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Friday, February 26, 2021

‘The End of the Storm’: How Liverpool earned a golden sky in a story for the ages

"The End of the Storm", a 99-minute documentary about Liverpool's title triumph in the 2019/20 season, aptly immortalises the sporting tale of excellence through themes of family and togetherness.

Written by Debkalpa Banerjee |
Updated: February 12, 2021 8:34:28 pm
Liverpool ended their three-decade title drought last season under the helm of Jurgen Klopp. (File)

Ever since Gerry and the Pacemakers’ 1963 song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” topped the charts in the United Kingdom, it has grown to be an integral part of Liverpool’s ethos as the club anthem. Through countless ups and downs and multiple generations, the song has always brought hope and euphoria to the Anfield faithful, inculcating the belief that “at the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky.”

After three decades of hurt, the storm did end for the Kopites last year.

Despite a delay in their coronation due to the pandemic-forced hiatus, Liverpool seized their first top-flight title in June since their old First Division crown in the 1989/90 season. Continuing their rapid rise in fortunes under the helm of inspirational manager Jurgen Klopp, the Reds reclaimed the perch in style with an impressive 99 points, registering a record 32 wins, in the 2019/20 season.

“The End of the Storm”, directed by Emmy-nominated James Erskine and streaming on Discovery+, depicts the story of the once-elusive Premier League title win through a series of anecdotes shared by the manager, the players, and the fans alike. Delving deep into the heart of one of the most globally recognised clubs, the 99-minute special serves as a self-congratulatory memento to Liverpool’s success.

“The End of the Storm is an ambitious, cinematic feature film that tells a story 30 years in the making. This isn’t simply a story about a sporting achievement. It is also a story about emotion, community and self-belief — in a moment when we need all these things more than ever before,” Erskine told LFCTV.

Before thrusting the viewers into the eventful campaign, the documentary rightly takes a step back and starts itself from the moment the charismatic German became entwined with the fate of Liverpool in 2015. After recollecting the small steps in the earlier seasons, Erskine introduces the viewer to ample amounts of fresh insight about the season from Klopp himself and his “mentality monsters”.

From club captain Jordan Henderson talking about his disappointment of failing to win the title in the 2013/14 season to reliable goalkeeper Alisson Becker remembering his first video-call with the gaffer to electric forward Sadio Mane admitting that half of Senegal’s population have turned into Liverpool supporters, the brief chats with the players hit the right notes throughout the documentary.

Apart from the interviews, training ground footage and scenes depicted in comic-style art add to the flow of the chronological narrative. Additionally, an exclusive acapella rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by ardent Liverpool supporter and musician Lana del Rey provides an added layer of emotion in certain junctures.

To offer a more heart-rending assessment of the journey undertaken, Erskine takes the camera into the myriad households that consider Anfield their hallowed ground. From Liverpool to Kolkata to Auckland to Rio de Janeiro, fans live out the excitement of the shared dream coming true with stirring tales of support. Undoubtedly, the essence of multiculturalism is shown in all of its glory.

The documentary also deals with the period of uncertainty in between, when COVID-19 put a stop to all proceedings on the field for three months, with an emotional tinge. With Klopp calling for solidarity in times of distress and various supporters sharing their thoughts about a potential heartbreak, the segment becomes all the more richer. But fortunately for the millions of fans worldwide, the special ends with the voluble manager proclaiming to the world, This is for you!, after Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy in front of an empty Anfield.

At a time when Liverpool are enduring a rather difficult season, the documentary succeeds in putting a smile on the viewers’ faces by reminding them of last season’s highs. The adaptation of the club anthem also elevates the experience by ingraining the themes of growth, loss, and triumph throughout the entirety of the runtime.

In a nutshell, “The End of the Storm” aptly immortalises the tale of Liverpool’s excellence through the very theme of togetherness on which the club was built.


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