You always read that you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy whatever football related movie just came out, but in the case of One Night in Istanbul, that claim isn’t just a marketing ploy.
Our friends over at Cash Generator sent us over a copy to have a look at, and though we have to admit to a fairly obvious bias on this one, there’s absolutely nothing to not like about the movie — it’s just good fun. A comedy that doesn’t resort to being overly crass for laughs, a buddy film that isn’t packed with well worn clichés from bottom to top and a crime caper that involves a pair of cuff links all set to the backdrop of arguably Liverpool’s greatest European triumph? Like I said, what’s not to like?
Based on the play by Scouse writer Nicky Allt, One Night in Istanbul is centred around two die-hard Reds supporters, Tommy (Steven Waddington) and Jerry (Paul Barber) and their two sons, who strike a deal with a local underworld figure in order to get themselves to the Champions League final in Turkey. Things, of course, only go South from there.
A mosque mistaken for a train station, copious amounts of alcohol, a story about a German transvestite, lucky underpants and a sack full to bursting with cash later and our protagonists find themselves mixed up with even more ne’er-do-wells and a Turkish ticket tout as AC Milan takes a commanding first half lead in the background. While we all know how the rest of this unfolds pitch-side, the evening brings more than one more twist and turn for the foursome as the Reds march on to their fifth European Cup.
But, in essence, this film isn’t about the match; it’s about the proverbial twelfth man and those whose dedication borders on the fanatical. This, at the end of the day, is about the supporters and the stories that come along with following your team wherever they may roam, but it’s also a story that revolves around living life to the fullest and embracing each and every crazy day. While fans of other clubs might have a bit of a hard time getting over the essential pandering to the Reds out there, that’s ok — maybe they’ll understand when their team wins their fifth European Cup.