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"Arena" Underground (2007)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable and interesting film thanks to the delivery

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
25 April 2007

As the title suggests, this Arena film is a look at the London underground from a point of view of history, human behaviour and the experiences of those using it. It does a good job of summarising the history but never becomes just an account of development of the underground because it tells it with heart and a personal touch. As such it is engaging as the narrator takes us briskly through the key stages in the life of the underground while also delivering regular asides with snippets from books, comments from drivers, exploration of the lost property office and so on.

The history is lively and interesting as it is cut together with archive footage, news reports and the like, it works really well as the film moves forward well – feeling detailed despite moving so quickly. The contributions around the history make it more interesting as it fleshes out the thing with the people around it. I didn't particularly like Andy Serkis as the narrator but the wealth of other contributions are generally pretty good and well edited together to prevent anyone going on longer than their words can sustain.

As a result it is an enjoyable and interesting film in how it delivers the history of a transport system but in a way that makes you see it as a living, organic thing that means more than the mere working of wheels and motors – most impressively doing it without coming over pretentious or pompous.

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