GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS is the story of an underprivileged young man with a talent and love for soccer.
Santiago Muñez illegally immigrates to Los Angeles as a young boy and is raised by his father and grandmother. His father believes strongly in working hard to provide for your family. His father tells Santiago to live a good life and then die a good and honorable man, but he refuses to support Santiago in his love of soccer nor believe in his son’s dreams. He even refuses to see his son play the game. He works to force his son to enter into a gardening business together. He even goes to great lengths to dissuade his son from pursuing his dream. Santiago’s faithful Catholic grandmother instills in him values and the importance of being a man of Christian character and integrity.
A soccer-loving scout from England, Glen Foy, sees Santiago play and provides him with a path to his dream. All Santiago has to do is get to England.
Once Santiago makes it to England, the scout takes care of him. The scout goes out of his way to give Santiago the opportunity to show his talents and make it. Santiago meets a girl, Roz, and develops a relationship with her. He shows loyalty and depicts the positive message of monogamy.
GOAL! is very engaging. Viewers can easily identify with the plight of all the characters. The subtitles were not distracting, but this would impact the enjoyment for young children who are not fluent readers.
The messages in GOAL! are so positive and important for today’s youths. As Santiago goes to England in pursuit of his goal of playing in England’s premier league where the soccer stars are heroes, he is forced to make a choice. He must choose between a selfish and self-satisfying lifestyle with alcohol, parties and women, or hold true to his beliefs and his strong foundation of faith. Despite the costs and risks of holding firm, he holds steadfast to his beliefs, even when it means he loses friends and money to do so. In the end, Santiago impacts the life of those around him by his steadfast stand for his own integrity and character and belief system. The movie’s strong references to Santiago’s Christian, Catholic faith and how it molds his behavior and person as a whole are also aspects of this movie that are incredibly positive.
The importance of these messages to today’s youths cannot be understated. Watching a movie where you can identify with a hero who is unwilling to sell out, even when it hurts, isn’t popular, and endangers his dream, teaches young people that it is possible to live life and not sell out to what may appear popular. In fact, GOAL! clearly shows that living with integrity can become popular. It also shows redemptive elements as the father deals with his rejection of his son and his son comes to terms with his father as well. Even though this film was a little slow at times, the positive elements and relationship with the characters will leave most viewers feeling uplifted. There are a couple of very famous soccer players who make cameo appearances in the movie as well.
(CC, BB, FR, Ro, L, V, S, N, AA, D, M) Strong Christian worldview in a Catholic context with very strong moral elements, with the main character showing humility, standing up for what he believes and doing what is honorable and right even when it is unpopular to do so, as well as showing the strength of his convictions as he confronts his friend and faces negative consequences for his actions and behaviors, yet still stands firm, plus strong Christian elements as protagonist is shown attending church with his family and hero has a grandmother who has a strong faith and who pushes the hero out of a gang and into a straight and honorable life, as well as hero does the sign of the cross to signal his prayers and even causes all viewers to go into a prayer stance, and hero and grandmother pray before big game, but many references to saints and hero wears the charm of a saint that he kisses (which may irk some Protestant believers) and light elements of a Romantic worldview as Santiago is told to follow his dreams and his heart despite his father's urgings to go into business and be “more sensible”; five obscenities, including two translated into English subtitles; light violence on the soccer field as players hit and bump one another, sometimes illegally, but no worse than watching a live soccer game; some implied sexual content, including one scene where, while kissing, the girl says, "But I hardly know you," then the scene cuts away to protagonist leaving the next morning, and implied fornication when another character noted as a “playboy” wakes up after a one night stand with a woman; upper male nudity and some scenes with scantily clad women; a lot of partying in scenes and underage drinking as Santiago is shown in a bar with his father drinking, and in England he also enters many party scenes with primarily drinking; some light smoking in party scenes; and, lying, illegal immigration, heavy party lifestyle depicted, but with a negative connotation, father and son don't always get along, and son leaves home without saying goodbye to father to pursue dream of playing soccer.
GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS is a sports drama about an underprivileged young man chasing his dream. Santiago is born with a love of soccer and for his family. As an immigrant growing up in the poor section of Los Angeles, Santiago seems destined to follow his father's path - working at menial jobs to earn just enough money to support his family. He is raised partly by his faithful Catholic grandmother, who instills in him the importance of being a man of character and integrity. Santiago gets to England and goes through a series of ups and downs to achieve his dream of playing professional soccer. He shows that dreams can be reached without sacrificing who you are and what you believe. Santiago fights for his dream. Along the way, he makes lots of good friends who work and sacrifice for one another, depicting the true meaning of friendship.
GOAL! is a delightful, morally uplifting movie. Naturally gifted, Santiago's talent on the soccer field finally receives its due. Through most of it, Santiago maintains his Catholic, Christian faith. Brief foul language, implied sexual content and other elements require some caution, however.