Here’s a trailer for The Edge, that documentary about the England team that got to number one in the world and then fell apart.
We had ten questions about an earlier trailer, but this second one really ramped up the seriousness.
NO ENGLAND TEAM FELL HARDER says one of the shouty captions and it’s pretty clear that there’s quite a lot about the psychological challenges of Test cricket in this film.
To really pull that off, a film-maker needs their subjects to look suitably serious. So, based on the two-minute trailer, let’s try and work out who’s doing a good job of looking serious and who’s doing a not-at-all-good job of looking serious.
Andrew Strauss – 1/10
We’re giving Strauss one point, because technically he does look serious. But this is just what Strauss looks like, isn’t it? He has an inherently serious face. We’re pretty sure he’s making zero effort here. This is just latent seriousness.
Steven Finn – 2/10
Steven Finn is less fundamentally serious than Andrew Strauss, but he’s still making very little effort. He’s actually using the phrase “psychological trauma,” but based on his face, it seems just as likely that he’s saying, “small americano, please.” The mere absence of levity does not satisfactorily convey seriousness within a documentary.
Kevin Pietersen – 2/10
Exactly the same goes for KP, who’s saying, “crying in the dressing room,” but conveying, “this is a slightly longer queue than I’d anticipated.”
Ian Bell – 4/10
This one’s very tricky. Bell’s staring into the middle distance and has clearly endured such profound psychological trauma that he’s had to become a hipster. High marks for both those things, but then you look again, with that new Hipster Bell character mind, and you wonder whether he’s merely perusing a chalk board listing American IPAs at some sort of Sunday afternoon ‘community’ event. That diminishes things considerably, so we’re marking him down.
Matt Prior – 5/10
Bit route one, but hard to fault. Staring into the middle distance, clearly contemplating something from the past.
Jimmy Anderson – 7/10
A similar move to Prior’s, but Jimmy’s thrown in a soupcon more melancholy and the implication that it’s all become so much that he’s had to have a bit of a sit down. Jimmy also gets an extra point for looking like his career was completely derailed when he’s since become England’s greatest bowler and everything’s actually completely fine (except for the cacophony of ‘niggles’ that will blight his life long after he’s retired).
Monty Panesar – 9/10
Monty’s still in his wood-panelled Mississippi paddle steamer. (Is he trapped in there?) He’s doing everything Jimmy’s doing, but with the added implication that he’s sitting drinking alone. Drinking alone is fine of course, but Monty seems like he’s doing it in the depressing way and not the fun way where you play Civilization for a couple of hours and then watch the cricket highlights.
Jonathan Trott – ineligible
Initially we assumed that he’d got in his kit and acted this, but then we thought: ‘What if he hasn’t? What if that’s footage of Jonathan Trott genuinely being really unhappy?’ at which point we decided we probably shouldn’t rate this one.
Graeme Swann – 0/10
[While laughing] “I was absolutely devastated.”
First published in May 2019.