proposition for most people. Then again the two people who made the South Side Story possible are not your average Yogi Bears.

One is a high-profile Oscar winning actor who loves a football club that most of his Hollywood peers have probably never heard of until now . The other bloke is a successful businessman born on other side of the Australian continent where Aussie Rules not Rugby League is the more popular of the two products and on face value a more alluring area to invest your cash.

The goals of the club's new co-owners start out like boyhood dreams yet end up becoming middle age realities and this story reveals how it happened.

Filmed as the season progressed, the emotion captured is authentic, occassionally humorous yet seriously desperate.

Where the documentary takes it's eye off the ball however is towards the end when the Rabbitohs make their appearance in a finals game for the first time in just under two decades. The scarcity of that historic moment for all involved convinces me that South Side Story was released too early.

The showdown between Manly and Souths on September 7, 2007 will be remembered as a significant measure of where the red and green machine had come from and where the team wants to travel to in 2008.

It should have been included as an extra and the GRL Traitor will not change his mind on this, so don't even bother sending me cheques in the mail because I am a man of convinction. And I am fully convinced that if a sequel is in the making, I should be involved in the production in some capacity so that these sorts of oversights are prevented.

What the film incites you to believe is that it's difficult to lay the credit for South's best season in 18-years at the feet of any one individual.

Souths could not have changed their culture without the pizzaz that Crowe and Holmes a' Court brought to the table yet without the signature of impressive rookie coach Jason Taylor and the world's best prop-forward Roy Asotasi, securing an extra 9 victories in 07 would have been just as hard as winning lotto.

The story in another words is a victory for teamwork. All involved could not have experienced the glory of rising from the ashes without each other.

Narrated by Jack Thompson and featuring interviews with a range of opinionated guests including former Balmain and Wallabies coach, Alan Jones, the views shed are blunt, honest, colourful and a reflection of the past and the future.

George Piggins however does not make an appearance (what a surprise!) unless you count the flashback footage (which I don't) and the effort by Holmes a' Court to speak to veteran halfback John Sattler at a Gold Coast Titans game turns out to be the only significant failure highlighted in the entire 159-minutes of film.

South Side Story. A one-hit wonder or the beginning of an overdue fairytale? Watch for yourselves and then decide. - Read More, Here